Back After Long Absence

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an interest in aquariums or fish keeping!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Oct 27, 2012
Laurinburg, NC
Hi..I am back and with a pressing problem. We are preparing to go out of town for medical tests unfortunately and 3 of my 7 aquariums have ph problems. Can't figure it out. A local animal feed/fish shop says I might have PH Block whatever that is and might need to get all new water. I have a 40 gal 4 turtle tank, a 60 gal tank with 1 Oscar, and 2 10 gal baby guppy/algae eater/pleco tanks with no issues. The guppy and turtle tanks get lettuce everyday on a clip. My 42 gal bow front mixed tank (plecos, clown and golden loaches, flying foxes, green corys, synondontis cat) get lettuce daily also, and I have a 5 gallon tank with a tiny withered golden loach that I have nursed for two years, 4 small corys, and a couple of guppies---no lettuce in that one. These two tanks as well as a 15 gal column tank with mainly guppies and flying foxes have low ph---like 6. After a partial water change it comes up, but not for long. I have put ph up drops in carefully. All tanks get 1/4 to 1/3 water replacement and Python vacuuming every week. The turtle tank, which also has a few guppies, gets nearly a total water change. What can I do about those three tanks? I can't figure out why I can't get the ph up? Please help! Is there anything I could do---we are leaving tomorrow for a weekend of medical testing. My neighbor will look in on them Friday morning, we'll be back Sunday am....No pet shops here. Got some ph correct tablets is all--and someone suggested a pinch of baking soda? Can't do much because we are leaving. I noticed a couple of guppies died in the 5 gal and that alerted me to the ph. Then I started checking all of them, etc. These 3 tanks routinely want to be at 6 or below I'll bet. I am using drops and testing and retesting---even with different bottles. Our tap water is at 7. I use Prime when doing partial changes. Would sure appreciate any quick advice, and then I can do more extensive treatments after the dr visits!:fish1:PS...Ive had all these tanks with no probs for over 2 years. I have heard that the city water ph used to be 7.6 or so instead of the 7 it is now?
Last edited:
Baking soda is definitely a good way to raise KH and pH.

That being said, in order to really help you we would need some information.

You need to test for KH in your tanks and your tap water. It sounds like your KH is too low and your pH is crashing as a result.
What is KH? Like I explained, we are leaving tomorrow afternoon..for medical tests for me. What should I do in the mean time? Have no pet shops here...I order online...I have been using some ph up drops very moderately ..... hate to lose all these fish...beautiful buddies fort 2 -3 years... only 3 tanks out of 7. Please help .. fish seem okay but ph is not
Should I just use a little pinch of baking soda before I leave? My neighbor will feed them all friday morning and I will be back sunday morning
A teaspoon per 10g is a pretty small amount of baking soda. It is hard to know the exact right amount but that should at least increase your KH and pH a bit and hopefully get you through until Sunday.

If you add too much it will drive pH up to above 8 which is why I recommend only doing that small around.

Also, order a KH test kit you will probably need one.
Also, what decor do you have in the tanks with the low PH? Certain items ( like driftwood) will cause the PH to fall. Peat moss as well. High nitrates will also cause PH to fall.
We need more info when you return. At this point, since the fish are alive and you won;t be there, I'd do nothing until you return.

Good luck with your test (y)
Top Bottom