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By default, water has a pH level of 7. Specifically, in the scale, the figure is neither acidic or alkaline. In short, it is neutral.

Notably, the water's alkalinity is a form of gauge to determine its capacity to negate acidic components. Of course, too much acid can be bad for anyone's health.

Although we can say that few pieces of evidence could link to such conclusion, many still believe that water's alkalinity has good health effects, even for fish.

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But regardless what you think, we still recommend that you should try increasing the pH level of your water. Fortunately, this article will teach you about that.

The pH scale has a 0 to 14 scale, with seven being neutral. What anything goes up is acidic. On the opposite, everything that scores below seven falls into the primary category.

But you should never assume that all water has a pH level of 7. In fact, only pure water (no compounds present) are considered "neutral."

For example, the water of your aquarium could be either acidic or basic. After all, there are several compounds and ground mineral that could be present there.

Such of these are iron, magnesium, and calcium. Fortunately, there is some fish breed that loves to dwell in alkaline water. For example, the Red Zebra and the Yellow Regal African Cichlid can tolerate 7.8 to 8.4 pH level.

Moreover, the Chilumba Cichlid preferably thrives on the water that has 8.5 pH level approximately. If you are quite fond of these fish, then you have to make sure that your aquarium water is fully alkaline.

The Basics

The term "normal pH level" is not applicable to all types of fish. You have to realize that these creatures living from different water bodies. In short, you can say that the pH level of lakes and rivers are distinct from the pH level of the sea.

Specifically, saltwater fish are comfortable on swimming on the water that has a pH level of 8 and above. Meanwhile, a freshwater fish won't survive long on such kind of scale. Instead, they can thrive on pH level 5.5 to 7.5.

Moreover, you should also realize that water pH will never be static. In short, it changes over time. Noticeably,

it increases during the day and significantly during the evening. Furthermore, adding or removing fish will also affect the pH level of the water. This is due to the changes in the biological system that occurs during the process.

​Water pH level of Aquarium

Before anything else, you have to ascertain the pH level of your water. In this way, you will be able to decide if you need to treat your water or not.

It is a crucial process, as you don't want to increase the acidity of your water fully. Otherwise, any marine life you put in won't survive at all.

In fact, we compel you to do this process. If the pH level of your water surpasses 9, then the latter could be deleterious already.

There are ways you can do this. For example, you can dip strips of acid-base indicators on the water. They are your fastest way to assess the pH level of your aquarium water.

But if you want to test the overall quality of your household water, then it is ideal to hire professional laboratories.

Meanwhile, you can improve the living environment of your marine life by installing the best reverse osmosis system. They can effectively take out the harmful compounds in the water while preserving the good ones.

​Testing the Water

Before you alter the alkalinity of your water, you have to purify it first. Of course, the best method for this is distillation. By this technique, you will be able to take out any harmful toxins and other contaminants from the water.

Because of this, we recommend that you invest in a distiller. It is a foolproof device that will allow you to detoxify your water in a very convenient manner.

​Water Treatments

​Water Softeners

A water softener is an effective treatment that increases the pH level of the water. By nature, water softeners are dependent on an ion-exchange mechanism.

Specifically, it neutralizes minerals that have low pH through the application of alkaline-based compounds. One of these is the soda ash, which is almost the same as baking soda.

However, we don't recommend the use of soda ash on individuals that are doing a low-sodium eating regimen. As for this time, we suggest that you should only try this method on your aquarium water.

​Neutralizing Filters

As its name suggests, a neutralizing filter can elevate the alkalinity of the water through the application of various neutral elements. Specifically, this filter includes carbon carbonate and other same substances.

When these materials interact with water, they eventually dissolve and further increase the pH level of the water on the right scale.

However, you should take note that applying neutralizing filters could also cause water hardness.

In layman's term, a "hard water" is a type of water that contains high amounts of undissolved minerals such as manganese, magnesium, and calcium. They can cause soap scums, bathtub rings, and spots to your shower.

Fresh Lemon

Another DIY treatment that can increase water alkalinity is fresh lemons. This particular kitchen ingredient possesses high pH level. Therefore, applying it extracts to the liquid would make the latter more acidic.

​Test the Water Again

After using any of these treatments, you need to check the pH level of the water again. You have to make sure if its alkalinity has increased or not. If the results are higher than the recommended levels, then you have to repeat the process again. You don't want your fish to dwell on a highly acidic environment.


Increasing the alkalinity of water has some profound health effects. However, we have to remind you that you should not do it excessively. Otherwise, it could bring some adverse effect.
Moreover, you have to consider the type and breed of your fish first before increasing the alkalinity of your aquarium water. You need to know if the fish is compatible with such conditions or not.

Did you learn from this article? Drop your comments and questions in the box below!

I am an avid outdoorsman with experience in naturalist education, outside adventure education, ski instruction, and writing. In addition to my outdoor hobbies, I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable outdoor experience. I enjoy sharing my experiences of backcountry education teaching and guiding through writing. To contact Davis, visit the contact page. and About Us.