How to Soften Water Aquarium? (Safe & Effective Methods)

How to Soften Water Aquarium

An aquarium can contain fish and invertebrates that need soft water to survive. Unfortunately, some areas receive hard water from the supply network; this water contains minerals potentially threatening soft water animals and plants. If an aquarium needs softer water to make it habitable, follow these steps to get better water performance – and see our best recommendations for soften aquarium water. so let’s get started on How to Soften Water Aquarium..

What is water hardness?

The higher the percentage of free minerals in the aquarium water, the harder it is. Amazonian waters can reach as little as 10 mg of salts per kilogram compared to African lakes with 300 or 600 mg. To keep our animals living well, we need to provide the ideal and specific water conditions for our fauna. Soft water fish can usually survive in harder waters. However, the possibility of breeding or spawning these fish is virtually impossible in hard water.

How to soften aquarium water

For some aquarists, the hardness of tap water can harm the aquarium’s inhabitants. The easiest ways to reduce aquarium resistance include using simple methods like Reverse Osmosis, Rainwater, Peat moss, Driftwood, and Water Softener Pillows are commonly used to soften water tanks. Each technique has disadvantages and features, meaning that not all of them can serve a specific use. Various methods for softening the water below need further practical study by the aquarist.

How to Soften Water Aquarium

What you need to know to soften aquarium water

Hardness refers to the levels of calcium or magnesium found in water. Carbonate Hardness (KH) is the property that indicates the concentration of metal ions dissolved in water. Several fish species thrive in soft water. However, certain fish species do better in hard water. Remember that most fish species are bred in captivity and do not enter the wild, so they are more adapted to our tap water.

Softener Pillows

Water softeners pillows help remove salts such as calcium, magnesium, and contaminants such as heavy metals and lower pH. Hardness reduction occurs relatively quickly, with effects seen within 24 to 48 hours. It works by exchanging magnesium and calcium ions for other ions, usually potassium and sodium.

Distilled Water and Demineralized Water

Distilled water has a relatively low mineral content – close to 0. Distilled water can be mixed with tap water to reach the desired hardness level. Distilled water can be purchased for relatively low prices.

Reverse Osmosis Water

Reverse osmosis is when minerals are removed from water through semi-permeable membranes. A reverse osmosis system pays off for large or saltwater aquariums despite its high cost.

Catappa leaves

The leaves of the Terminalia catappa plant – also known as Indian almonds – are also used to release humic acids and tannins that will soften aquarium water.

How can I tell if my aquarium water is hard or soft?

It is challenging to differentiate soft water from normal and hard water; the method used in aquarium hobby involves using proper tests for aquariums. If you contact your city’s water supply authority, they can provide you with information about the hardness of available water. Online maps also offer clues as to whether the water you encounter is hard or soft.

Carbonate Hardness (KH) & (PH)

Carbonates Hardness (KH) measure of carbonates and bicarbonates. The presence of carbonated compounds may affect water buffers. The higher the KHs, the lesser the probability of pH fluctuation. For comparison, a low KH level increases the chance of harmful fluctuation parameters waves at the fish tank. The two are closely tied — modifications on KH could negatively affect PH.

General Hardness (GH)

Calcium- magnesium is incorporated; the dissolved mineral content increases. Some fish species, especially some tropical fish, will experience hardiness problems in waters in an exceedingly low percentage. This exact figure may differ for some species.

Tell me the best GH (general hardness) for an aquarium?

This requirement differs for some specific species and types of tanks. Research beforehand which animals you want to keep, then find the perfect GH to suit your aquatic animals.

How is water hardness measured?

The good news for many chemists is that the technology also helps improve water hardness. Hardness can be measured based on the electrical characteristics of the water and measured from a probe in the aquarium water or colorimetric tests. These devices provide a direct hardness value expressed in degrees of hardness for any unit (DEH). At the standard DGH level, CaCO levels are 10 mL to 1 Mpl, equivalent to 17.85 ppm.

How To Test Water Hardness In Aquarium Water

The easiest way to test water hardness is to use an aquarium test kit. According to your test results, your water can be one of two types.

How to test Alakalinity or Carbonate Hardness (KH) in the aquarium water?

Alkalinity or carbonate hardness is measured using carbonate tests. Specifically, acidity in aquaculture can be attributed to fluctuating water pH. Higher KH readings indicate more water resilience to pH changes, thus lessening sudden changes. On the other hand, lower KH means it is susceptible to more constant pH fluctuations. Use proper tests for aquariums to correctly gauge your KH and pH to keep the water parameters stable.

How to test General Hardness (GH) in the aquarium water?

Use water hardness tests in your aquarium water. The resulting aqueous solution is tested based on calcium and magnesium concentrations. Lower levels of GH (0 to 6 d) indicate soft water, and higher levels (greater than 9 to 12) indicate hard water.

How does water become hard?

Waters stream become harder (GH) and alkaline when they pass through rocky surfaces such as limestones. Even limestone deposits on surfaces could cause mineral concentrations to rise in water. For some aquariums, it’s challenging to get “aside with the situation.” Hence they have many problems getting this information. They will be a significant threat to fish, in particular softwater fish. Water General Hardness alkalinized by water is essential for detecting the level of hardness in that water. Use these guidelines to know the water hardness content inside your water.

What causes aquarium water hardness problems?

Every aquarist uses water in their aquarium, but there is no universal mineral composition for natural water. Oyster shell material can intentionally increase the water’s hardness in the system. Another reason for increased water hardness could be a chemical mixture or various limestone substrate-based compounds. The water hardness depends on the geology available at the water source, not the local water source in general. There are geographic differences between countries and regions, and there are no specific values for this.

How can I soften aquarium water naturally and chemically?

When you decide to soften your aquarium water, use the suggestions contained here. Depending on the state of the source water, it may be necessary to change its parameters. But we do our best thinking step by step. I recommend treating the aquarium water in a separate container for best results and less risk of making mistakes.

Tell me the best way to soften aquarium water?

Fish are unlikely to allow any flexibility about parameters such as water, salinity, or nitrate content. Fish may be suffering from distress or about to die when levels are below the comfort level for the species. The hardness of the water in ponds is an attribute for which many fish have become well-trained adaptors; captive-bred aquatic creatures can withstand closer hardness with water from our supply networks.

How to Soften Aquarium Water | Water hardness Softening Methods

To soften aquarium water, the process usually occurs slowly at a gradual rate. It is guaranteed that the fish will not have severe consequences from a clash of parameters, as it changes the chemistry of the water very quickly. Softening the water is more complex than ultimately raising the water’s hardness. Weekly tests will show the difference between KH, GH, or pH levels. Soften the tank water slowly.

Soften aquarium water hardness inside your tank

There are small mesh bags with different dimensions that meet the needs of your container size. Use the mesh bag to insert the peat moss tightly. Kh, GH, or pH should be tested regularly every 12 hours. Remove the moss bags when you reach the desired water parameters.

How to Soften Water Aquarium

Peat Moss (Sphagnum)

Peat mosses are decaying, dried mosses that can be classified into several species with an inherent ability to soften and reduce water pH. Peat mosses for aquariums are available at pet markets. Peat mosses include tannins that make the water brown; if you don’t want the water in your aquarium to turn that color, boil the peat for approximately an hour until the peat loses its brown color. Another solution is to dip the peat in a bucket to remove some dye. Once the process is completed, it is possible, with three techniques, to use the method efficiently.

Peat Moss As A Substrate Layer

Using peat as a substrate to soften water hardness is not a bad idea. This peat moss is fluffy and light, allowing it to move with the movement of water, avoiding anaerobic layers. The addition of other compounds such as gravel and sand to the substrate provides a different granulometry, benefiting the passage of water and promoting bacterial growth. Peat moss may color the water column; for this not to happen, the peat must be cleaned and preferably boiled before going to the tank. However, there may be differences in their method of use, as in the case of raising annual killifish; this is its most popular use. The peat pile releases substances that neutralize the minerals and soften the water.

Peat moss filters

Peat moss inhibits water hardness by binding calcium and magnesium. It is also called chelation, which softens aquarium water through demineralization. Peat produces tannin and humic acids. Oxidative ions have a decrease in KH: the acid neutralizes the carbonates in the water. A mixture of tap water from our home with peat can help with this problem of high water hardness. You can place a layer of peat directly inside a filter system to soften aquarium water hardness.

Peat Moss Inside Aquarium Filter

Place a bag full of peat in the tray or separate portion for media in your filters. The operation of the process in this way of the bags follows the same precept mentioned above. In filters, you can also use small grainy peat moss grains that are pelletized, which helps the peat moss enter and stay in the mesh bags; this will help prevent the moss from blocking the passage of water.

Using Rainwater In The Aquarium

Rainwater offers you something that unfortunately cannot be found everywhere. If you live in any weatherproof location – rainwater is acceptable for this aquarium. The storage tanks will hold plenty of moisture throughout the wet seasons. It should contain fresh, sterile foods and other materials to absorb rainfall to avoid contamination. In this case, your water supply should consist of water and rain in the same proportion that ensures appropriate pH and DH concentrations. The water must be kept under the air in clean containers with lids.


Usually, the simple way to soften aquarium water with a simple process of using water collected from rain can be a success for any hobbyist. In all likelihood, you could use accumulated rain as an opportunity to monitor GH and KH levels. To adjust its hardness to optimal levels, you can mix rainwater with tap water. Rainwater must be collected following some safety procedures such as not collecting in areas close to industries and other factories; it is also not ideal for collecting rain in high pollution conditions, such as acid and toxic rain.

Using Distilled Water

If you have distilled water available, be aware that you can use it as aquarium water. Water distillation consists of pure water extracted as a result. Hot water to create liquid-vapor causes pure water vapor to condense to produce distilled water. The development of the distillation is pure water, which means that all dissolved minerals in the water have been removed during the distillation. The best way to use distilled water is to use it alongside tap water before adding it to tanks.


Driftwood reduces hardness in aquarium waters based on natural techniques. With a high tannin content, Malaysian floating wood provides good softness to the water. The tannins are released, in response, the water’s hardness decreases. Many people prefer tannin-producing leaves (such as Indian almond leaves) to reduce water hardness.

Water Softener Pillow

Softeners have a hardness reduction mechanism containing oxygen to replace calcium and magnesium and insoluble heavy metal ions. They must not adversely affect your fish or plants. Water softening equipment is the perfect solution for small tanks and often needs to be removed because of its sudden effectiveness. Please follow the product usage information, as the usage method differs from product to product. Softeners reduce salt deposits and carbonate hardness in the aquarium water in a short time.

Reverse Osmosis (RO/DI)

If the hardness problem persists, you might want to use an RO or DI unit. A RO/DI system passes the water through a membrane filter to remove dissolved minerals, metals, and such. RO water has neutral to zero parameters. Also, using some raw water and adding minerals can make your RO water very useful in different systems. Using RO, adjusting the carbonate hardness and pH in your aquarium will become much more manageable.

Will softening the aquarium water harm my fish?

Hard water can damage your fish pets, but lack of minerals can cause serious illnesses. Fish have different water requirements concerning the species and their habitat, so we must continually adjust the hardness to the perfect standard for their fauna to survive. If you have very hard water, reducing its hardness suddenly can cause severe damage to your fish. Lower the parameter slowly, with the help of tests and water changes; this way, your fish will be free from possible physiological shocks.

In conclusion

These aquarium water hardness adjustment options are helpful for tropical fish that need little or no amount of dissolved salts in the water. There are specific kits for measuring GH, Kh, and pH in aquariums that can also allow you to determine the status of parameters and assist in correcting the characteristics of the water in your tank. Use a buffer when using acidifying products to make water soft in tanks; in this way, the pH remains constant due to the buffering effect, preventing it from rapidly changing. Rapid acidification of ph or drop in hardness can harm animals and plants.


There are several ways to soften your aquarium water to get the optimal results you want. Reverse osmosis systems are ideal for large tanks, saltwater aquaria, or unique soft water animal tanks and are widely used by fish breeders. Remember that monitoring GH and KH levels should become a routine to check and correct the hardness of the water in your aquarium. Incorporate progressive changes in aquarium water hardness; always carry out corrections piecemeal, avoiding sudden parameter shocks.

How to Raise KH in Aquarium? Complete Guide

How to Raise KH in Aquarium

In this article we explain KH and its importance to the aquarium and we show how to Raise KH in Aquarium water. We also address GH and pH as all these water measurements are interrelated.

KH is also known as Carbonate Hardness. Its the parameter which can change the most on a daily basis in an aquarium or pond. Carbonate hardness blocks natural acidity and stabilizes pH levels in fish ponds. KH increases and stabilizes the pH.

The greater the KH, the more resistant the aquarium water will be to pH changes. Having a higher KH should prevent large pH swings in your tank over time.

If your tank’s KH level is below 4.5 dKH, you should pay special attention to your tank’s pH. It is advisable to test weekly, until you understand how stable the pH is.

Understanding pH, KH and GH

Aquarium enthusiasts all understand the importance of having stable water parameter to ensure a healthy ecosystem for their fish. Correct water chemistry will ensure the health of your fish and by keeping the water within parameters mortality rates of fish will be reduced. pH, GH, and KH are water parameter measurements you will become familiar with.


pH stands for Power of Hydrogen. pH gauges the Hydrogen Ions in your aquarium. It shows acidity and alkalinity. pH is measured on a scale of 0-14. High pH means alkaline, low pH means acidic and a reading of 7 is neutral.

Different fish have different tolerances of pH. Most aquarium fish thrive in a neutral pH water of somewhere between 6.5 and 8.

Small fluctuations in pH will cause no harm to your fish, however, a big spike in pH levels is harmful.


The KH (carbonate hardness) measures the carbonate and bicarbonate ions in your aquarium. KH is  the ability of water to keep the pH stable (buffering capacity). KH neutralizes the acids present in the aquarium water. This prevents the pH from crashing. pH crashes can harm and potentially kill your fish.

An inadequate buffering capacity is indicated by A low KH level and results in fast pH swings. Whilst, if the KH is high, your aquarium water has a higher buffering capacity, making it harder to change the pH level.

The ideal KH level for a freshwater aquarium is somewhere between 4 – 8 dKH or 70-140 ppm.


GH refers to the general hardness of the water.  It is a reading telling you the amount of calcium and magnesium ions present in the water. It measures the ‘hardness’ or ‘softness’ of your water. It is recommended to have a GH level between 4 – 8 dGH. A low GH can affect the health of plants and fish.

How are pH, KH and GH related?

Although pH, KH, and GH are measurements of specific ions, they are interrelated and all play a part in balancing water chemistry. When minerals are added to the aquarium, they release many ions that affect water parameters.

Limestone, for example, contains a higher level of calcium carbonate. By having both calcium and carbonate ions, you raise both GH and KH when added. Salt mixes specifically created to raise either GH or KH can be purchased.

KH is directly effects pH. It buffers the pH, preventing it from changing rapidly. pH levels tend to decrease in fish aquariums over time. By raising the KH more acids are neutralized, and pH stays higher.

For example, by adding a buffering agent such as crushed coral to a tank with a higher pH level will only raise the KH, not the pH value. Yet, by adding crushed coral to lower pH water will increase both pH and KH values.

If the KH in your aquarium falls, you need to increase the carbonates and bicarbonates in the tank. Commercially prepared alkalinity buffers can be purchased and can be used to raise the KH in your freshwater aquariums. These products make it easy.

Crushed coral combined with aragonite is a perfect alkalinity buffer. The advantage is that it changes KH slowly and steadily.

How to Raise KH in Aquarium

Why is KH important to your aquarium?

pH Fluctuations

The main benefit of having higher KH levels is its effect on pH. KH inhibits pH levels from becoming to low (extremely acidic). It also stabilizes pH, preventing pH crashes and excessive fluctuations. A rapid change in pH affects many aquarium species. Chemical parameters such as pH are crucial to aquatic life in aquariums and ponds.

KH and marine aquariums

KH is important when it comes to corals in saltwater aquariums.

Corals can survive a broad range of Phosphate levels, however, if the KH is too low for an extended period, all aquarium corals will die.

KH naturally reduces with time due to natural processes and coral growth. When its level is low this can contribute to the pH being low. The ideal KH value for a reef aquarium is between 8 & 12 (3 – 5 meq/l).

A low KH can be corrected by adding Reef Builder or Seachem Reef Carbonate.

KH Influence On Plant Growth In A Freshwater Aquarium

With aquarium plants, the preference for alkalinity is not always discussed.

KH has no real benefit to plants (neither does it harm plants). However, KH affects pH, and a high or low pH may not be suitable for certain species of aquarium plants.

Carbonate hardness stabilizes water quality, so its influence is natural. The number of aquarium plants that survive in very soft water is relatively low.

High pH levels can impede the uptake of nutrients by plants.

Soft water plants prefer higher temperatures and lower KH. Hard water plants with moderate pH preferences can still survive at low KH levels.

How to raise KH in aquarium water

1. Potassium Bi-Carbonate

Raising KH levels in the aquarium is quite simple. In a planted aquarium this is best done by adding KH2CO3 or K2CO3 (Potassium bi-carbonate/carbonate). A double benefit is that the potassium acts as fertilizer for plants as well.

  • 3.5 gms of KHCO3 in 100 litres (26 gals) of water raises KH by 1 dKH.
  • 2.5 gms of K2CO3 in 100 litres (26 gals) of water raises KH by 1 dKH.

2. Limestone or coral chips

Another simple method to raise the KH levels is by putting pieces of limestone into the filter, the sump or into the tank. Coral chips in a bag work well, although we recommend limestone over coral chips as larger stone is easier to handle and remove.

Tanks with limestone naturally have higher KH levels. The quality of the limestone/coral chips will determine how quickly the KH will rise. Usually from 0 to 10 within a week.

3. Dolomite Rock

Dolomite rock (CaMgCo3) can also slowly raise and maintain a steady KH in your tank. It gradually releases magnesium, calcium, and carbonate in your aquarium. These elements cause the KH to rise. An advantage of dolomite rock is its appearance that looks great as a substrate. This option is ideal for aquariums that require a constant high KH.

4. Aragonite

Aragonite is another natural carbonate mineral that is aquarium fish safe. This mineral provides a constant source of KH enhancer. Smaller tanks require smaller pieces of aragonite and larger tanks, more. Place in the tank or in the sump tank.

5. Soda Ash

With saltwater tanks use Soda ash. Soda ash is not suitable for freshwater as it releases excess sodium into the water in mineral form. Add small quantities over a period as it will instantly raise the KH and pH in an aquarium. Test and monitor the water with a KH test kit  to ensure the level is not too excessive.

6. Baking Soda

To increase the KH without raising the GH, you can add sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), commonly known as baking soda. By adding one teaspoon per 50 liters (13 gallons) raises the KH by about 4 dH.

7. Water changes

Conducting water changes by removing a third of the tank’s water and replacing with a water source high in KH will help gradually increase KH. Many tap water sources are quite high in KH. Always test the water so that you know what you are adding.

How to Raise KH in Aquarium

What is the ideal KH level for aquariums?

KH is measured based on dKH (degree KH) and ppm (parts/Million, 1dKH equals 17.9 ppm of calcium carbonate per liter). Each fish species has its specific KH value requirement.

  • Brackish water: 10 – 18 dKH
  • Planted aquarium: 3 – 8 dKH
  • Shrimp aquarium: 2 – 5 dKH
  • Cichlid aquarium: 10 – 18 dKH
  • Pond: 4 – 8 dKH
  • Discus aquarium: 3 – 8 dKH
  • Tropical fish aquarium: 4 – 8 dKH
  • Marine reef aquarium: 8 – 12 dKH


How to decrease KH?

There are several ways to decrease KH levels in the aquarium. Increase the tannin in the water by adding Indian Almond leaves (particularly when housing Betta fish), or by using peat. As the leaves or peat break down in the water they gradually begin to use up the KH, this lowering it.

Another method is to mix distilled water with the tank or tap water. Distilled water contains no minerals, therefore no KH. By blending it with the tank water KH levels are reduced.

Having an abundance of aquarium plants will help reduce KH when used with a buffer. These buffers are typically utilized by the live plants to reduce the excessive CO2 from aquarium water. Plants use the buffer to convert KH to CO2.

Products to Increase KH Comparison Table

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

How To Test And Measure KH In An Aquarium?

Carbonate hardness can be easily measured using KH-based tests. Ensure you have a quality test kit for your specific aquarium (marine or freshwater). Set up a schedule for water tests, being prepared if water adjustments need to be made.

Test pH and water hardness (GH) at the same time.

The greatest fluctuations in water chemistry usually occur when new water is introduced to the tank after cleaning or during part water changes. It is recommended to test the water you introduce.


How to Raise KH in Aquarium



Will increasing KH increase my pH?

Yes, they are related. In general, a higher KH will result in a higher pH. The pH will also be more stable (reduced fluctuations).

What causes KH to drop in a freshwater aquarium?

KH can drop as the rate at which acids are being produced in the tank is accelerated. The acids ‘eat’ at the water’s carbonates/bicarbonates.

Having too many fish, or adding too many at once can increase acids. Ammonia build-up due to fish wastes, excess food and organic matter decomposition also increase acids. Once KH levels are too low for pH stability, the aquarium will likely have a pH crash.

What affect do frequent water changes have on KH?

As fish wastes build up in a tank, so does the acid level, thus reducing KH. Periodic partial water changes remove the polluted water, replacing it with new clean water. This will restore the KH level.

If you have a larger tank that has a good biological filter and a sump tank, the need for water changes will be far less. The beneficial bacteria in a ‘cycled’ tank will eliminate the nitrates and ammonia from the water. Smaller tanks will require regular water changes.

Also, the water you add during a water change will often have a higher KH. This will be determined by where the water is sourced from.

What happens when there is too much CO2?

CO2 supplementation can provide vital nutritious energy for the beautiful growth of different aquatic plant species. Adding CO2 to the aquarium lowers carbonate levels, causing acidification in your aquarium. Having a high KH will prevent problems and keep the pH at an acceptable level.

What happens when the aquarium is overcrowded?

Inherently, unstable conditions occur when aquariums are overcrowded. Fish waste will cause acidification causing KH levels to drop, risking a pH crash. A drop will cause your fish to stress and the less hardy species will start to die.

Having enough water in your aquarium is the best method to improve the health and stability of your aquarium. Using a sump tank will increase its volume. In addition, efficient biological filters will allow for higher stocking rates.

How to Raise KH in Aquarium?

How to reduce hardness in aquariums?

The difference between KH and GH.

Carbonate hardness (KH) is measured by measuring the amount of carbonate and bicarbonate in water.

Whilst GH is a measure of dissolved magnesium and calcium ions. This is what people usually mean when they refer too water being “soft” or “hard”. Generally, plants and most tropical fish and shrimp do best in a dH range of 4-8 dH (degree hardness). This is considered somewhat soft.

Tap water can have both high GH and low KH, therefore, not always ideal for your fish.

How to soften water?

In order to reduce the hardness of water use peat moss or drift wood. This process works by binding calcium and magnesium ions. It will also release tannic and gallic acid into the water. These acids attack and degrade bicarbonates in the fish aquarium, thus further reducing the carbonate levels and the waters PH level.

Place the peat inside the aquarium filter to allow for maximum flow through the peat.

Alternatively, clean rain water is considered ‘soft’ and can be mixed with tank water to reduce hardness.

Final Thoughts

The secret to keeping aquatic live healthy, stress free with a strong immune system is to ensure they have optimal water. Keeping water parameters balanced and within the best range for the species of life in your tank is important.

Understanding KH, pH and GH, and scheduling in regular water tests, will ensure that you are alerted to any water issues. Knowing this will provide peace of mind and will likely save you from much heart-ache.

Understanding how to raise KH in aquarium water is core to maintaining steady pH and keeping water hardness within parameters.



How to Safely Lower pH in Your Aquarium ( Best Working Methods )

Lower pH in Your Aquarium

When making a new aquarium, we all must try to control, among other factors, the pH before adding fish. Tap water can be slightly alkaline, but it’s usually suitable for many fish you buy at the pet store. Most captive-bred fish are resilient, tolerate a wide range of Lower pH in Aquarium, and tap water is generally suitable for all of them.

What is pH in aquariums?

In chemistry, pH is a scale used to specify the acidity or basicity of a solution. It is scored in dots, ranging from 0 to 10, where 0 is the most acidic and ten the most basic, where each number has its scale plus 10 points. To measure it, we use our aquarium tests, which can be digital or manual. The pH can affect a significant change in the entire ecosystem of the pond. The pH in your aquarium is not a fixed variable; it can fluctuate depending on environmental conditions such as temperature, amount of organic matter, oxygenation, etc.

pH in your home aquarium

Understandably, some people might find it challenging and sometimes frustrating to maintain pH in an aquarium. I keep the parameters correct and stable; in addition to being more beautiful and showy, your fish will also be able to survive longer in your tank. This article shows you everything you need to know to lower and control the pH level in an aquarium. The pH in the aquarium is a critical part of keeping your animals active for aquarium survival and health.

Controlling the pH in home aquariums

There are a few ways to control the pH of aquarium water. Some acids affect the aquarium water instantly, which is not ideal. Never change pH values too quickly as this can harm or kill your fish; the pH should be raised slowly; the longer it takes, the less parameter shock your fish will feel. Make sure you understand the pH of tap water and your pets’ requirements to make adjustments to freshwater before putting it in the pond. Also, check the quality of the aquarium water. This knowledge is essential for your pets’ healthy environment.

Some tips

Test the aquarium pH frequently, whenever you can; that way, you will understand what causes the variations. Add fish and plants capable of handling large pH ranges and different types of water such as Guppies, Bettas, Java Fern, and Anubias. If you prefer to keep fish acidic, you can take steps that will slowly acidify the water, such as adding driftwood or peat moss. Buy a reverse osmosis filter if you have a constant problem with fundamental water.

Lower pH in Your Aquarium

What causes the pH to rise in a freshwater aquarium?

Several factors increase the ph in your aquarium. Ph is formed from minerals found dispersed in water. Tap water with lots of traces of phosphorus and silicates added to a tank and often added carbonates will cause its ph to rise to more alkaline sides. Be careful with the material used as substrate; some sand and rocks can be limestone and release many minerals in your water. Be aware of some commercial brands of substrates that may contain chemical substances that primarily affect water. Other causes include malfunctioning filtration systems and some fish-generated products.

How often should I test pH in an aquarium?

When your fish get sick or die, it’s essential to check your aquarium’s pH levels. This check should be done regularly so you can ensure the pH is kept constant in your tanks. Remember to clean the tank, change the water, and remove the dirt that accumulates at the bottom. Glass cleaner can be found in virtually every pet store. The vital thing is to replace some water and vacuum the wastes from the substrate using a siphon. The makeup water must have the ideal parameters stabilized, correctly treated, and free from chlorine and other substances.

Why is it necessary to lower the pH in an aquarium?

The default pH is ideal for your fish, remembering that seven is neutral. There are many reasons why the pH level of your aquarium water has increased, and you may need to lower it. The most common reasons for this are mineral residues deposited in your water. It is essential to check whether phosphates in tap water tend to carbonate when added to your aquarium. One of the causes of lowered pH levels is usually the failure of the filtration system. If the filter fails, you may have to deal with accumulated ammonia that will likely increase your tank’s pH.

When is it necessary to lower the pH in an aquarium?

Many fish and plants survive in their places of origin under narrow and stable water quality parameter conditions and parameters. If you keep Tetras, Discus, Angelfish, Rasbora, and other animals from the tropical equatorial region like South America or Asia, most will thrive at a lower pH (acidic). While some captive-grown aquarium fish aren’t as picky, you get better color and breeding behavior with the proper pH balance. As tap water tends to have dissolved minerals, it’s easier to keep tanks slightly alkaline, but turning it down and controlling it can turn out to be easy.

The proper pH of freshwater aquarium

Some fish do well with a minimum of 5.5, while others are much more comfortable with a little more alkalinity. It is not a static factor in most aquariums and can constantly change, which is not ideal. Sometimes you will need to increase or decrease concentrations. As most water faucets are generally alkaline, it is always worth checking and seeing what is recommended for your fish and plants. If you had a lot of species, like in a community tank, your goal should be to get your tank around neutral, i.e., 7.0. African cichlids and species such as goldfish are resistant and require a higher pH, not fully adapting to acidic pHs.

Lower pH in Your Aquarium

How do I lower the pH in my aquarium?

If you find your pH above the recommended ideal level, then we give you the best tips on how you can safely re-regulate it. This should be done by slowly reducing the PH to the optimal level.

Reverse Osmosis

With the use of selective semi-permeable filters, all unwanted particles are removed from the water using RO. An RO water filter can filter, using membranes, by reducing only heavy ions that modify the chemistry of the water. Even though you may find this method too expensive, reverse osmosis is considered the most effective way to lower the pH in a fish tank with an accuracy that other techniques cannot achieve. Using this method can ensure that the pH levels in storage tanks are continuously at the perfect concentration. Note that the filter itself is extensive, so they are only suitable for larger tanks.

Add driftwood to the aquarium.

Driftwood chunks can help to lower the pH through their production of large amounts of tannin and humic acids. Boiling the wood before adding it to the setup will destroy any harmful fungus or algae that might affect the tank. Although driftwood does not release anything toxic or pollute the water, it is always important to sanitize it properly. This can reduce the color of tea that it may eventually release. If you don’t want the tea color in your water, you can add chemical media to your aquarium, like activated carbon.

Reduce aeration in the tank

The last and most basic way to lower the pH in an aquarium is to reduce the oxygen content. There are certain circumstances where a low oxygen concentration in water results in a low pH. Even after performing all the necessary steps, it is imperative to constantly check the parameters so that nothing gets out of control. Although this method is highly economical, it has to be adapted for the animals in your aquarium; You have to be careful as fish need oxygen to survive, which can cause fish to die if you lower their level to more than necessary. This is a way to lower your tank’s pH level.

Add almond leaves/Catappa

Almond leaves also have medicinal properties, tannins, and acids. This can cure some conditions and even inhibit certain types of fish diseases. They will give your aquarium a natural look. Be sure to wash the leaves first and then add them to the tank as, like driftwood, they can change the color of the water. The color given off by leaves and peat is the same as that of driftwood, but it may appear less dark in the case of leaves.

Perform a periodic partial water change

Even in sizeable 55-gallon fish tanks, it is necessary to change parts of the water regularly; this way, the water in the aquarium will always have a stable pH and get rid of pollutants and toxins that filtration cannot remove. During any cleaning, in addition to the water change, you should also clean the tank walls and decorations and siphon the substrate to remove debris, algae, and unwanted dirt in the tank.

Add Peat Moss

One of the most common and well-known natural ways to lower water pH in a tropical fish aquarium is by adding peat, which has great potential to supply acids and tannins. Peat makes the water dark, with a yellow tint. To determine the correct amount to use, perform regular pH tests.

Other ways of lowering pH in an aquarium

Here are some known and practical techniques to lower the pH safely; if done correctly, they should give good results.

Add Carbon-Dioxide

Carbon dioxide causes a drop in pH when injected into the aquarium water, which is quite simple. You can also get good results if you add organic matter such as soybean, cottonseed, or crushed cotton; this must be done by performing successive tests and with extreme caution. This is because organic matter creates carbon dioxide in water. It is important to remember that carbon dioxide lowering the pH is a very safe technique because it minimizes the pH slowly. You can pump carbon dioxide artificially to get the same result, but be careful not to do something to the tank as well as the fish, and be sure to monitor your pH changes closely.

How do I lower pH in an aquarium with vinegar?

Follow our complete guide to lowering the pH in water with vinegar. The decrease in pH by vinegar depends on the pH and hardness of the water to be modified. The amount of vinegar needed depends on other factors such as impurities in your aquarium (heavy metals), toxins, water hardness, and carbonates. Don’t add all the vinegar to your tanks at once because it lowers the pH instantly, and this causes problems for the fish and your system as a whole. Lowering the pH levels in a tank using vinegar is a simple solution, but other organic methods that allow similar results are safer.

Can vinegar be used to lower pH in a freshwater aquarium?

It will certainly reduce the pH of your freshwater aquariums. Use white vinegar made with commercial distillation if white vinegar has a percentage of 2.55 to 5% of acetic acid.

Is vinegar safe to use to change the pH in a freshwater aquarium?

It’s safe to use vinegar for changing pH at freshwater aquariums. You must learn vinegar affects water. Check the pH level of your tank before try lowering its values.

How much vinegar to lower Ph in aquarium?

To lower pH in the aquarium, apply 100 ml of vinegar per gallon of water. This measurement system has been shown to reduce the pH of the tank.

How do I keep my aquarium ph low and stable?

After lowering the ph in your aquarium, you will need to stabilize that ph. Here are some measures to help keep the ph low and stable.

Clean and maintain your fish tank.

The accumulation of nitrogen compounds in the water can be toxic to fish due to the pH of the pond. Consequently, waste nitrates and phosphates can also cause more alkaline pH concerns. Clean your aquarium weekly, perform a partial water change, and clean and siphon dirt and food debris. Don’t forget to stabilize the pH of the new water with the aquarium parameters. Use your mains water; if it is too hard and alkaline, you can adjust it by mixing it with water from an RO filter. You can ask your regional water supplier for a water content analyzer. Remember to vacuum the substrate as it is essential for good system hygiene.

Check your filters regularly and keep them clean.

If not cleaned for long periods, the filter will fail. Thoroughly clean each component and wash them under running water. Periodically replace the sponge cartridge and carbon filters. Your filters must never be dirty or clogged with particles, and any elements not included in the filters must be removed. Cleaning your aquarium water filter depends on the type of filter and the amount of dirt, relying solely on your system as a whole. You should check all the necessary parts to ensure your filters fail, such as filter inputs and outputs.

One final tip on lowering the pH

What couldn’t be emphasized enough is: don’t significantly lower the pH all at once. It would be best if you were particularly careful when making parameter adjustments in a small aquarium, as changing the pH level of the water doesn’t require a lot of acidifiers. Half a cap full of commercial acidifier is enough to spoil a 5-gallon tank. Fish and plants vary dramatically in how well they tolerate pH adjustments, but always be on the cautious side. If using chemical media, adjust 10-20% of the water volume daily until the pH is where you want it. Many natural pH control methods can cause a slow change over time when done correctly, so they are safer.


There are several ways to achieve a single goal; some are easier and provide better pH control results than others. However, it is essential to maintain the ideal pH in your aquariums. You can choose any medium described above according to your requirements or potential capability. It doesn’t matter which method you choose with more natural alternatives like Catappa leaves or using a less realistic option like using vinegar – whatever your preferences, you should go for it to find the right solutions.

[Methods & Guide] How to oxygenate a fish tank without a pump?

oxygenate a fish tank without a pump

A low level of oxygen in the fish tank can make it difficult for fish to breathe. At high concentrations of oxygen dispersion, bubbles form in the lining of the skin, gills, and eyes. Therefore, adequate levels of oxygen are needed to keep a fish healthy.

How do I Oxygenate a fish tank without a pump?

In an emergency, you can increase the oxygen in your fish tank by pouring water from a high height using a cup. When oxygenation is low, you can do a 50% water change. If there is barely enough water flowing into the pond, algae and plants thrive by reducing and lowering oxygen concentrations. Insufficient airflow can reduce life expectancy, causing fish to become very stressed and die quickly.

How to increase oxygen in a fish tank

Undoubtedly a big mistake by any first-time aquarist is not feeding fish sufficient oxygen. In fish tanks, proper oxygen can be essential for healthy fauna. There exist various reasons why oxygen levels have dropped in tanks. Fortunately, there are still ways to correct the issue and prevent it. Learn how to increase oxygenation in aquariums to keep fish alive.

How do I get more oxygen in my fish tank?

Lowering oxygen levels can cause serious health problems and can even kill fish. There are a few possible causes for low oxygen in fish tank conditions, but fortunately, there are several solutions to the problem. We have to talk about getting more oxygen into your aquarium and simple solutions to fix low oxygen levels.

oxygenate a fish tank without a pump

Signs of low oxygen in a fish tank

Your fish’s rude behavior should alert you. Low oxygen is generally not a problem in a well-stabilized and reliable aquarium. Certain fish occasionally “choke” underwater; this problematic behavior occurs when fish stay close to the water’s surface and continually try to swallow more water; this is a vital sign of poor oxygen water.

Causes Of Low Oxygen In A Fish Tank

Many fish will cause an imbalance between oxygen absorption and carbon dioxide buildup in aquatic environments. Insufficient aeration can cause reduced water movement, reducing the level of gas exchange. Stagnant aquarium water can also pave the way for algae overgrowth. Clogged filters and media drastically reduce filter flow capacity. Adding antibiotics to treat illnesses can also cause decreased oxygen levels. Live aquarium plants provide oxygen when your need is met. Plants cannot convert carbon dioxide into oxygen if lights are off for at least six to 8 hours a day.

Ways to increase oxygen in the fish tank (Permanent solutions)

HOB filters can help your aquarium maintain proper levels of oxygen. They’re relatively small & relatively easy to use. Use a sprayer to distribute water through the tank evenly. A fountain can help increase the oxygen content in your lake. Use an air pump to bring oxygen inside the tank through an air stone. The air pump collects the air and ejects it into the tank through the stone.

Some tips

Fish usually go on a surface to consume oxygen as they have the most dissolved oxygen at the surface. A fish may survive for only some days without oxygen. If your fish comes off to the water surface looking to breathe, it will signal that the aquarium has inadequate oxygen. Significant water changes (up to 50%) of the tank water are an excellent way to add some fresh air; this way, you can effectively deal with the low oxygen level present in the tank.

What causes a lack of oxygen in fish tanks?

If you have a fish tank with high-temperature water, this could be causing problems with oxygen. Water at high temperatures does not retain oxygen like cold water. The lack of moving water causes a low oxygen level because the movement of water aids in the gas exchange of the aquarium water.

How does oxygen dissipate in a fish tank?

Photosynthesis is how plants use lights and carbon dioxide to generate food for themselves. As a byproduct, they also generate oxygen which will remain dissolved in water. At the same time, gas exchange between the environment and the water surface is constituted in a constant diffusion effect. Oxygen enters through the air into water, transferring carbon dioxide.

How much oxygen do fish need?

The safe level of oxygen depends on fish species. Bottom-dwelling shrimp require 1-2 grams of dissolved oxygen to live. The widely accepted standard for DO is 4 – 5 mg/L fish can suffocate under three mg/L. Healthy tanks should have 70% oxygen saturation. Fish can thrive and prosper without problems if water is provided with oxygen. But trouble arises when the water has become supersaturated. It’s a root cause of gas bubble diseases. In the fish tank with high amounts of oxygen, bubbles appeared forming on the body tissues of the fish. You can see the bubbles under their fins, noses, and ears.

Signs Of Too Much Oxygen In A Fish Tank

Fish native to slow-flowing or stagnant waters can become overwhelmed by increased circulation of water. By definition, Bettas is no big fan of filters having high flow rates. The constant motion of the filters and the bubbles may cause too much water turbulence. If you see fish floating in the current, it’s time to reduce aerators. It is a non-infectious condition that often creates trauma and stress. Provide the fish with a good escape and shelter.

What’s the difference between oxygen and aeration?

Oxygen refers to gas exchange that occurs at the surface when water meets atmospheric air. Aeration covers oxygen production but is linked to the motion of water inside a fish pool (water flow/current). While oxygenation occurs directly at the surface, water aeration would effectively distribute oxygen-rich water evenly within the tank. You can use oxygen test kits to test your aquarium’s oxygen levels.

How do I increase the oxygen in my tank in an emergency?

Your fish is suffocating through lack of oxygen, and they need immediate oxygen. Here I’m going to tell you how to get more oxygen inside your tank quickly. When water is pouring from the top, it will aid in aerating it in water and increasing its tanks’ volume. Another way to increase the water is to do a big water switch (up to 60%of the tank). Use ice cubes to cool down the water by putting ice cubes in a Ziploc bag. An emergency battery air pump can move the water around during an electrical emergency.

How do you know if your tank has a low oxygen level?

Some signs can warn you if fish tanks have low oxygen value. Fish come and gasp on the surface if they reach the surface of the water and gasp with a large mouth opening. If your fishes were breathing slowly and you saw more quick gill movements, this could indicate an aquarium’s loss of oxygen levels. Fish move around less; they swim less and slower than usual.

How do I know if oxygen is low?

You can tell if a fish tank lacks adequate oxygen through the behavior of its fish. A good test kit can measure the levels of dissolved oxygen in the water; the aquarist should monitor the oxygen levels in the fish tank for indicators of low grades.

Some causes and solutions of low oxygen levels

Several factors can affect the low oxygen level in the water, but each one has an acceptable solution. Adding air stones and an air pump is always a possible way to increase aeration. They would be the best solution significantly if they would help mitigate the various issues we talked about.

oxygenate a fish tank without a pump


A small-sized water reservoir should have enough oxygen to spawn a small amount of fish. There are too many fish in the tank to support oxygen consumption. The solution is a smaller population of fish for larger tanks. You can also separate fish and house them in more than one tank. Air stones and air pumps can undoubtedly help with this problem too.

Too much waste

When too many fish are in one tank, they leave a tremendous amount of waste. A discharge of ammonium and nitrites in wastewater causes oxygen depletion. In addition, too many algae in the water are unable for the water to absorb oxygen. It would only require water replacement and cleaning the tank. A clean filter should eliminate a lot of waste, which also gets rid of any harmful algae infiltration tanks. The disposal of the trash in the tanks could increase the storage capacity of oxygen.

Not enough water movement

Oxygen from stagnant water will dissolve in minutes. This is especially true with tanks because the gas exchange is non-existent. Injecting air into the system will encourage water circulation through the tank and contribute to a positive exchange of oxygen at the top of the tank. The problem can be solved by cleaning a filter that doesn’t work, or you might also need a more powerful filter.

A high water temperature

Hot water retains much less oxygen than cold water. Many of your fish or plants require hot water for their survival. If the temperature is too high, you can do a 50% water change. Some ice cubes can be placed in a plastic bag and placed in an aquarium. Have a good water thermometer so you can observe the water temperature and turn off all lights and heaters in your aquarium.

Can you have too much oxygen in a fish tank?

There can be a gas bubble disease if the gas bubble leaks out of the solution inside the fish. Air bubbles can also generate under the skin or around the eyes. Always make sure that the aquarium has enough oxygen, correctly sized for the species that inhabit it.

Too many live plants

If there is light, plants release CO2 from the water and generate oxygen. But when the light bulbs go out, so do plants that absorb oxygen and produce CO2.

Why do my fish gasp for air?

This can sometimes mean that fish are dying from having too little dissolved oxygen in their aquarium. Sometimes, panting can mean other illnesses as well – inadequate water temperature or contaminated skin. However, the most common scenario for a panting fish is the need for a little more oxygen.


Some chemical products used by water treatment companies may affect the oxygen level in water over time. If you mix dissolved oxygen in water, check for the ingredients and the label.

How do I check the oxygen level in my fish tank?

The most effective way to measure dissolved oxygen in fish tanks is using a water dissolved oxygen meter. Without a test, it is impossible to tell. The item can never be seen in sight by eye, smell, or feel by hand. An oxygen meter is the only answer.

What are the signs of low oxygen levels in fish tanks?

Fish keepers usually anticipate this phenomenon by closely following animals’ behavior. Fish will exhibit some visible signs if tank oxygen is low.

Gasping on the surface

Occasionally the fish, including Bettas, Gouramis, and catfish, come to the surface and take a gasp of air. They won’t stay on the surface any longer unless something goes wrong. Some other fish will lie on the substrate when oxygen levels drop. If you see a fish species panting toward the surface, it could indicate that your tank is out of oxygen.

Difficulties in breathing

The fish “swallow” the water that passes through the gills and filaments, where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged. Excessive gill movement and labored breathing indicate lower oxygen.

Slow fish movement

Insufficient oxygen can stop fish from swimming naturally. They will slow down your movements and appear stagnant. Although some fish don’t constantly move, it can signal low oxygen when you see this behavior frequently. Oxygen is the fuel that keeps animals alive.

Lack of appetite

Under low oxygen conditions, fish don’t eat as often. If you notice fish in your aquarium that doesn’t eat voraciously, this could indicate health problems.

Tell me the cause of low oxygen levels?

You know the signs of lack of oxygen inside your tanks and now let me reveal the causes. If it’s easy to find and determine the cause of the problem, it will be resolved quickly.

Waste accumulation

Overstocking, overfeeding, neglect, and poor cleaning are major causing of waste problems. Uneaten food that accumulates due to a lot of overeating and clogged filters can also help accumulate waste. Bacteria need more oxygen to break down waste, thus decreasing the aquarium’s oxygen-carrying capacity. Oxygen will be lost, contributing to the formation of toxic gases, including ammonia, that can be lethal to fish.

High water temperature

Coldwater can carry much more oxygen than hot water. Many fish in tropical aquariums survive comfortably in a range between 75 and 80 degrees. As temperature increases, the strength of oxygen decreases.

Heavily Planted Tank with Low Lighting

Plants consume carbon dioxide in water and release oxygen in photosynthesis with sufficient light exposure. When there is no light, they absorb oxygen, but they emit carbon dioxide, and they emit carbon dioxide. Algae also work the same way as live plants, so the right amount of light is essential to check algae activity and maintain good quality oxygen.

Lack of water movement

Aeration is a way in which oxygen penetrates the water. Oxygen typically is rich near the surface but doesn’t reach the bottom for lack of agitation or circulation. The movements of the water help to oxygenate the entire amount of aquarium water. Stagnant aquarium water will lead to low oxygen levels.


Overstocking is often a cause for lack of oxygen. Too much population requires even more resources. Most Beginners make this mistake at their initial stages, as overstocking can even lead to other problems.

Pour water from a height.

The higher the elevation, the more oxygen will enter. Repeat it sometimes. You can also do it while adding more water when the water is changed. Position a plate on the substrate to prevent mixing it into the water.

Use of certain chemicals

Common chemicals and additives may cause low oxygen levels. Therefore it’s always beneficial to be retrospective whenever you use chemicals in your aquariums.

Water change (50%)

A water change replenishes the oxygen in your aquarium. Change 50 percent of water and use fresh water.

Agitate the water manually.

Stirring up surface water is a straightforward way to increase the levels of oxygen.

Solve the problem with live plants in your tank

Adding more light will help living plants absorb more CO2 and increase oxygenation. Try to balance the number of plants in the aquarium with the amount of oxygen in the water.

Check the water temperature and make adjustments.

The water temperature must not exceed the ideal parameters to keep the chosen species. Usually, oxygen will be low if the temperature is high. Always use an accurate aquarium thermometer to monitor your water temperature every day.

Create more movement in the water

The use of powerheads creates simple movement in the water. If you already have a filter and your fish don’t get enough oxygen, you can add a powerhead. As an alternative, we can even use air pumping as a supplement. If your tanks are more significant, you may want more powerheads as the size of your tanks gets bigger. Using small overhead rocks or air pumps, add water flow at different locations in the tank to ensure a steady flow of water into the tank.

Proper and frequent tank cleaning

Fish need some bacterial diversity in the aquarium to survive. Clean your aquarium, scrape the inside of the glass, vacuum the substrate and change the water. Use paper towels to scrub the front of the tank. Use the toothbrush exclusively for cleaning items in the tank.

Solve overcrowding

There may already be excess capacity in fish tanks due to a lack of oxygen. Transfer other fish to a different tank to reduce overcrowding.

A solution to too much oxygen in a fish tank

A good quality water filter should have an adjustable flow rate. Remove aeration instruments one at a time until you settle on a system that maintains aerated/oxygenation at an optimal level.


If the water temperature reduces oxygen levels in the fish tank, this can be controlled by lowering the temperature with ice cubes or proceeding with a water change. The permanent solution to low oxygen levels includes using a filter with a spray bar or an air pump. Using a fountain is a great way to oxygenate your lake water.

[Definitive Guide] How to Clean Fish Tank Rocks (With & Without a Vacuum)

How to Clean Fish Tank Rocks

How to Clean Fish Tank Rocks: Regular cleaning is crucial when it comes to maintaining an aquarium. It would be best if you even cleaned the rocks in your aquariums, as they can be covered with algae and debris. Algae cover the surface of the aquarium when the water is not completely clean, or something in the dimension of the tank or maintenance is irregular. Eventually, the dirt will be turned into microbial contamination, causing severe damage to the fish and degrading the water quality.

Some general steps to prepare rocks for an aquarium

Rocks are known to harbor various contaminants, including viruses, bacteria, parasites, and pollutants. The hardest part of building tanks is figuring out which rock type is best for the setup you have. The objective is to find neutral rocks so that they do not cause sudden changes in water parameters. An increase in water hardness or a drastic fluctuation in your pH level can cause a significant imbalance in your tank, causing negative reflections on your pet fish. Increased stress levels in fish will likely make them ill. Many types of rocks are safe for fish and aquarium invertebrates. When assembling your hardscape, select the suitable stone for your type of aquarium and sanitize them correctly, rinsing well under running water and sterilizing it under the sun or in the oven until it is completely dry, thus getting rid of possible aquatic pathogens.

Cleaning decorations and rocks

Clean the inside of the glass to remove debris and other materials, such as signs of algae; if the surface is dirty, it should be cleaned. Never use soap or other products, it can be challenging to remove the soap, and the same traces can harm your entire aquatic system. Rocks and driftwoods are bleached to remove algae from them. However, plant roots do not tolerate bleaching. To bleach live plants, add a 5 percent bleach solution to a room with the plants, and a 2-3 minute bath, then rinse thoroughly before placing the plants in the aquarium. Do not place them in the aquarium until there are no more chlorine odors.

How to Clean Fish Tank Rocks

Safe rocks to prepare for freshwater aquariums

The rocky soil is colonized by bacteria that benefit the health of the aquarium, mainly those responsible for biological filtration. Rocks were created by nature containing infinite grains of minerals and a certain amount of porosity. Although the stone is considered safe for use in an aquarium, there may be minerals that would make it potentially dangerous for the aquarium’s life. You can find some fascinating textured freshwater rocks online.

How often should you Clean Fish Tank Rocks?

Gravel can quickly cause an explosion of pollutants when the tank is overcrowded with waste if you overfeed your pet. If you have a densely planted tank, you can stop vacuuming gravel once a week but do so at least once a month. Try changing your water weekly. Decaying plant leaves in the gravel are not at risk, so dead plants and decay are not causing problems. Gravel is necessary even if you don’t have enough fish – and some species cause a lot of waste – like goldfish and Oscars.

Cleaning fish tank rocks

You must carefully clean even the smoothest rock before sterilization. Any porous or damaged rock or rock requires extra cleaning. Soap cannot be used in this situation. Soap residues are difficult to remove and can also be dangerous to aquarium fish. The next stage in the rock preparation process is to get rid of bacteria or microorganisms deposited on the rocks.

Safe rocks to prepare for saltwater aquariums

Live rock or dry rock is made up of coral fragments that emerge from the underwater coral reef. This type of rock is usually collected in deep water. They are called live rocks because they create excellent habitats for beneficial bacteria, invertebrates, and lots of marine life.

Why it’s essential to clean fish aquarium rocks.

Fish food scraps, fecal matter, and decaying plant matter can become trapped in your aquarium’s gravel substrate. Leaving this debris exposed is known to create a hostile condition in fish that can endanger and kill them. Because of this, you must carry out the correct cleaning periodically.

Where can I find rocks for my aquarium?

To get rocks safe for aquarium, you want to know where they came from. Ask the seller for all information about the stone, the place of origin, if it is of limestone origin, if anything changes in the chemistry of the water, etc. If you choose to collect, use common sense and always sanitize correctly before placing them in the aquarium.

How should I clean my rocks?

For preparation rocks, for aquarium, you must use fish-free vacuumers and a little time. The task of cleaning and sterilizing the stones is impossible to avoid. A fish-safe water cleaner and time wasted will be needed if you’re preparing the aquarium.

How to Clean Fish Tank Rocks

Rocks You Shouldn’t Put In An Aquarium.

Some rocks can potentially leak toxic chemicals into your aquarium or negatively affect the water’s biochemical balance.


Calcium carbonate released by the mineral calcite can increase water hardness. In some situations, it also causes water to change pH. More resistant fish with more challenging water may never be affected by the addition of calcite. But for more sensitive fish in softer, acidic waters, it can kill sensitive fish. It’s not worth adding calcite rocks to your aquarium as – calcite rocks tend to decompose slowly over time.

Rocks that were kept in other treated tanks

Rocks in an aquarium where the medicine was used to treat fish should not be reused in other tanks. Porous rocks could retain some chemicals for a very long time and are easily absorbed by the new aquarium.

Rocks from contaminated waters

You can clean and sterilize stones to some degree, But fish-safe disinfectants won’t remove traces of dangerous contaminants. It is safe not to have any salt or debris collected in the wild in an aquarium.

Rocks that crumble easily

Sedimentary rock is the one that will generally crumble when submerged for long periods. Even if the rocks look fantastic when you collect them, they should always crumble apart in your aquarium.

Sharp-edged rocks

Stones have rough edges and can cause fish damage in your tank. Avoid adding such types of rocks to fish tanks or fish that have long flowing fins.

Rock with visible specks of metal or rust

Metal deposits embedded in stone can become impractical. Don’t put stones with visible tin in them; it’s a vast hazard too.

How do I test rocks for fish tank safety?

Before adding the chosen rock, you can test it to see if it could be harmful to your tank. The limestone and granite remnants are a ruined disaster that is about to happen.

Test carbonate content

One way to check calcium carbonate content on rock is to splash with vinegar. Unless the stone is calcite, the reaction can quickly become apparent. Don’t worry about washing the rocks and their sterilization because they are safe for marine use. The rock surface will be swollen through an enzyme reaction between vinegar and calcium.

Crumble test

A crumble test is also essential to keep the rock you collected out of your aquarium from deteriorating. Fill a container with old tanks of water and soak the stones for 24 hours. If they remain unspoiled after the soak, they should always be safely kept in an aquarium.

Test porosity

If you add rocks to your tank to give nitrifying bacteria a chance to grow in volume and spread, you should choose rocks with greater porosity. In visual terms, porous stones are darker in rough areas and dry faster than smooth rocks when wet.

Test water parameters

The only way to know if something is going to affect fish is to test the water that comes out of the tap with the water in contact with the rocks and compare the result.

Cleaning the inside glass

A wide range of aquarium glass cleaning products is available on the market, from long-handled scrapers to magnetic scrapers. Buy algae remover pads at pet stores. Pay attention to edges and places that may be scratched or brittle.

Outside glass and fixtures

Regular glass cleaners products contain ammonia toxic to fish. Standard lime cleaners are much more toxic. It is highly recommended to use vinegar or a safe aquarium cleaner. Always wipe away the surface with a clean damp cloth. Wipe the dust and the dirty from light and glass.

Siphon to clean aquarium gravel

There is a lot of accumulation of dirt and bacteria; to clean it correctly, we must aspire to it with the aid of a siphon. The water collected with the dirt is discarded, replaced by freshwater, without chlorine, and with the same physical and chemical standards as the water in the aquarium. A water change of around 30% weekly will bring numerous benefits to your tank. Remember to unplug the heater and other equipment before changing the water, thus avoiding failures and malfunctions. Do a thorough vacuum job over the entire substrate, paying particular attention to the dirtiest areas. Replacement water has the same temperature as the aquarium water, ensuring it is the same as the replacement water you will use during the change.

Do you have to wash aquarium gravel?

The least you should do is remove food and dirt from the substrate. Failing to clean the gravel can make the water slower and dirty, requiring more frequent cleaning. Algae thrive in muddy gravel, accompanied by a rotten egg odor from pockets free of excess oxygen around the compact stone. Therefore, clean the rock to remove dirt and break up the small holes in the packed gravel. Alternatively, aerated calculations can help reduce water movement. Use a stone in the air to improve the flow of water in the tank.

Healthy and happy community aquariums require clean, safe environments.

If you suddenly remove rocks, driftwood, and substrate from your tanks, you risk losing valuable colonies that neutralize animal waste. Remove hardscape and substrate only in case of disabling or modifying the entire aquarium. The correct way to proceed with the cleaning is not to remove anything, not even the fish. The windows will be cleaned with the help of a special cleaner, the substrate using a siphon, and rocks and other objects manually.