5 Common Symptoms of Low pH in Fish Tank

Keeping fish as pet needs a lot of hard work and compassion. As an owner, you surely want to see your fish to be happy in the water tank. Keeping the pH level as close as possible to neutral is one of the ways to maintain the life quality of your fish. If the pH is too low, then the fish will find it difficult to breath and it may lead to irritated gill structure.

Do you know the ideal pH level for your fish tank? The pH level is neutral when it is 7.0, acidic when it is less than 7.0, and alkaline when it is beyond 7.0.

It is very important to measure pH level in your fish tank so that you can understand how acidic or alkaline the water in the aquarium. It is vital for the fish growth and overall health.

How do you know that your fish tank has low pH levels? There are some common symptoms which can tell you about it. The most common one is the growth of algae.

The growth of algae indicates that the water’s alkalinity is low. There are some other common symptoms telling you more about the low pH level in your fish tank. Check these out!

  • Algae Growth

As stated before, algae growth is one of the most common indicators of low pH level. Algae thrive in alkaline water. The increased amount of available nutrients and light stimulate the algae to grow. Algae is commonly green, however, it can be dark or brown.

If you notice that algae has taken over your aquarium, then your fish will be more likely to get sick. Moreover, algae can also cloud the water so that it will be harder to spot your fish swimming. Make sure to control the algae growth in your fish tank.

If you see any algae growing in your fish tank, then you can try these ways on how to get rid of algae from aquarium.

  • Build up of Dirt and Sludge on the Bottom of the Tank

Sludge appears when your fish eat the food and it sinks to the bottom. The food tends to break down in an oxygen-poor environment and turn to what looks like gray mud or sludge. This sludge prevents water flow, clogs your filter and release bad odor into your tank. Therefore, it causes stress to your fish as well.

Make sure to clean your fish tank regularly. If you don’t, then it will get worse. However, don’t clean your fish tank too much as it may remove the beneficial bacteria in your tank too.

  • Stressed Fish

Another symptom of low pH level in fish tank is stressed fish. You can notice this when your fish spend most of their time at the bottom of the fish tank or close to the surface.

When this happens, then your fish may have difficulty or struggle to breathe because of the acidic conditions.

Low pH level in fish tank could be one of the causes of stress in fish. Make sure you also know the signs of your fish pet is stress. Fish are like humans, they can also get stressed!

  • Pale-looking Fish

When your fish looks paler than normal, then it may tell that the alkalinity drop. When this happens, the metabolism of your fish slows down and their body will suffer from autophagy.

Autophagy is an adaptation which prevent nutritional starvation or self-eating. When this happens, your fish’s cells start to break down and as a result, they appear paler than normal.

You don’t have to worry a lot for this condition as it is a normal process. This process lets your fish to adapt to the changes in the environment. When the alkalinity level improves, then your fish will recover soon.

  • Laying on the Bottom of the Fish Tank or Hanging out at the Surface

When your fish keeps laying on the bottom of the fish tank or close to the surface, then you need to be alert. It is a sign that your fish is struggling to breathe, mostly due to the acidic conditions.

Acidic conditions make your fish difficult to absorb oxygen through their gills. When they struggle from lack of oxygen, then they naturally gravitate towards the top or the bottom of the fish tank.

Get the other tips related to fish tank or aquarium, such as causes of cloudy water in aquarium and common fish tank problems. By knowing these common problems, you will be able to find the right and proper solutions later.