Q:
My water PH is 8.4 (very hard).  What is the HIGHEST PH level I can stay with?  I do not want to add any more of the Low PH product than I have to since it is acid to my fish. 

Question submitted by Carrie, Hobbs - NM

A: Wise girl. Adding too much PH down WILL HURT your fish! PH down is acid and too much acid in the water will burn the fins right off your poor betta! (yikes!). A PH of 8.4 is pretty darn hard, granted, but bettas are incredibly forgiving when it comes to PH. In California, we have a high PH of about 7.8 to 8.2 and our bettas do just fine. If you only have one or a few bettas, you could consider acquiring an R/O system (Reverse Osmosis). What it does is it takes tap water and purifies it by forcing the water through a diaphragm (no, not THAT kind of diaphragm LOL) and other filters that will retain most of the minerals in suspension. Resulting in purified water that is more acidic and with a very low PH (6.0 or something) and a hardness usually around 30 to 60 ppm. Such water is not good for bettas but it is great when mixed with your hard tap water because it will cut down the PH and hardness in half. Meaning your PH will be around 7.0 and your hardness around 200 (as opposed to 400 or so). This is the best way to correct a very extreme water hardness. Cost of R/O systems vary, for a few fish you don't need a very powerful one since you will not need a large volume of water. I think maybe around $70 to $100 you should be able to get one. Maybe less. Don't quote me on this quote LOL. If you are unable to spend that kind of money (but that would be well spent money), then I say just add PH down, no more than 2 drops per gallon and leave it at that. Make sure when you get bettas from out of state to acclimate them VERY SLOW (for example, take 2 to 3 days to switch them to your water). Good luck to you and your bettas !

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