Crushed coral is a great way to increase the pH in your aquarium, but how much should you add? What happens if you add too much? We give you the answers to all your questions in this article.
Table of Contents
How much crushed coral to raise pH ?
Coral skeletons and most mollusk shells such as oyster shells usually contain calcium carbonate which naturally raises the pH. Crushed coral can be easily purchased at a local aquarium store or aquaponics store.
The best way to use these corals is to add them to your filter. You can use small filter bags for your tank so that you can easily adjust the volume of crushed coral you want to put in.
If the pH level gets too high, simply removing one or two bags will lower the pH. Another way to use crushed coral is to take a handful and place it in the bottom of your tank.
Remember, however, that the effect of crushed coral on the pH of your tank is gradual. You will probably have to wait a few hours before you notice a change.
As for how much to add, it’s pretty simple, just add 1 pound for every 10 gallons of water in your aquarium.
What happens if you add too much crushed coral?
The logical reaction is an increase in pH, but what does that mean? Most of the time it is a bad sign for your fish!
From 9.0 – 9.2 pH, the excretion of ammonia can reach 90% through the gills and then we witness a poisoning. This phenomenon is accentuated by the high protein diet which forces the fish to evacuate ammonia through the gills. In all cases, the fish adopt an abnormal behavior by rubbing themselves, sometimes jumping out of the water or falling into lethargy after food distribution…
Be sure to test your water regularly: without knowing these values, it is not possible to identify a problem if it arises and regular testing can reveal minor concerns before they become catastrophic.
How to lower the pH after an excessive amount of crushed coral ?
First of all, it is necessary to know the ideal pH level for your aquarium fish. For example, the optimal pH level for freshwater fish is between 5.5 and 7.5. But it all depends on the species of fish. Next, here are some tips on how to lower the pH level of your aquarium water, all without chemicals!
1. Introduce peat moss
To start, add concentrated aquarium peat extract to a filter bag and then to your aquarium’s filtration system. Is the water getting colored? Don’t panic, it’s perfectly normal. The peat will then release tannins for several weeks, gradually lowering the pH level of the water.
2. Introduce driftwood
Another alternative to lower the pH level of your aquarium water is to add driftwood, which you can find in pet stores. Indeed, the wood will act as a natural filter for the water, allowing to reduce the pH. Again, the water will become colored, but this is not dangerous for your fish.
Be careful though, driftwood should not contain any salt or chemicals, such as heavy metals. These are deadly for your fish!
3. Introduce Catappa leaves
Catappa leaves come from the badamier fruit tree, also known as the Indian almond tree. They have recently been used by aquarists for their numerous properties.
Indeed, not only do they reduce the pH of the water, but they also have an anti-oxidant, anti-stress, anti-parasite and anti-bacterial effect. Even better, thanks to them, the immune system of fish would be reinforced.
4. Diffuse Co2
Thanks to a Co2 diffusion system, it is possible to lower the pH of your aquarium water. The installation of such a system is relatively expensive, but it allows to obtain a more precise result.
5. Avoid over-stirring the water
Even though stirring the water is essential for proper oxygenation, it is still recommended not to overdo it.