Cory catfish are peaceful bottom dweller fish, making them the perfect option for a beginner. The aquarist also loves them as they prefer to add cory catfish in their community tank.
You have to provide your cory catfish with their ideal water conditions and parameters, and they will thrive. So, we will discuss the ideal pH level for cory catfish in this article so that you can provide them with a good condition to live comfortably. So, let us find out a cory catfish’s ideal water pH requirement.
Cory catfish’s ideal water pH level is between 7 and 8, and they will thrive between these pH levels. You can measure the pH level using a digital meter or chemical test kit and then decrease or increase the pH according to the requirement. Using driftwood and peat moss will help lower the pH.
This article will discuss the ideal water pH level for cory catfish and the ideal water parameters required by the cory catfish. Also, we will discuss how we can increase or decrease the water pH level. So, let us get into it.
- 1 What is the cory catfish’s ideal pH level?
- 2 Cory catfish ideal water parameters.
- 3 How inadequate pH level will affect cory catfish?
- 4 How can we measure the pH level of our cory catfish tank?
- 5 How to increase the water pH level?
- 6 How to decrease the water pH level?
- 7 Conclusion:
What is the cory catfish’s ideal pH level?
Cory catfish’s ideal pH level is between 7 and 8.
They will thrive in the water pH level between 7 and 8.
However, some species of corydoras can live in a water pH level as low as six and thrive at 8.
But, most cory catfish will require a water pH level between 7 and 8.
So, ensure your cory catfish have their ideal water pH level.
If you keep your cory catfish in an inadequate water pH level, they can suffer from various issues and even pass away.
Providing the right water parameters is essential to ensure the good health and longer lifespan of a fish.
Cory catfish ideal water parameters.
Cory catfish are hardy fish that can live in a wide range of water parameters and conditions.
However, it is essential to provide them with the water parameters that come in their ideal range.
Inadequate and unstable water parameters will make your cory catfish come under stress and prone to various diseases and parasites.
And, when we talk about the pH level, inadequate pH level can affect your cory catfish gills, skin, and body, making them weak and vulnerable to diseases.
Make sure to maintain the water pH level between 7 and 8.
The ideal water temperature in which your cory catfish will thrive is between 70-82 °F.
Ensure to maintain the water hardness level between 5 and 19 dGH.
Also read: Ideal Water Temperature For Cory Catfish?
How inadequate pH level will affect cory catfish?
Inadequate pH level can critically affect your cory catfish health.
Let us discuss what happens when the water pH level becomes too high and too low.
When the water pH level becomes too high:
A high pH level can severely affect your cory catfish.
A high pH level will damage your cory catfish skin, gills, and eyes.
A cory catfish will lose the ability to excrete the metabolic waste and can come under critical conditions by the toxic build-up within their bodies.
They can even pass away because of such issues.
They will suffer from severe conditions if the water pH level is too alkaline.
However, your cory catfish will be normal if the pH level is not too high.
But, bringing the pH level to their ideal range is essential.
When the water pH level is too low:
Like the high pH level, a low pH level can also make your cory catfish suffer from a critical condition.
Too low pH level will affect the reproductive cycle of your cory catfish, making them unable to produce eggs or hatch new fish fry.
They can even stop breeding completely, living at a low pH level.
They may start producing excessive mucus, making it harder for them to breathe because of mucus clogging their gills.
Your cory catfish can even pass away, suffering from all these issues.
They will come under high-level stress because of unstable and inadequate pH levels.
How can we measure the pH level of our cory catfish tank?
There are two ways to measure the pH level:
- Use a digital pH reader to measure the pH level.
- Use a chemical test kit to measure the pH level.
In a digital meter, all you have to do is calibrate the meter (Read all the instructions given by the manufacturer)
Put the tip of the digital meter into the tank’s water and take the readings.
It is an easy way to measure the water pH level.
A chemical test kit is a better way to measure the pH level as it will show a more accurate result.
Read all the instructions first to understand how to measure the pH using the chemical test kit.
Your kit will have a glass tube, pH test solution, and a color card.
You have to put some water from your cory catfish tank in a glass tube and test it with the pH test solution, and you will get the result.
Follow the instructions given by the manufacturers to do it properly.
We recommend using the API freshwater master test kit to measure the pH level. Using this test kit, you will not only be able to test the pH level but can also measure ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate of your cory catfish tank.
You can buy it from amazon: API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT.
How to increase the water pH level?
You can increase the water pH level by:
- Removing the driftwood, if any, present in the aquarium.
- Using baking soda
- Changing the substrate
- Adding seashells
Removing the driftwood from the tank will help you to reduce the pH level.
Driftwood releases the tannic acid into the water, naturally reducing the pH level.
So, remove the driftwood from your cory catfish tank to increase the water pH level.
Use baking soda
Adding baking soda to your cory catfish tank will make the water much alkaline, increasing the pH level.
We recommend pouring the baking soda into an aquarium with the help of a tablespoon, as using the sachet directly can result in pouring too much baking soda, which can make the pH level very high.
Add the baking soda to your cory catfish tank until you reach the ideal water pH level range.
Use the pH meter to regularly check the pH level and pour the baking soda according to that.
Also, when using baking soda to increase the pH level, remove all the fish from the aquarium and place them in a separate tank.
Add them back to the aquarium after half an hour when the baking soda is completely dissolved in the water.
Change the substrate
We usually use gravel and stones as a substrate for our tank.
A substrate is the base of the tank we prepare for our fishes.
To increase the water pH level, you can consider using limestone or crushed coral instead of gravel and stone.
You can easily find crushed coral and limestone in any pet store.
Make sure to at least make the base 1 inch thick using crushed coral and limestone.
Changing the substrate will make the water polluted for some time, so consider removing all your fish and placing them in a separate tank.
Seashells contain carbonates that will slowly increase the water pH level of your cory catfish tank.
The seashells will submerge in the water and slowly increase the pH level.
You can get the seashells from any craft or pet store. Rinse the seashells in the warm water before placing them in your cory catfish aquarium.
Place two seashells for every one gallon of water in your cory catfish tank.
Wait for at least a week before checking the pH level, as it is a slow process and will take time to increase the pH.
Make sure not to use the seashells that are painted.
Also, removing the fish from the aquarium is unnecessary while adding seashells.
How to decrease the water pH level?
Like increasing the water pH level, there are ways to decrease it too.
You can decrease the water pH level by:
- Adding live aquatic plants to your cory catfish tank.
- Adding driftwood to your cory catfish tank.
- Adding peat moss to your cory catfish tank.
- Regularly cleaning the filter.
Add live aquatic plants.
Adding live aquatic plants to your cory catfish tank can help you decrease the pH level.
We all know that plants release oxygen by consuming carbon dioxide.
But, this process gets vice versa at nighttime. Plants consume oxygen and release carbon dioxide at night.
That carbon dioxide will get dissolved in the water, making it slightly acidic, and decreasing the pH level.
Plants will not make the water highly acidic, so you don’t have to worry.
They will help you bring the water pH level to the ideal range.
Adding driftwood is the most common way to decrease the water pH level of your tank.
Driftwood releases tannic acid into the water, naturally decreasing the water’s pH level.
You can get the driftwood in a pet store or online.
Make sure to pick the driftwood specially made for the aquariums.
Driftwood specially made for aquariums will contain no preservations and chemicals that can harm your fish in a tank.
Consider first keeping the driftwood in a water container for at least 2-3 hours before placing it in your cory catfish tank.
It will help you clean the driftwood from any dirt or debris.
Add peat moss
Adding peat moss to your tank is another great and natural way to lower the water pH.
Find the peat moss specially made for the aquarium tanks as they will be free of chemicals.
After that, soak the peat moss in the water for at least 3-4 days.
If you add the peat moss directly in the tank without soaking it for 3-4 days, you will end up turning the water brown or yellow of your cory catfish tank.
Make sure not to add the peas moss directly into the water after soaking it, as they will float in the water and will not help you much to lower the pH level.
Consider placing the peat moss into a bag and then putting it in your cory catfish tank.
The ideal pH level of a cory catfish is between 7 and 8.
However, there are some species of corydoras that can live in a water pH level of 6 and will thrive at 8.
You can measure the water pH level of your cory catfish tank using the digital meter or by using a chemical kit.
Various ways exist to increase or decrease the water pH level to make it come to the ideal stage required.
Adding driftwood, peat moss, and live aquatic plants help in lowering the water pH level.
Removing the driftwood, using baking soda, and changing the substrate by adding limestone and crushed coral will help increase the water pH level.
Reference: ScienceDirect, Wikipedia