My tank is not overstocked. I do monthly gravel cleaning. I have to constantly use PH up to keep it at a safe level for the fish and I tried using proper PH 7.0 but it made the water very cloudy and it still is only at 6.2. I don't have live plants in the tank they are artificial.
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If your fish are not showing any signs of distress, are not dying off, then don't adjust it. You may be introducing stress on them by constantly shifting the ph on them. Small changes in the ph should be more tolerable then bigger ones, but overall, you want to adjust your ph prior to populating a tank. You run a bigger risk of doing more damage to your fish by constantly dealing with it, then letting it settle to what it naturally is. If your fish are living in the water, and you are not adjusting the ph, and there is no deaths or unusual behavior, then I'd say just let it be. If you have balanced chemistry in terms of your nitrogen cycle, have no signs of disease, but see your fish acting differently, then maybe you'd need to adjust the ph. Overall if everything was fine prior to trying to adjust, then just let it be. JV
Do you change the water all the time? Is the tank cycled? If your tank isn't cycled, you might have to cycle it with a few fish and then add some live plants. Usually, a 20 gallon tank would have a stable pH level.
First, increase your gravel cleanings to once a week and do a 25% waterchange when you clean the gravel. This will help the pH stabilize. 6.2 is sliding into a rather low zone and that will be due to a lack of buffering capacity in the tank. You measure this buffering as KH or carbonoate hardness. No doubt at all if you measure yours it will be very low. That's also why the chemical treatments aren't getting the job done. Genreally I agree with not changing your pH, but yours is quite low and that indicates it could easily slip lower. I would suggest you attack the problem at it's source but increasing your hardness just a little bit. The best way to do this slowly and naturally is to place a very small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of crushed coral into the filter. This will increase your hardness slowly and prevent the pH from sliding back down too low. I can certainly help more if you have any additional questions, just feel free to email me. MM
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