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testing PH

hey everyone i am very new to this, i just joined. can anyone please tell me how to test for PH in the water? what should I buy and what do i use? I just got two BP's. thanks in advance


HI,welcome,First, the smaller the tank the more important the testing,these big boys produce a lot of waste,I think that two parrots need a 40 gall tank,also you need to test(weekly) for lots of things,BPs can tolerate a ph thats a little wrong but other stuff can cause real problems so if you can afford buy a test kit(not the strips) it will last about a year, if you are broke test strips will do with you taking a sample to your LFS every couple of weeks,once you water is right your 3/4 of the way there. I do about a 25%-35% water change weekly or a 50% monthly, don't clean anything in clean water,use syphoned tank water and treat all new water before adding to tank(dechlorinated water treatment from your LFS)The important things with parrots are environment,space food and tank mates,( and us!!!)

I have a 110 gallon tank. The ammonia is a little high at 0.5. If I change the water once a month and 50% water. That means I will need to have at least 50 gallons of water on stand by. Can I fill with tap water since I don't have space to keep 50 gallons in tank. And do I take the fishes out of the tank when I change water? I am so new at this!

If you tank is still cycling then there is not much you can do about it. Read this:
You don't change the water once a month, you do it once a week and you have to change 15 - 35 % depending on how much nitrates you have. You use bucks or a hose to change the water. Take for example 25% out and then fill up buckets and replace water until its full again, you also need to use dechlorinates. If the water is about the same temp when you are gonna put it in then you don't need to remove them.

Go to your local pet store or, (good sorce for all pet supplies..nice and helpful folks too) and order a ph's the same kind of stuff you used in bio class in high school....use fill the test container w/water and 2 drops of the chemical....the colour tells the story.

I test for nitrates, ph and ammonia every the parrot tank and my koi and fancy can mean the difference between wonderful, easy fish culture and guilt ridden nightmere "why are they sick" fish keeping. When you're creating an artifical environment, the ph can change in a flash!

By the way, don't purchase any "ph up" to raise your tank's ph level...just use a bit of baking like a charm

b in nyc

i have tested it and it's at about 7.6 or higher is that bad or good??? exactly what ph should it be at for BP's?? and if i needed to lower it what should i use? oh and i didn't use the strips i used the one that comes with the tube

You really need to be sure rather than "or higher"if unsure take to LFS and ask them , I think 7.6 is ok, I would advise between 7-2 -7-6,I think that going towards 8 is a bit too high for my taste, but try not to use chemicals to lower or higher ph, and too much change too quickly can harm your fish,unless its very high or very low, don't mess with it. regular water changes and stability are the key ,there are a lot of natural ways of lowering or raising ph but don't do anything you don't have to,

if they're thriving....great!

make sure they are not making jerky/flash moves and are not rubbing up against rocks or plants to scratch themselvs....that's a sure sign that the water is ph is too high. I keep my tank between 7.2 and 7.6.... and the dechlor comment is 1000% correct...a few dollors investment in a good declorinator/heavy metal remover is worth it's weight in parrot fish!

all the best.


Sorry for all these questions but I just want to be sure that I am doing this right. So I should either use a declorinator/heavy metal remover to lower the PH or should I do a water change? by the way, I don't see them making any jerky/flash movements or rubbing against anything. I do notice that they seem to be quite shy and hide alot, one of them hides beside the filter, is this normal? at times they do come out and just play around or eat but most of the times they hide. BUT I REALLY WANT TO GET THE PH STABLE FOR MY BP'S. Thanks for everyone's help.

DONT DO ANYTHING,a ph of 7.6 is not going to harm your fish,adding chemicals and messing about,introducing changes too quickly will,as your tank ages ,the water will soften and the ph will lower,find out what ph your local fish shop keeps their tanks at,ph is not quite as important as other water conditions, do partial water changes every week, about30%, water changes are done as part of normal tank maintenance and will avoid many problems for your fish plus you will notice more fish activity after a water change, parrots just love it SO every time you do a water change treat the water to be added with a dechlorinator(primary use is to remove chlorine ,too much of which burns the fish) as well as removing ammonia nitrates,nitrite sect etc,it takes about 6-8 weeks to settle(or cycle) a new tank, it also takes quite a time for parrots to come out of hiding,THIS IS NORMAL don't overfeed they'll come looking for you,provide hiding places like pots and caves,add dither fish if bps are alone,this helps them to overcome their shyness

Just chill out and let the guys get used to the tank, the ph, etc...
don't forget the hinding places in the tank.

The jerking movements are when there is something's a symptom, that's all.

When they get used to seeing you and your feeding times, they will come and do the "feed me dance" and will stop hiding...

enjoy and chill.


Thank you guys for all your help. Everything seems to be fine, they swim they eat, they are still hiding but not as much. If I have any more questions or concerns i will be sure to let u all know.

you can get test strips at wal-mart they work pretty well but tube testing is better. BP's as well as other cichlids do good in a wide verity of PH levels but 7.2 is ideal. You should be more worried about Nitrogen and ammonia levels neither should ever go above 3 and that is pushing it, the levels should stay at 0. If these levels get to high do a 30% water change bye anti-ammonia tabs and nitroban to keep levels under control use once every 4-6 months to keep PH and other levels balanced But DO NOT overcompensate or you risk messing up the important biology of the water. Also do a 15-25% water change every two weeks depending on how dirty the tank gets this will ensure the cleanliness and good health of your fish.

parrots can live in ph from 6-8 comfortably. what you should do, rather than waste your time, energy and money on chemicals to set your ph for your parrots, is to let them acclimate to your tap water ph. 7.6 is fine. if you lower it with chemicals, then you have to mix your water in buckets at every water change and you will be setting your tank up for huge swings in ph which are harder on your fish than wrong ph. changing your ph more than .2 in a day can stress your fish and stressed fish catch diseases. you have the advantage of having very tough, and not picky, fish. what they need is clean water. weekly water changes are much better than chemicals. you do need a water conditioner like prime, novaqua, or stress coat though. they remove chlorine and chloramine. i like prime because it is concentrated and one small capful treats 60 gallons. it also removes ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.