Simply because a product is available for sale, that does not mean that it is appropriate or safe. While dangerous products are often recalled, many more continue to be sold to unsuspecting consumers in all different markets.
Responsible consumers should be alive to the possibility that just because it is for sale, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is safe, and should investigate what they are purchasing.
This applies to aquarium products as well! Below is a list of products that have been tried and proven to be inappropriate, ineffective, or just plain dangerous. Also, we will provide you with alternatives that DO work.
Who will feed your fish when you're on vacation? While it is important that your pet's needs are met while you are away, these blocks are NOT the answer.
This is a recipe for disaster because:
How long will you be away for?
|4 DAYS or less||
|5 DAYS or more||
Again, this is a product that fishkeepers may use with the best intentions - to give their tank the "perfect" pH for their fish - but the costs of using these products can far outweigh the benefits for your fish.
The main problem with pH adjusters (any product that is used to alter the natural pH of your water) is summed up by our RULE TO LIVE BY. The parameters of your fish's water must never be changed suddenly - to do so will shock your fish and can easily kill them. Most pH adjusters boast about how quickly they work. This is actually the last thing you want when you have fish in your tank!
But what about when you have no fish in the tank yet, and you're just getting it ready for them? The same problem still exists - in order to alter the pH of your water, you have to do battle with the water's natural chemistry, specifically it's resistance to changes in pH (known as the KH, "alkalinity" or "buffering capacity" of the water - please see our page on WATER CHEMISTRY for an in-depth description) Overwhelming the water's buffering capacity can also interfere with the stability of the water's pH at any level, even the one that you are trying to adjust it to.
The bottom line is that using these products can become a constant battle with pH swinging in all directions and fish suffering or dying as a result.
CHOOSE FISH BASED ON THE pH OF YOUR TAP WATER
Since interfering with your water's natural pH can be so disastrous, it is best to discover the pH of your tap water, and then find out what fish are suited to it. If you would like to keep a specific kind of fish, research them in advance, and specifically look into the water pH that suits them best.
Remember that fish can even adjust to pH values that are outside of their ideal range. The most important thing is that the pH remains stable.
AVOID FISH THAT REQUIRE A VERY NARROW pH RANGE
While most fish are quite versatile, some are very sensitive and require very specific water conditions. The pH of your tap water can fluctuate on it's own, dependant on various seasonal conditions, water level in reservoirs, etc.
Factors such as this are entirely out of our control, and could hard very sensitive fish as a result.
If you already have a betta fish living in a bowl or vase, consider adding a filter and a heater to this set-up. Doing this alone will take your betta's environment from dangerously unsuitable to safe and healthy for your fish.
Visit our OVERWHELMED? section to assess the current problems facing your betta's home.
If you don't own a betta yet, please visit our NECESSARY SUPPLIES page for a list of equipment and accessories for a happy, healthy betta.