What kind of testing products are you using and the numbers for pH, KH/GH of the tank and of the source water before any additives used...what is the source water...as well as all the readings-for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate of both the tank and source water....
How is the Betta, any live plants-if so, how many and what species, type of additives used, how long has the tank been running and is it cycled, type of filter used and how filter media is maintained....any other livestock in the tank
Thanks all. Using test strips before adding baking soda (although I now use API solution liquid kit). But pH prior was about 6.7, alkali in "low" zone, ammonia, Cl, nitrite, nitrate all in "safe" to 0 zones. I use tap water with a Cl remover and stress coat.
No live plants. And I had to recently replace my fake plants b/c we're fighting fin rot (finally winning) but one of them was plastic and he weaves in and out of it constantly and I was worried it was ripping his fins, so now all silk- but essentially most of his decorations are new.
Tank is not cycled technically since I had to use an antibiotic for his aggressive fin rot. So many water changes, had to replace the filter, remove the filter during antibiotics, replace his original substrate, etc, so now my nitrates are 0. But ammonia has not spiked yet.
Actually, the alkali was always low, even before all this, but the pH was always a steady 7 so I wasn't too worried.
My betta's behavior has absolutely not changed- He acts absolutely fine.
I agree with Pitluvs, trying to mess with the pH is not something you should attempt unless there is a very specific reason.
A pH in the 6's is nothing to be worried about, it's actually good for the betta. These fish come from soft acidic water, it's their normal habitat for the majority of tropical fish. Typically only live bearers and snails enjoy basic water (pH above 7).
A neutral pH of 7 is not something you should strive for. Sudden pH changes are extremely stressful and can easily be fatal. pH is on a logrithmic scale, that means going from 7-8 is 10 times as basic, and 7-9 is 100 times. So even a 0.1 change is significant.
Thanks all! Yes I don't prefer acute changes in any of my water parameters. I've become a bit obsessed with checking stuff with my finrot issue, but that's much better so I am leaning towards backing off the additives except conditioner and stress coat, and going back to weekly monitoring and my routine water changes.
Though my betta is quite forgiving of my paranoia- All thru this he's been his usual active personable self with no obvious stress lines or behavior changes, even thru the finrot... I think he laughs at his worrying mom.