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This is going to be a bit lengthy because I have a lot of questions. I rescued a betta recently and got him into a new tank a few days ago. Ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are fine, I'm keeping an eye on them because the tank isn't cycled, getting him into a new one was an emergency, but it is a five gallon and he's the only fish in it. The pH is really high though, at an 8.0. The tank has a filter, light, aquarium pebble substrate, a few silk plants, and two live Anubias Frazeri. The heater is not inside of the tank right now because the room it is in keeps the water at the right temp with the summer weather.

Based on the research I've done it seems like people say that bettas need a pH of 7.0, but can adapt to other levels, and keeping those levels consistent is better than levels that are constantly fluctuating. I saw some people say in discussions that their bettas do fine in water with a pH of 8.0. I have ordered some items I read can lower the pH naturally, like peat filter media, almond leaves, and drift wood, because a common consensus I got was using chemicals to lower it is not preferable, and even a bad idea. I tested the tap water itself and it does seem to be the cause of the high pH.

My main questions would be, is it really okay for a betta to be in water with a pH higher than 7.0 and even as high as 8.0? In the future, if I can get the pH down with the natural tank items I've mentioned, how would this affect water changes? Could I still use tap water to cycle the tank water or would I need to treat that water first some how, besides dechlorinator of course, so it doesn't shock my fish? Or would I need to use bottled water that hasn't been distilled? Thank you so much in advance for any answers or advice to these questions.
 
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