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The recommended pH of an aquarium will have incredible variation. It depends on whether it is salt water or fresh water, mostly. Most salt water tanks will be 8.3 – 8.5. a fresh water tank runs more to neutral (pH 7), but it will depend on what kind of fish they have. For instance: Goldfish like it a little more basic, around 7.5. Cichlids like it a little more acidic, around 6.5. And discus like it even more acidic than that, often 5.0-6.0.
Phosphate gets added to tap water (in the form of organophosphate) to prevent the water from corroding lead pipes and picking up lead contamination. Phosphate in the water = algae growth = gross looking tank and/or dead corals.
"I love Hanna Checkers to check for my Phosphates, Alkalinity and pH in my 90 gallon reef aquarium. I am so thrilled that Hanna actually had the inspiration to make these new Checkers to check my aquarium water quality. They are very affordable and very easy to use. I have told all of my aquarium buddies on Reef Central about these and how great they are."
- Bartolomeo Rego, FL
"I really love my Hanna Phosphate Photometer. It is really easy to use the re-agent and mix it with the aquarium water to get super accurate tests."
- Richard Gross, AZ