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A term used by aquarists when talking about water conditions and its ph value. Water is said to be alkaline if it contains hydroxyl ions (carbonates).

  • Water with a ph higher than 7 is said to be an alkaline.
  • Alkaline water can be high in calcium or magnesium ions.
  • In a planted aquarium the plants will give off carbon dioxide when the lights are turned off, this will make the water become less alkaline.
  • The opposite of alkaline is acid.
  • Some species of fish have difficulty breeding in alkaline water even though they can live quite happily in acidic water. Neon tetras and Cardinal tetras are the most commoningly know examples.
  • Keeping aquatic animals in the wrong side of their normal ph level will greatly shorten their average life expectancy. For example keeping Neon tetras in a ph of greater than 7 will reduce their lifespan from an average of 20 years to only 2 or 3.