The measure of acidity/basicity of a solution is termed as its pH. It is the hydrogen potential of water. It is measured on the scale of 1-14. The value of 7.0 is associated with a neutral pH. Anything less than 7.0 is acidic, while a value greater than 7.0 is associated with basicity. In case of neutral pH, the number of hydrogen (H+) and hydroxide (OH-) ions are equal in number. The ideal level for the purpose of drinking water ranges from 6.5-8.5. It is advisable to check the pH of drinking water; the water which doesn't fall in this range can affect one's health.
How to Test pH Levels in Water
It can be tested both at home and in laboratories. pH testing kits can be purchased at pool supply/hardware stores. There are different kinds of water testing kits, and the simplest of all is one that makes use of litmus paper. It is a strip of colored paper dipped in water for testing. A color code helps in determining the level. One can also think of giving samples of water to pool supply stores. Professionals carry out the testing of pH at these stores. It helps obtain accurate test results.
pH for Fish
Maintaining appropriate pH levels is important for keeping fish healthy. Negligence on the part of fish-keepers can be fatal for its life. The knowledge of the level where the fish earlier resided proves to be useful. One should always ask the attendant at the fish store about the desired level in water. There are many test kits available in the market. The commonly used kits are Marine pH & Alkalinity Multi Test Kit, Instant Ocean Test Kit, and High pH & Alkalinity Test Kit. Their prices vary. The number of tests that one can perform with these kits can be between 30-75. It is recommended to test once in a month.
pH for Plants
The water used for plants should also be tested for pH levels. To check it, one can use kits available in the market. A tester which comes with these kits needs to be dipped in the water. As per the directions provided on the kit, one should carry out the process. Sophisticated kits directly provide a read out. However, for kits with litmus paper, the color chart needs to be referred to. The pH can be brought to the desired level with the help of adjusters. The adjusters used for alkaline water are citric acid, vinegar, lemon juice, etc. High levels can be brought down with these adjusters. For acidic water, baking soda is the commonly used adjuster.