OK - that does sound high and could actually be your 'normal' pH (although doubtful)
Firstly, which make/brand of pH test kit do you use and is it in date *like food etc, these kits have a shelf life)
The next thing to do is to determine the pH of the water you fill the tank with so test your tap water - but before you run off and test it - you need to make sure the chlorine and other human added extras have left the water your testing, so fill a jar or cup or glass with tap water and leave it for at least 24hr (preferably 48hrs) to stand to allow the chlorine to evaporate as this will affect the readings - you can stir the water every so often to speed things up.
I would also suggest trying things to lessen the noise of the pump - if you have just an airstone on the end of the airline - the bubbles will be bigger and noisier so if you havent already got one, fit a small control valve (like a little tap or clamp) that you ca use to reduce the airflow and thus the noise
If you have real plants - they will do better if the air is on at night (or at least the fish will) as the air line serves several purposes in an aquarium - if you have real plastic plants (all fakes) like me, you dont actually need an airline at all - but a stable system is important and stop starting airlines can make the pH rise n fall dramatically - also the warmer the water, the less dissolved oxygen there is in the water (thats why on real hot days, fish in ponds etc are seen at the surface) - so tropical tanks tend to need air more than regular cold water - as it happens, white cloud minnows are happy(ish) in unheated tanks as long as the room temp is fairly stable.
Anyway, before we get beyond ourselves, your best bet is to test the tap water (I think I remember Liverpool having hard water and a higher ph) another option is getting a fish shop to test the pH and perhaps everything else for you, some shops do it for free, others charge, and some blanket refuse - but they may be a good way of getting a rough guestimate or comparable result with your own water.
Hope this helps - dont be afraid to ask anything