Question Can you raise KH safely and slowly?


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More than 10 years
My tank has been up for about two months. It's a pretty heavily planted freshwater, using Controsoil substrate. My tap water is around a ph 8 from the tap, with 1ppm of ammonia.
I chose the controsoil because it's supposed to lower pH, which it really did in the first few weeks. I also used Seachem Alkaline Buffer in small amounts to inch it up after the first couple of weeks. The ph is now pretty stable at right around 7.0 to 7.2, but I'm not confident that it won't continue to change without a good KH buffer.
Right now, my pH is 7.2, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrates at 0ppm, with a KH of 1 and GH of 5.
There are a dozen White Clouds and a dozen shrimp (Amano and Ghost) in there, as well as five Nerites.

I've been dealing with some algae issues because I just can't seem to get my light intensity/photoperiod where it's best for the plants, but not the algae. I've been gradually cutting back on light and stopped ferts until I get the algae under control. The real problem is a bloom which turned the water green, but a UV sterilizer is solving that as I type this.

Back to the water... I'd like to get the KH up a little higher so that I could eventually introduce Neocardina shrimp into the tank. Unfortunately, almost all of the breeders I've talked to have much higher KH. I'd feel better anyway with a bit more of a buffer for the pH, especially considering the tap water I have to deal with.

Is this an issue I should even be worrying about, will it eventually stabilize on it's own? Or if it is a problem, what are some of my options that won't wreck the rest of the water parameters. I'm nervous that changing one thing can mess up everything else...
Advice appreciated.


Well Known
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1 year
You should be able to adjust the KH with a bit of crushed coral. Seeing as its currently super low you would want to add it as slowly as you can, only maybe a tablespoon at a time. This may raise the pH slightly but it shouldn't be drastic. Going slowly will help you monitor and see exactly how much anything changes.
I would wait 1-2 weeks before you add a second tablespoon just to be sure it's stable and that everyone adjusts.

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