GH & KH both low with PH of 7.8

  1. hammerdown36 Initiate Member

    After buying some snails and shrimp about 3 weeks ago I decided to get a hardness test and see where I stand. PH at 7.8 and always has been. GH is at 2 drops. KH is at 2 drops. Checked all 3 at the tap (well water) and it is the same. From the little research I have done on hardness this seems a little low to me. But I'm not sure. All the rest of my info is in my profile. Just would like to get everyone's thoughts. Thanks
  2. el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    Yes, you definitely want to raise your KH to keep your ph steady and raise your GH since you have livebearers and inverts. I would start by adding half a cup of crushed coral to your filter as well as adding cuttle bone. Test again several days later to see where your levels are.
  3. Geoff Well Known Member Member

    I have low kh and gh with a pH of 7.8 as well. In the past, my pH always crashed to 6.0. I lost my cycle and many fish. I've since been using crushed coral in my filters and haven't had a problem since. My pH is always steady at 7.8.
  4. hammerdown36 Initiate Member

    Thanks for the replies el337 & Geoff. I'll give that a try. I had seen where crushed coral was being used to raise hardness. Just wasn't sure about it raising PH at the sametime. I'll just keep a close watch on things. Thanks
  5. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    Hi, welcome to fishlore :;hi1

    I agree with the others to add crushed coral, your snails and definitely your live bearers will not be able to live a long time with a GH of 2 and the KH of 2 can easily lead to a ph crash. Though the coral will raise your ph some, it won't be a ton and the fish will appreciate the benefits of the minerals.
  6. hammerdown36 Initiate Member

    Crushed coral went in last night. Will run numbers again tomorrow. Should take a couple days to make much of a change from what I've read. Think I can tell a difference in the livebearers already. Hope it helps my snails. Had one who's shell was looking pretty bad. Thanks for the welcome CindiL.
  7. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    Yeah I'd test it after a few days and then after a week or so, if its not up much then add more. Your snail shells will definitely improve and it should help your livebearers overall health by improving their osmotic functioning. You may notice a difference in their activity levels.
  8. hammerdown36 Initiate Member

    2 days after hanging 1 cup of crushed coral in a media bag next to the filter intake. All the numbers are still the same. Wait and see what happens in a few more days.
  9. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    The thing to remember is before it can start to accumulate it is also being used within the the system if its needed which it most likely is when you are starting out with low carbonates.
  10. hammerdown36 Initiate Member

    Okay, that makes sense. Today is water change day, I guess that will slow accumulation also. 50% weekly water change.
  11. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    Yeah that's true. Depending on where they're at in a week you could always think about adding in a liquid calcium supplement when needed. I use Seachem Replenish with my RO water as it has 0 minerals.
  12. hammerdown36 Initiate Member

    Would Replenish raise GH, KH and PH.
  13. superbutterfly12 Well Known Member Member

    Just raises gh
  14. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    Yep, just raises GH. You could use baking soda or Seachem alkaline buffer to use at water changes for KH and PH if you want.
  15. hammerdown36 Initiate Member

    Don't really need PH raised. I'll give the crushed coral and cuttlebone I have in my filter a week and see what happens before I try anything else. Thanks for everyone's help and ideas. Livebearers seem to be doing a little better. Not really in a hurry. I know slow adjustments are better as long as there's no dire circumstances.
  16. hammerdown36 Initiate Member

    Well, its been three weeks and the GH and KH are up to 5 drops each. Looks like the crushed coral and cuttlebone is working. It's just really slow about it. How high do I need it with my stock?
  17. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    I think that looks really good The platies could use it a little higher but if they seem ok I wouldn't worry about it too much.
  18. LJC6780 Well Known Member Member

    This gives me hope for mine! Mine are still sitting at 4/3 so hopefully it'll raise soon! I also have livebearers and snails.
  19. foreverlearning Member Member

    Cuttlebones? You mean like they use for birds? Any idea on number per gallon?
  20. LJC6780 Well Known Member Member

    Yes. I don't know the proper amount necessary. I just have pieces in my tanks.