How do you stably raise GH and KH? Question

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by Chunk101, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. Chunk101

    Chunk101Well Known MemberMember

    Hello all,

    I'm raising goldfish and I have read on numerous sites that they do better in slightly harder water and a pH of around 7.5. So, I've been aiming for a GH and KH values of 6-12 degrees.

    Currently in the 55gal tank, KH=3 with the addition of 2 cups of crushed coral in the filter. The crushed coral did stabilize the pH at 7.4, however it only raised the KH value by 1 degree (my tap water measures KH= 2). The crushed coral has been in the tank for 18 days and I don't think the KH will increase any further. So, is there an alternative product I can use that would increase my KH higher to about 6 degrees?

    The GH fluctuates between 10-20 degrees with the addition of Wonder Shell (the tap water measures GH=2). I like this product but the cost is adding up and I don't like the fact that it fluctuates so much. Is there a cheaper and stable alternative means of raising GH?

  2. Dolfan

    DolfanFishlore VIPMember

    I would just use what you have. If you artificially raise your GH, KH, PH or any other values, you will be forced to have to match the number for as long as your tank is running. All new water for water changes etc will have to match those numbers which can be difficult. The numbers you are wanting are not that different from your original source water, so I would just keep it simple and work with what you have. Fish will adapt to what you have. For example, many say neon tetras need soft acidic water, but I have them in hard water with a PH of almost 8 and they do fine. Granted I had to slowly acclimate them but now I don't have to worry about altering the water and trying to match some "ideal" number.

    With all that being said, there are a few products made for raising your GH/KH and adding minerals to your water. I have not used them before, so do some research, but I have heard good things about Seachem Equilibrium. Many use it to remineralize R/O water. Since your "ideal" parameters aren't much different from your source water, you may be able to figure out some ratio to add to every water change that gets your water just right. Also check out some different Cichlid buffers as they do similar things.
  3. Thai Aquarium ownerWell Known MemberMember

    You should be able to raise the Gh and Kh of the tank by introducing a small amount of Limestone rock to the tank.
    However, this will also raise the Ph, and you have to be careful to not over-do the rock, or the Ph will go to 8.2
    I personally would not worry too much about the Kh value of 3 that you have at the moment, as this should buffer your Ph.
    Ph, Gh and Kh are all inter linked to each other, as you are probably aware, and its very difficult to raise one without raising the other

  4. _Fried_Bettas_

    _Fried_Bettas_Well Known MemberMember

    I agree with the above, for the health of your fish, your values are actually very good.

    I would only try to modify it further if you were trying to breed fish and you couldn't get them to spawn with your current water parameters.
  5. OP

    Chunk101Well Known MemberMember

    Thanks everyone for your responses.

    @Dolfan, I think you may have misread my water source numbers. KH and GH =2, pretty low. I agree with you that fish are adaptable but I also think there is a limit to how much they can adapt.
    Yeah, Seachem equilibrium has been in my Dr.foster&smith cart for a while now, couldn't decide that's why I posted this thread.
    Thai Aquarium owner, with limestone alone I should be able to raise all three parameters, GH, KH and pH right?
    And how much limestone are we talking about for 55gal to raise the GH & KH by 4 degrees? a handful?

    @_Fried_Bettas_, goodness gracious no, I'm not trying to breed them, I have too many as is!
  6. jetajockey

    jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

  7. Thai Aquarium ownerWell Known MemberMember

    I am not sure how much you would need of the Limestone to raise Ph, Gh and Kh
    All the three parameters will rise if you use the rock, but I would start at a very small amount ( say an golf ball size piece ), and continually monitor your readings.
    Your readings MAY rise quite rapidly, so be aware of this fact.
    If it is slow to rise = good
  8. OP

    Chunk101Well Known MemberMember

    I did some quick research after you posted this comment and I found that cc will also raise the GH, didn't realize that. And I also discovered that limestone has a similar composition to cc, essentially calcium carbonate.

    Has anyone had any experience in using both cc and limestone? How is it different?
  9. Thai Aquarium ownerWell Known MemberMember

    Limestone, IMO has more of the essential trace elements and minerals that will leach into the water more readily, due to its more open structure.
    I have used limestone based rock extensively over many years for lake Malawi Cichlids tanks, and always had good quality water parameters for these fish.
    The rock was always stacked in the tanks, with around 50% tank space used.
    Crushed Coral, IMO does not have the same content of trace elements and minerals that Limestone rock has, or will not leach them out so quickly due to a denser structure..
    The most rapid way to raise your Ph is by using Baking Soda, although this is a quick fix, I would not recommend using it
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
  10. OP

    Chunk101Well Known MemberMember

    I think I'm sold on limestone.

    So, is there a particular kind of limestone that I should be looking for? I've read that there are different
  11. Thai Aquarium ownerWell Known MemberMember

    Limestone is Limestone.
    Although there are, as you say different types, they all contain Calcium
  12. _Fried_Bettas_

    _Fried_Bettas_Well Known MemberMember

    Limestone is a sedimentary rock made up of tiny fossil fragments of prehistoric marine creatures, basically what remains of ancient reefs. In a way all limestone is different, a geologist can identify where any piece of limestone came from by its exact composition. But it all is similar in that it is mostly made up of calcium carbonate which is the buffers the water to a pH of 8.2 (if I remember correctly).
  13. OP

    Chunk101Well Known MemberMember

    Thanks for answering all my questions guys, I really appreciate it!

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