How important is KH?

Adamfromturku

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Hello!

So I have a 100 liter (29 gal) tanganyika tank with 7 neolamprologus brevis and two synodontis catfish. The catfish have been in there about 4 years, and the shellies are new, having been in there about 6 months. I am working on slowly raising the GH (about 7 now) and am also monitoring the PH, which is about 7.8 right now (which should be ok for them from what I've read). The fish already seem to be doing great, though they aren't breeding. Do I also need to be working on the Kh here? I know all three are related and intertwined, and I am nervous about screwing things up if I start messing with the Kh too, causing the PH to fluctuate. Can I just forget about KH?
 

Chanyi

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Adamfromturku said:
I don't know, I don't have a test for that.
Tough to say if it's important without knowing what it currently is at.

I would guess you are around 6-8 degrees of kH with a pH of 7.8
 

Gregs76

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Adamfromturku said:
I don't know, I don't have a test for that.
You need to get a test kit. API does a liquid test that includes KH and Gh. If you Gh is 7 and your ph is 7.8, I would imagine your KH is most likely above 4, which would really put you in the clear of a ph crash, but deffo get a test kit because KH is what is important for your ph.
 
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Adamfromturku

Adamfromturku

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Alright, will do. Thanks for the advice. I am also going to replace the playground sand I have in there now with aragonite sand. I'll update on the Kh.
 
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Adamfromturku

Adamfromturku

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Alright, got the test, and my KH is at 4. Should I try to get it up? Will the aragonite sand do the job?
 

Chanyi

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Adamfromturku said:
Alright, got the test, and my KH is at 4. Should I try to get it up? Will the aragonite sand do the job?
No that is plenty to keep things stable, leave it as is.
 
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Adamfromturku

Adamfromturku

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I have read that tanganyikans should have a KH of way more, like 14 - 20. Can you explain why you think 4 is enough and I should leave it as it is? And thanks for taking the time to help me, I appreciate it.
 

Chanyi

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Adamfromturku said:
I have read that tanganyikans should have a KH of way more, like 14 - 20. Can you explain why you think 4 is enough and I should leave it as it is? And thanks for taking the time to help me, I appreciate it.
Ah... forgot about the tanganyikans.

4 degrees is plenty to keep the pH stable... you can raise it safely over time with KHCO3, but you would have to be very precise with each and every water change so as to not shock them with varying kH levels. This will in-turn raise your pH as well.

Use this website to get an idea of how much to add to a set volume of water (don't just dump it into your tank, slowly raise the kH of your water change water first, and perform small water changes until the tank's kH levels are at a desired level).

Rotala Butterfly | Planted Aquarium Nutrient Dosing Calculator

Take into account the risks with adjusting pH / kH.
 

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