How to fix and stabilize a high pH, low KH and high GH?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by DNA, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. DNANew MemberMember

    Hi all!
    Currently still trying to resolve and stabilize my tank.
    Ammonia; 0.25
    Even after fully cycling and previously showing no ammonia i now have a small amount showing that i cant seem to remove with water changes, how can i lower this to 0?
    Nitrite; 0
    Nitrate; 10
    pH; 7.4
    I cant seem to stabilize this. one day it can be low, a couple later its going up again. I placed a neutralizing block in and it seems to have raised it more than i wanted. How can i stabilize it?
    KH; 3-4
    This seems to have lowered substanitally and from what i understand relates to the stability of the pH. How can i raise and stabilize this?
    This seems to be raising rediculously. i had to test it twice to believe it. how can i lower this while raising the KH and keeping a stable pH?

    Thankyou in advance! Any help appreciated at this point.
  2. toosie

    toosieWell Known MemberMember

    pH fluctuates during the cycling process. Since you still have a level of ammonia present, the cycle isn't finished and may still be affecting the pH.

    I'm not familiar with the neutralizing block. What was the exact name? Is the KH numbers you have mentioned in degrees? I assume you are using degrees for KH and ppm for GH. A KH of 4 degrees is perfectly fine to keep pH stable, especially if you aren't aiming for a high pH.

    Why are you trying to alter your water parameters? What were the readings originally? There are different things you can do to adjust these parameters but I don't feel I understand what your water was like before you started altering it well enough to advise you on what to do yet.
  3. OP

    DNANew MemberMember

    Im sure my tank was finished cycling. Maybe not...

    Originally was 7 degrees KH and 150ish GH. Thats what I'm aiming for. I'll do a couple more tests when I get home in 15-20 mins to see if much has changed over 24hrs.

    The pH neutralising block is like a compressed block of powder to bring the pH automatically to 7. It has always worked in the past but has over shot its goal by .4.
    Considering my tank was pH of 6 only 2 days ago thats what got me wondering about the rest. I add conditioning salts with every water change. Is that a good idea?

  4. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to Fishlore.

    While you tank may have cycled, it is still not stable and going through a mini cycle, if not still trying to cycle as Toosie indicated.

    I would not be overly concerned so long as both KH and GH do not fall under 3 drops/degrees.

    With your choice of fish, I would stop using that pH neutralizing block as well as stopping the use of salts and Stability. These products can interfere with the overall stability of a tank and cause stress to the fish. Scaleless fish, such as your loaches, do not tolerate salt.

    For now, I recommend daily 20% water changes with only Prime until your tank becomes again cycled and stable.

  5. iZaO JnrWell Known MemberMember


    Your concerns should stay on the cycle for the moment. Once that stabilizes, your pH will too :)

    KH of 7 dKH and GH of 150ppm will be perfectly fine and will maintain a stable pH
  6. OP

    DNANew MemberMember

    The tank is atleast 2 months old.
    Latest parameters.
    pH - 7.2
    Ammonia - 0.25
    Nitrite - 0
    Nitrate - 10
    GH - 22 degrees
    KH - 15 degrees

    All parameters tested twice and in different spots of my aquarium.
    Ive heard so much mixed things about Stability. I just did a 15% water change before testing also and only added Prime.
    Hopefully everything should be fine.
    So is daily water changed really necessary? I've heard too much water changes will slow down the cycle. The tank was cycled before adding fish also.
    I'm just trying to add the tanks history so that everyone can understand the background of the tank. Also the tank was "slowly" stocked, a few fish per week since cycling.
  7. OP

    DNANew MemberMember

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  8. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    Cycling with fish, or if a tank is experiencing a mini cycle with increased ammonia levels, then yes, daily water changes with Prime or Amquel + are necessary to keep the fish from suffering from ammonia poisoning.

    Remember, nothing beats fresh water for your fish :) Not just when cycling, but any time.

    Nice set up! :)

  9. OP

    DNANew MemberMember

    Okay, so daily changes of 10%? Should each change include a gravel vacuum?

    Also have a new cycling cichlid tank. Should I do daily changes here too?
    There are no fish in here.

    Cheers! You guys are super helpful.
  10. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember


    If you are cycling fishless then there is no need for water changes until the cycle has been completed.

    For your tank cycling with fish, I would suggest 30% to 50% daily until you have readings of 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites and under 20 Nitrates. You do not have to vacuum with each water change.

    Once your tanks are cycled, life will be much easier for you and your fish.

    Hang in there! :)

  11. OP

    DNANew MemberMember

    Okay, will do.
    I will post up updates in a couple of days on how things are going.

    So basically 30% change while only adding Prime daily and test every couple of days.
    Thankyou again!
  12. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember


    Sounds good.

  13. toosie

    toosieWell Known MemberMember

    Just checking DNA, but sometimes people are led to believe through poor sources of information that running a tank empty for a few days is cycling a tank. They aren't told that they have to add a source of ammonia to create food for beneficial bacteria to develop to truly create a cycle, then add fish thinking their tank is cycled and can handle fish being added. I just wanted to make sure this isn't happening to you especially being as your are starting to cycle another tank. Are you adding an ammonia source to your empty tank?
  14. OP

    DNANew MemberMember

    No my community tank was cycled with 2 pretty large plecos. I'm currently about to add the plecos to the new cycling cichlid tank.

    Noticing that my fish are beggining to gasp at the top, not a good sign. In turn i turned up the air pump and opened the venturi pipe up in the powerhead.

    After doing this it got me thinking. I have a aqua one 700 in my tank that does 600l/h max and 400l/h average. I started doing the maths and am I possibly under filtered? I was thinking of adding another filter exactly the same, also making more flow and easier filter media change in a couple of months with 2 filters?
    Any ideas?
  15. toosie

    toosieWell Known MemberMember

    If your fish are starting to gasp it is very important for you to do an immediate 50% water change to help replenish the oxygen level. There are a few things that can make it hard for fish to obtain the oxygen they need but no matter the cause a large water change is the very best way to get necessary oxygen back into the tank.

    For the filter.. is this the 55G you are wondering if you have enough filtration for?
  16. OP

    DNANew MemberMember

    Yes the 55G. I'll do my 30% change tonight, if symtoms persist I'll shoot the 50% mark a go.
  17. toosie

    toosieWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah, I'd say you are a bit under filtered @ 600l/hr. You are using canister type filters though so the gph doesn't need to be as high as when using HOB type filters. For canister filters, 5 x the tank volume is usually adequate as opposed to the 10 x recommended for HOB filters. I use a combination of filters so I still aim for the 10 x gph. For your 55 though @ 5 x gph you would be aiming for 275 gph or about 1040 liters per hour.

    Running more than one filter on an aquarium IMO is a smart choice for a variety of reasons. Less fear of overcleaning filters is one of them, better overall circulation, especially when the units are setup at opposing ends of the tank is another, and if a filter malfuntions the tank isn't totally without filtration while you deal with fixing/replacing the faulty one.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012

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