Ideas? low pH, low KH

jmarks

Member
So I have noticed my pH has been trending down, along with KH....I recently did 2 weeks of Seachem Paraguard and am curious if this has anything to do with my changing water parameters. I have a 36 gallon setup, and did roughly one 5gal water change each week during treatment, typically I will do a 10gal change each week...during water changes I use seachem prime, stability, stress coat, and cichlid trace. During 2 week treatment I only utilized prime.

Is it required to use carbon media after a treatment to remove the medication? Is this my problem? This was my first time ever using a medication.

I typically run seachem purigen, matrix carbon, and matrix in filter. Removed purigen and carbon during treatment but have since added purigen back. More carbon has been ordered.

Any thoughts?
 

superbutterfly12

Member
Purigen should remive meds too so I don't think that's the issue. Driftwood can lower ph though do you have new driftwood or a lot of driftwood?
 

superbutterfly12

Member
I believe low kh can leadto drops in ph. And I think the cichlid trace should be adding kh and gh so it might have to do with stopping using that?
 

Aquaphobia

Member
My cichlid trace supplement only raises GH. I had to buy a separate KH supplement. Do you have any live plants?
 
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jmarks

Member

oldsalt777

Member
Hello jmar...

I think I counted six different chemicals you're putting into the tank water. That's seems high. Every chemical you put into the water will change something else, so it's not surprising you have water property problems. Unless you know exactly what's wrong with the tank and know that the chemicals will fix the problem, they shouldn't be used.

Here's a suggestion. Gradually start and follow a more aggressive water change routine and work up to the point you're changing out at least half the tank water weekly. The basic, large water change routine is the best remedy for most, if not all tank problems.

Just a thought.

Old
 

joiakimfish

Member
Insted of chemicals you could add some crushed coral to your filter or to your substrate ... It's been known to help keep ph stable ... I actually just did the same to my tank cause I was having a problem with my ph ... Have you tried letting a bowl of your tap water sit out and testing it after 12-24hrs that way you can know if it's your source water or if it's something in your tank affecting it
 

Mom2some

Member
CindiL and Dragones5150918 are experts at kH pH issues. Paging them.
 

Aquaphobia

Member
How long has your tank been set up jmarks? Was it cycled originally? What kind of fish is it stocked with? You need to keep using Prime for your water changes but I'm not so sure about Stability unless you have an uncycled tank or the Paraguard decimated your BB population. What do you use the Stress Coat for? Prime will do at least as much for your fish as that stuff, it just doesn't contain Aloe Vera, which I'm not sure is really necessary anyway. Do you have low GH as well as low KH or do you have cichlids? I would advise something to raise the KH in the short term since cichlid trace only raises GH and something like crushed coral for long-term GH/KH stability.
 

varmint

Member
You can use Stability at a reduced rate of 1 capful per 20 gal. for water changes or when adding new fish.
 

el337

Member
Can you test your KH if that's all you have? Please also provide your pH (from your tap and tank), ammonia, nitrite and nitrates.

If your tank is cycled, you shouldn't need to add Stability. Prime would be all you need for water changes.
 

CindiL

Member
My guess is that you have low KH and the reduced water changes was enough to deplete it and start lowering your PH. If its borderline you were probably just changing enough water to keep this from happening. What is the KH in your tank and tap right now?

I'd recommend just using Prime, picking up some crushed coral for GH and Kh. I wouldn't bother with stress coat at all. And its fine to use stability when you clean your fitlers but actually shouldn't be necessary.

Also, when using a medicine like paraguard, more water changes are actually better. The reason you have to dose it daily is because the effectiveness wears off. All in all when fish are sick, more clean water is better.
 
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jmarks

Member
ill test again this evening, but yesterday tap KH was 3 or 4 drops, while tank KH was to low for test, 1 drop turned yellow

tap pH is tested on high range for a value of around 7.8

tank pH yesterday before water change was low range around 6.4 or 6.6
 
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jmarks

Member
jmarks said:
ill test again this evening, but yesterday tap KH was 3 or 4 drops, while tank KH was to low for test, 1 drop turned yellow

tap pH is tested on high range for a value of around 7.8

tank pH yesterday before water change was low range around 6.4 or 6.6
tap N readings are all zero, tank N readings are <0.25, 0, 10-20

what brand of coral do you recommend? best place to buy? amount of coral to add to aquarium?
 

CindiL

Member
Yeah, at a tap KH of 3 to 4 you have to do very large water changes to hold the water ph steady. I'd suggest just temporarily mixing in 1/2tsp baking soda with some tank water, adding it to the tank. Wait an hour or so, test ph and kh, add another 1/2 tsp same way until they're both up a little.

I just buy topfin crushed coral/aragonite. Its with the substrates at petsmart. You have a variety of choices though. Coral pieces, sea shells, limestone, or texas holey rock (limestone decoration), cuttlebone. Someone here uses egg shells even.

Anyways start with 1/2 cup crushed coral in a media bag in your filter if there is room or scatter it in your tank. Most people put it into their filter.
 
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jmarks

Member
filled half of my C4s media basket with coral last night, along with a 10 gallon water change...small increase immediately in pH mostly from water change....pH this morning was a solid 6.6 up a little bit... I'm curious to see results tonight

any ideas on how quick the coral should adjust the pH?
 

Aquaphobia

Member
Too many variables to really say for sure but it sounds like it's happening at a good clip! Just keep an eye on your parameters and wait and see Don't worry, pretty sure it won't get too high on you since the nitrogen cycle use it up
 

MikeRad89

Member
Don't use baking soda. It's a pain in the neck to dose and to keep consistent.

You can use crushed coral but it's tough to find a small bag of it. IME the best and easiest way to raise kH and keep the pH stable is to put a cuttlebone (found in the bird section of any pet store) in the filter. It's worked extremely well for me.
 

joiakimfish

Member
U can use **** to give your tank the initial boast in ph and the cc will keep it from falling off as quickly and will steady it out
 
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jmarks

Member
well..water parameters cannot be to bad...electric blue acara is laying eggs as I type!
 
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jmarks

Member
follow up questions...now that it has been a week or so since adding crushed coral and doing numerous water changes my pH is staying right at about 7.2, but KH is only up to about 2 drops...tap water is about 4 or 5 drops....can the coral be exhausted? or should I give it more time?
 

el337

Member
jmarks said:
follow up questions...now that it has been a week or so since adding crushed coral and doing numerous water changes my pH is staying right at about 7.2, but KH is only up to about 2 drops...tap water is about 4 or 5 drops....can the coral be exhausted? or should I give it more time?
You can add a little more crushed coral and then test again several days later. My KH didn't go up at all after a week but my GH did go up 2 drops so I'm thinking it just takes a bit of time or a little more is needed.
 
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