Increasing pH without such large changes in Kh

Fishytales

I use well water for my aquarium. Unfortunately, it usually registers 0 Kh and 6 pH. I can raise the pH to 6.8 using Seachem’s Alkaline Buffer, but then my Kh is 13! Is such a high Kh harmful? How does a high Kh impact fish? Is there another solution for increasing pH without raising Kh so much?
 

MacZ

There is no real alternative to raising KH to raise pH. They are directly linked.

Depending on what fish you keep KH of 0 and pH of 6.0 can be actually great.
 

Fishytales

I imagine you’re thinking about African cichlids. I’m afraid of them outgrowing my tanks. Do you have any other suggestions? Currently, I tinker but haven’t lost anyone (yet).
 

MacZ

I'm not thinking of Rift Lake cichlids, those need high KH and high pH.

I'm thinking of tetras, loaches, barbs, dwarf cichlids, corydoras... South American, Central African, South East Asian fish. Softwater fish and even blackwater. If you have those your parameters are absolutely fine.

But you also don't have to bring KH up to 13 to reach a pH of 6.8. Usually it's roughly 0.3 points pH per degree KH. And this would end you up with a pH above 7.5 easily.

Do you run CO2 or have lots of tannins in your water? There must be a source of acidity if you have to add that much to only get to 6.8 with 13°KH.
 

Fishytales

I'm not thinking of Rift Lake cichlids, those need high KH and high pH.

I'm thinking of tetras, loaches, barbs, dwarf cichlids, corydoras... South American, Central African, South East Asian fish. Softwater fish and even blackwater. If you have those your parameters are absolutely fine.

But you also don't have to bring KH up to 13 to reach a pH of 6.8. Usually it's roughly 0.3 points pH per degree KH. And this would end you up with a pH above 7.5 easily.

Do you run CO2 or have lots of tannins in your water? There must be a source of acidity if you have to add that much to only get to 6.8 with 13°KH.
That’s just how my water reads straight from the well. I adjust the pHto 6.8 before adding it to the aquarium, but in order to reach that pH using alkaline buffer, my Kh is also raised to what seems like an excessive 13. I keep rummynose tetras, Cory’s and one betta in that tank. No CO2. I used to buy spring water, but that gets expensive.
 

MacZ

I see. Well, then I have this advice:

Then just use the tap as it comes out. I would only add some tannins, so the pH stabilizes in the lower pH range between 5.5 and 6.0. Tannins can buffer the pH just as KH, just in lower ranges, so with those you won't have to fear a pH crash and the fish will very much appreciate the water being that close to what they originally come from. In those parameters the bacteria density (which is already quite low in open water) is lower in the water column, leading to overall healthier fish.

IALs and alder cones are a good and inexpensive source for tannins and humic acids. Now that it's fall you can do also a trip to the next forest (unless you live in the countryside already, which makes it even easier.), and collect some leaf litter. It's basically for free and good for the fish.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • CJLand
  • pH
Replies
3
Views
155
CJLand
Replies
3
Views
155
richiep
  • DesertDweller42
  • pH
Replies
4
Views
224
DesertDweller42
Replies
3
Views
188
mattgirl
  • Question
  • Aquandry
  • pH
Replies
9
Views
201
jake37

Random Great Thread

New Aquarium pH Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom