Low ph and kh

Discussion in 'pH' started by Newbiee, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. Newbiee

    NewbieeValued MemberMember

    The tap water where I live has very low ph and kh I have heard that baking soda will raise both is that safe for my fish? I have also heard crushed coral would work, but I'm not sure where to get that because all I have near me is a petco and a pet smart (although as far as petco goes it is one of the nicest I have seen)
    Since I know some one will ask I do not know what the exact parameters are since as my name suggests I'm pretty new to this. The man testing my water used an api master kit.

    Thanks for taking the time to help me!

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  2. Nympxzie

    NympxzieValued MemberMember

    Baking soda also works but you will have to use it with every water change and can produce extra co2 or salt (I forget which someone enlighten me). It also comes down to a science, a little goes a long way.

    Crushed coral works too, again you only need a little. Stick it in a filter sock and put it in your filter it's more effective this way.

    I have moderate pH, and low KH and GH making my water very unstable. A single tsp of crushed coral threw my pH through the roof and with a water change it would shoot back down. The end result being dead fish.

    With that being said; fish are very adaptable to pH and hardness and there is usually no reason for it to be messed with. As a newbie you might be best off leaving it alone. If you acclimate your fish to your aquarium properly you should have no issues.
  3. Sarcasm Included

    Sarcasm IncludedWell Known MemberMember

    Aragonite sand works very well for buffering at a slower rate then crushed coral, and especially baking soda. If you do buffer your water, you need to make small water changes to avoid dumping the PH back down. 10-15% is the max you want to do at any one time, but you can easily do twice a week if your nitrates are building up to fast. You can also add plants to soak up ammonia and nitrates so that you can cut down on the water changes.
  4. OP

    NewbieeValued MemberMember

    Could to many water changes be the cause of the low kh? I am treating the tank for ich and have been cleaning every other day. The ich was pretty bad because I was on a trip and someone was taking care of them for two weeks and failed to mention the little white spots starting!

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum

    I should also add that at the beginning of the treatment I was doing water changes every day as recommended by the aquatics specialist at petco

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2015
  5. CindiL

    CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Hello Newbiee, welcome to fishlore :;hi1

    Baking soda will work in a pinch like if your ph had crashed but over the long run you don't want to use it with every water change because it is very high in sodium and will not be good for your fish in the long run.

    I use RO water and am very happy with Seachems Alkaline Buffer, it will raise your kh and ph and you can put it in at water changes which will allow you to change large amounts of water. It is also a good idea to add in crushed coral because between water changes it will also help raise your GH and KH and PH but very slowly and generally pretty minimally and will provide minerals your fish need. Alkaline buffer will raise your ph to about 7.8-8.0.

    With water like that if you decide to add in the buffer its very important you get your own API liquid test kit. The master kit is good but for this particular circumstance you will need to buy the GH/KH test and a ph test. If you buy the master kit then you will only need to buy the GH/KH tester because there is a ph test within the master kit. I would test your water first before deciding on how to proceed. If you post here we can help you decide the best way to go.