Need Advice On Using Crushed Coral To Raise Kh Levels.

Over It

I have been using Seachem Alkaline Buffer and Replenish since my KH from the tap is 2 and my GH is 3.
I have had good luck using both products, but it can get pricey. I have seen some others say they use crushed coral to raise their PH and KH and I was thinking about switching to crushed coral if it'll be cheaper and/or easier.
How much crushed coral do you use and how much does it usually raise your KH and PH? Do you just decide when it's time to switch some out by testing a few times a week or is that not necessary?

Basically any info you can give me on using crushed coral would be great.
 

Aquaphobia

I found crushed coral to be too expensive here so I opted to use crushed oyster shells, available at any farm supply store for laying hens. They do the same job though. If you want to keep the tank looking clean you can use a mesh bag filled with a handful of the stuff and either hidden in the filter or just left hanging in the tank. Or you can sprinkle some over the substrate. It won't necessarily raise your KH immediately though, rather it's there and available should your pH drop.
 

tyguy7760

Probably not going to be able to overdose this stuff. My suggestion would be as Aquaphobia suggested. Get a filter bag and fill it fairly full and put it in your filter.
 

KinsKicks

I like using cuttlebones (no farms around here lol) they're cheaper and usually last quite long (I'm still using one that's been buffering my tank for a couple of months now). Plus, because they are kinda fragile, my local pet stores usually have a bunch that are broken and they put them on the clearance aisle and I go snatch them up

Edit: as for measurements. I usually use a teeny bit in the 5ml test tubes from the test kits and measure how much it takes to get to the level I want. Then a bit of math so it corresponds to the entire tank.
 

Over It

Too bad I sold my bag of oyster shell when I sold my hens. lol I honestly haven't looked at the price of crushed coral here, but I'm mainly interested in it for my Goldfish tank. Since they are goldfish I have do more and larger water changes and that can get expensive with the other products.

How much does it raise your KH and PH? How long does it take to work? I don't wanna shock my fish.
 

KinsKicks

Too bad I sold my bag of oyster shell when I sold my hens. lol I honestly haven't looked at the price of crushed coral here, but I'm mainly interested in it for my Goldfish tank. Since they are goldfish I have do more and larger water changes and that can get expensive with the other products.

How much does it raise your KH and PH? How long does it take to work? I don't wanna shock my fish.

I just break off tiny pieces and weigh them, and use the ph test kit (as the chemicals cause it change color back and forth whereas the KH one, your kinda stuck with the reading...plus, less drops needed) until I get to the ph I want. Then, a bit of math/stoichiometry to match it for the entire tank.
 

Aquaphobia

How much does it raise your KH and PH? How long does it take to work? I don't wanna shock my fish.

Not much at all and it doesn't happen quickly anyway. It's more of a backup if the levels drop. Then the carbonates dissolve and maintain the balance.
 

Over It

Very interesting. Sorry for all the questions I just like to know as much as I can about whatever I'm using in my tanks.
I used to be against pretty much all chemicals and I still use meds as a last resort so all of this is new to me and I want to make sure I do it right and have all the info I can get. Plus my water used to maintain a stable PH of 6.8 and be very hard ( I think it was 12) so I haven't had to worry about this before. I'm more worried about maintaining a stable PH than the KH level, but as you know, they go hand in hand.

Does the crushed coral, oyster shell or cuttlebone raise the GH at all?
Do any of those make your water cloudy at all?
 

sweendog87

So does Texas holey rock and slate raise kh gh ph up much as iv heard they help too
 

Over It

I've heard about Texas Holey Rock and Aragonite sand. I tried the sand, but hated it. No idea where I'd get the THR from, but I can look into it.
 

KinsKicks

Very interesting. Sorry for all the questions I just like to know as much as I can about whatever I'm using in my tanks.
I used to be against pretty much all chemicals and I still use meds as a last resort so all of this is new to me and I want to make sure I do it right and have all the info I can get. Plus my water used to maintain a stable PH of 6.8 and be very hard ( I think it was 12) so I haven't had to worry about this before. I'm more worried about maintaining a stable PH than the KH level, but as you know, they go hand in hand.

Does the crushed coral, oyster shell or cuttlebone raise the GH at all?
Do any of those make your water cloudy at all?

cant quite speak for the other options, but for cuttlebone, yes it does the GH...its almost 85-90% calcium carbonate. But if I had to guess, the other products would do that as well. And cuttlebone has never made my water cloudy; I usually give it a good rinse in old tank water to rinse off the dust and then add it to the filter...you'll see a teeny bit of "dusty" particles, but they disappear/dissolve really quickly, never to be seen again until you replace it.
 

Over It

cant quite speak for the other options, but for cuttlebone, yes it does the GH...its almost 85-90% calcium carbonate. But if I had to guess, the other products would do that as well. And cuttlebone has never made my water cloudy; I usually give it a good rinse in old tank water to rinse off the dust and then add it to the filter...you'll see a teeny bit of "dusty" particles, but they disappear/dissolve really quickly, never to be seen again until you replace it.
That actually sounds like a very good option then. It'd be great if I could stop using the Replenish and Alkaline Buffer or at least use less of the Replenish.
 

Aquaphobia

In a pinch you can also use limestone from a landscape supply company. THR is just limestone that's been partially dissolved by rainwater already
 

Fashooga

I bought crushed coral last week at Petco, it was like a 10lb bag for $9.00. I basically put in 2 cups of the stuff in a mesh bag and threw it into my tank.

Previously my tank had a PH of 6.0. After adding the crush coral in there it went up to 6.4 the next day and last night when I checked it, it was at 7.0-7.2ish. So I think it takes time for it to go through but the results I saw in the fish were better now then before I added the crush coral.
 

Over It

That's exactly what I was looking for. Thanks.
I'm gonna test my water on all my tanks right now and then I'm gonna see how much crushed coral would cost. I'm hoping it's not much more than oyster shell as oyster shell is kinda expensive depending on how much I have to use and how often.

Here's the problem for me though. I can't fit 2 cups into my filter without taking out a lot of media. How many gallons is your tank?

Also as far as the cuttlebone goes. If it's 90% calcium that would raise the GH, but I'm worried it wouldn't provide the other minerals my fish need like the Replenish does. Anybody know the answer to this?

One last question. Have anyone of you noticed if adding the cuttlebone/ crushed coral/ oyster shell prevents PH swings?
 

Fashooga

That's exactly what I was looking for. Thanks.
I'm gonna test my water on all my tanks right now and then I'm gonna see how much crushed coral would cost. I'm hoping it's not much more than oyster shell as oyster shell is kinda expensive depending on how much I have to use and how often.

Here's the problem for me though. I can't fit 2 cups into my filter without taking out a lot of media. How many gallons is your tank?

I think I read somewhere on the interwebs or youtube it was like a cup for every 20 gallons. I have like a 80-85g tank but I only used 2 cups cause the last thing I want to do is have a Ph in 8-9 range. If this is the route you go you probably want to start with a small amount, like a 1/2 cup to a cup depending on the size of the tank and see how it goes.

It's easier to slowly build up the Ph vs. going all in and suddenly you have a high Ph problem.

As for fitting it in there, you just need to make the space of it. I'm not sure if anybody has merged crushed coral with a bag of bio rings in one mesh bag. Might work.
 

tjander

Agree on making room for it. It should be able to hold BB as easy as the bio rings or other media. I have a cup or so of aragonite in my 7 gal shrimp tank with a piece of cuttlebone and my ph stays solid at 7.4 and my GH and KH are in the upper range don't remember the numbers but it's all good for my shrimp. I often wonder if Aragonite works better or worse then coral or THR?
 

tyguy7760

Yes crushed Coral or something similar is porous and should hold bacteria well. I use it in my 40 gallon for biomedia

I'd actually consider just getting rid of all bioballs unless you are using a wet dry filter. They aren't that great at holding bacteria like matrix, rings, or something more porous
 

James17

I use a big handful to raise my PH by about 1. point in my 125, don't use too much.
 

Over It

I have 2 Marineland Penguin Bio-Wheel 200B filters on the Goldfish tank. I actually just switched out another filter I had for the other Maineland so atm I can't remove any media till I get the new media seeded from the old. I do think I could probably fit a cup or so in for 36 gal. and then a little less for 29 and the 2 5 gals. Luckily I have 2 filters on both of the larger tanks so I can add some to each one if need be.
I do have some ceramic rings I'm going to be adding back in to all of my filters, but I could leave those out for the coral if it doesn't fit.
 

tjander

Good luck keep us posted on how things turn out and what your numbers end up at.
 

Sarcasm Included

Crushed coral, oysters, cuttlebone, etc, is hard to overdose since the rate it dissolves depends on the PH of the water. It slows down as it moves into alkaline levels
 

EbiAqua

I have a 20 gallon tall at my job, it is a small planted aquarium. Due to issues with the plumbing and things being replaced, I opted to use remineralized RO water. I had been using Neutral Regulator but it is phosphate based and precipitates vital macro nutrients out of the water column as well, and am looking for an alternative to keep pH and KH stable.

In my home tanks, to counteract the buffering of my aquasoil on my 29g, I placed two media bags in the filter. The pH seems to stay at a consistent 7.4-7.6. However, the water from my tap already has an adequate KH and GH as well as a pH of about 7.5, the coral just helps combat the pH lowering of the soil.

Is there a set formula for using crushed coral, i.e. "x grams per liter of RO water"? I have a 218 gram bag of it (7.6 oz) and was wondering if that would be enough to keep the tank at a stable KH and a pH of at least 6.8. I am also going to be dosing Equilibrium so there will be a more stable GH as well as macro nutrients.

Any input is appreciated.
 

qchris87

Is this tank stocked? I haven't heard of any formula, and there may be one out there, but I have crushed coral in all my tanks because I have unusually soft tap water. It was sort of a guessing game for me and it's much easier if you don't have the tank stocked yet but I started with about half a 1/4 cup for my 15 gallon and waited it out for a couple days since it's a slow leech of carbonate. I added about a tablespoon until the pH got to around 7.2 - 7.4. I then marked the bag I was using so I would remember how much to put when some of it fully dissolves.
 

EbiAqua

Is this tank stocked? I haven't heard of any formula, and there may be one out there, but I have crushed coral in all my tanks because I have unusually soft tap water. It was sort of a guessing game for me and it's much easier if you don't have the tank stocked yet but I started with about half a 1/4 cup for my 15 gallon and waited it out for a couple days since it's a slow leech of carbonate. I added about a tablespoon until the pH got to around 7.2 - 7.4. I then marked the bag I was using so I would remember how much to put when some of it fully dissolves.

The tank has a single baby bristlenose pleco, a few Amano shrimp, 1 cpd (not my tank, I know it needs more to school), and tomorrow will receive 6 wcmm and 6 nerites.

I'll upload a picture soon and lemme know if you think I need to add or take away.


3b47de7dea994ffd55fac47abfae2965.jpg
 

qchris87

With your tank stocked, I would start with way less, you don't want to change the pH so fast. I'd probably half that to begin with.
 

EbiAqua

With your tank stocked, I would start with way less, you don't want to change the pH so fast. I'd probably half that to begin with.

Alright, so today is the day I normally do a 50% water change on this tank. I put in RO water buffered with Neutral Regulator and Equilibrium. I am not wanting to use NR anymore.

Would a 50% change of RO with just Equilibrium be too much of a shock to the tank if the crushed coral is in the HOB? Should I just opt for a smaller percentage this time?
 

qchris87

Not too sure how that would affect your pH. Never used neutral regulator. If it nuetralizes pH instantly, then there will be possible shock because carbonate leeches slowly. If anything I️ would reduce water change to maybe 30 to 35%
 

EbiAqua

Not too sure how that would affect your pH. Never used neutral regulator. If it nuetralizes pH instantly, then there will be possible shock because carbonate leeches slowly. If anything I️ would reduce water change to maybe 30 to 35%

Nitrates were really low so I only did a 25% change. pH test prior to a water change was between 6.8 and 7.0.

I halved the amount of crushed coral and added it to one of the HOB filters (tank has 2). With the amount of RO I replaced the pH shouldn't dip below 6.7 before the coral kicks in.
 

qchris87

Give it a day, then see where it’s at and add if needed. I️ didn’t see a big change until about 18 hours but I️ put a small amount compared to how much I️ have in it right now
 

Heather L

Following- how did this play out?
 

trinity28

As some may have seen on my other thread today, I discovered that all of my tanks have somehow come to have very low KH and pH. I'm looking to slowly raise the pH (doesn't need to be too much, but it's below 6 right now which is stalling the nitrogen cycle) and I also need to raise and stabilize the KH. After researching a little, it sounds like using crushed coral is a good way to do this. I'm thinking of purchasing some to try it out. Looking at the CaribSea Aragonite because I can get it quickly on Amazon. Is this a good choice?

I've also read some people use baking soda but that this is sort of only a temporary fix. Someone suggested using crushed coral in the tank and then also using baking soda during water changes. Thoughts?

I'm feeling discouraged because I thought I was doing quite well and I also was apparently not reading my pH very well and thought it was much higher than it was. I still don't know what caused everything to get down so low. For reference, my tap water has a pH of 6.8, a KH of 6, and a GH of 10. Somehow this resulted in tanks with less than 6 pH's and basically zero KH. I'm looking for thoughts and ideas to help get my tanks back to where they were. Thanks!
 

yes it can be done with crushed coral
 

qldmick

Aragonite is coral sand. thinking of changing over from sugar white sand (neutral) to fine Aragonite sand if I upgrade my crayfish tank.
 

-Mak-

Are you using an active substrate?

Crushed coral, eggshells, crushed oyster shells, anything made of calcium carbonate works
 

qldmick

I also have limestone rocks and dead coral pieces in tanks, some limestone gravel as well.
 

trinity28

Are you using an active substrate?

Crushed coral, eggshells, crushed oyster shells, anything made of calcium carbonate works
Thanks! And no, all of my substrates are inert.

Should I consider something like Seachem Alkaline Buffer too? I’m fairly new to understanding GH/KH so I’m not really sure of the right direction.

Once I add these things, is it going to raise my pH so much that the nitrogen cycle will start again and I’ll be doing fish in cycles? I have some sensitive fish and I’m very worried about them and how they might respond.
 

wishuponafish

The seachem alkaline buffer is basically just baking soda, and neither is necessary. They will simply change your water instantly and that's not the solution to pH stability.

Having the crushed coral sitting in the tank will raise the KH/pH gradually enough that you likely won't shock anything as long as you don't use too much. Having it in the filter media will raise it a lot quicker so I would just put a little bit in the substrate or hang some in a pouch or something in the beginning.

Having a little bit as opposed to a lot will change the KH/pH slower but they will both reach the same buffering point in the end, so I recommend small amounts at the beginning and testing it in a bucket for a night to see how much the pH goes up.

The KH of my tap water is around 2, so buffering is a must for me if I want to have driftwood.
 

trinity28

The seachem alkaline buffer is basically just baking soda, and neither is necessary. They will simply change your water instantly and that's not the solution to pH stability.

Having the crushed coral sitting in the tank will raise the KH/pH gradually enough that you likely won't shock anything as long as you don't use too much. Having it in the filter media will raise it a lot quicker so I would just put a little bit in the substrate or hang some in a pouch or something in the beginning.

Having a little bit as opposed to a lot will change the KH/pH slower but they will both reach the same buffering point in the end, so I recommend small amounts at the beginning and testing it in a bucket for a night to see how much the pH goes up.

The KH of my tap water is around 2, so buffering is a must for me if I want to have driftwood.
That makes sense, thank you. I really appreciate it!
 

AcornTheBetta

Hi all, I was wondering how you raise kH and gH without buying anything from the store (ex: crushed coral or cuttle bone. Thanks
 

Chuelsman

Crushed coral or snail shells have always worked for me. Haven't tried cuttle bone.
 

A201

If Limestone is common in your area, collect an appropriate sized rock & add it to the hardscape. A free & easy solution.
 

AcornTheBetta

Crushed coral or snail shells have always worked for me. Haven't tried cuttle bone.
If Limestone is common in your area, collect an appropriate sized rock & add it to the hardscape. A free & easy solution.
Ok. Thanks! I tried out eggshells. We'll see if it works or not.
 

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