Questions on gh/kh: And the need to lower pH

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by Ddecicc1, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. Ddecicc1New MemberMember

    My kh is near 300
    My gh ( dont hAve the exact number in front of me... Maybe 75?) is low.

    From doing research this seems to be an unusual situation. Is this true?

    My pH is a little over eight, so I need to lower it. I realize to do this I need to slightly lower my KH first. Will changing my buffering capacity change the hardness or GH? Secondly, what is the best way to lower my buffering capacity just enough so that my PH can get down to around 7?

    These may seem like basic questions, but I've been doing research for days and have got a wide array of answers I want to hear what the experts have to say ha ha.

    Also is it a problem for a community tank to have water that soft?
  2. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

  3. OP

    Ddecicc1New MemberMember

    Thank you.

  4. OP

    Ddecicc1New MemberMember

    Ok so, after much research I think I have a plan of action for lowering my ph. I still have questios though, so if any experts care to weigh in, it would be much appreciated. So,

    My current levels are:
    pH: 8.1
    kH: 16
    gH: 4

    I want to lower my pH to a eventual 7 (for now), while maintaining a very soft gH. So, here is my potential plan of action:
    1) lower my kH. I will do this by doing successive water changes that will gradually incorporate more RO/DI water. From what I understand, this will help lower the buffering capacity.
    2) slowly add a ph decreaser after my kH readings have dropped.

    Now, these are my real questions... I'm assuming that through this process, a collateral affect may be that my gH drops, as RO/DI water has no hardness. Is this true?

    -if that is the case, what can I add in to the water that will slightly raise my gH (not to high!), while not increasing my kH at all? ... There has got to be some kind of substance for this case...
    -does aquarium salt have any effect on any of these levels?
    - I know peat moss lowers gH, but what is it's effect on pH and kH?
    -once I get my pH down to where I want it, can I raise my kH again to kind of "solidify" my ph in place, as the highest buffering capacity will protect it? Or will this just raise the ph again?

    I know these are kind of precise questions, but I really need some insight from someone ( or many ppl!) with experience. Thanks!

  5. Butterfly

    ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    What fish are you keeping/planning on keeping that you want to change your waters natural chemistry?
  6. OP

    Ddecicc1New MemberMember

    Fish that want the parameters I want. Cichlids mostly.
  7. mtsguy21Well Known MemberMember

    African or american? I have a general ph of 7.8, and have managed to keep angels, bolivian rams, blood parrots, and orange flash apistos.
  8. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    There is no reason to HAVE to alter water chemistry to fit the ideal environment. Using RO water without adding the necessary buffers will only lead to a pH crash and death of all inhabitants. The same is true of using peat or other forms that are known to affect pH.

    Having a stable environment is the most important factor to keeping a healthy aquarium.

    There is no reason why you cannot keep cichlids in your current water. As the water ages, and the additives are gassed off, the pH will naturally drop a little.
  9. Butterfly

    ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    That's the reason I asked.

    Most fish in the aquarium market are tank raised and don't require adjustments to your water.
  10. OP

    Ddecicc1New MemberMember

    Ok well thanks for the info, but can someone just answer my question? Even just for knowledge sake? I believe thats generally how you get smarter.... Through experience and understanding,so it would be nice If someone could answer.

    Catsma... You said " using RO water without using the necessary buffers..."
    Well, that's exactly what I'm asking! What are the buffers?! What would I need to add to add to have it stabilized?

    Why do ppl feel the need to talk down to others on this site? Sidestepping the questions asked and giving alternative advice, much like a parent to a child who is asking for directions attempting something too dangerous? This is a forum,you go here for answers.
  11. OP

    Ddecicc1New MemberMember

    Let me simplify my questions:

    What can you add that will raise gH and not affect kH?
    -and quite similar-
    What can you add that will raise kH and not affect gH?

    You can tell my the nature of my questions thAt I'm asking simply to get a firmer understanding of wAter chemistry. If I was looking for real time answers to apply to a tank already with fish, then I would be in trouble, as these questions seem to be "fishing" for knowledge ( no pun intended). I just want to know for the sake of knowing at this point.
  12. Butterfly

    ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Nobody is talking down to you. I'm sorry if you feel we are.

    Knowing what fish you are interested in keeping will help us to let you know how to adjust your water in the areas that you are asking about. water would not be adjusted the same for all fish.

    I also don't feel it was out of line letting you know that most fish don't need water adjustments in that line and that the fluctuations of those adjustments can be fatal for your fish.
  13. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    The reason you are not getting a direct answer is because what you are asking is impossible. Water will always find its balance between GH, KH and pH. Lower KH and the others will fall proportionately. In all the years I've kept fish I never have adjusted water unless required for breeding success.

    There are many RO buffers on the market. One such product is Equilibrium.

    I am sorry you are feeling like you are. But the responses in this thread are typical of these questions. We are not here to blindly answer questions that we know can lead to problems. Forums are for sharing knowledge and experiences.
  14. OP

    Ddecicc1New MemberMember

    Ok well thank you. That partly answers my question.
  15. CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

    What type of Cichlids are you looking to keep? African Cichlids usually prefer hard water with a high PH.
  16. iZaO JnrWell Known MemberMember

    Using RO Water with a buffer will create the same effect as tap water, hence making such an option irrelevant.

    I believe your water parameters will be perfectly fine for all species of fish with the exception of African Cichlids and Discus. Beyond that, tampering with the water parameters is unnecessary IMO.

    Believe me with that. I am currently studying chemistry and have done a lot of research, experimentation and testing with carbonate hardness and pH. This might help you understand why i say not to change pH and kH:

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice