Safely Raising KH

darrylzuk

I have extremely low Carbonate Hardness in my tap water. I want to add some cherry shrimp to my community tank, but as it stands my water is far too soft. Here are the parameters I measured this weekend:

Temp: 76.1 deg F
pH: 6.8
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm
Alkalinity: 0 dKH (dropped from 2 dKH a week prior)
Hardness: 4 dGH

I purchased some of SL Aqua's KH builder, which is supposed to raise the KH without affecting the pH. I read an understand the directions for dosing, however, what I can't find published anywhere is a safe rate at which to raise the KH. I know it should be gradual so that I don't stress the fish, but I can't find any guidance as to how gradual. The bottle states "2mL in 10 Liters of water will raise 2°dH". Doing a little math, that means 20ml in ~26.4 gal (my tank is a 29 gal, and I'm assuming plants, substrate, driftwood, etc. conservatively add up to 3 gal) would provide the same increase in KH. I imagine that's too drastic of a change in one go, so does anyone have a good rule of thumb? I also have Salty Shrimp Shrimp Mineral GH/KH+ if raising both GH/KH would be a better move.

Thanks in advance!
 

Chanyi

Do you know why your KH is dropping?

I would go with slightly increased KH water changes - dose your water change water up to 1.0 degrees, and then perform a water change, then 1.5 degrees and perform a water change, then maintain a 1.5 or 2.0 degrees of KH level for your water changes.
 
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darrylzuk

Do you know why your KH is dropping?

I would go with slightly increased KH water changes - dose your water change water up to 1.0 degrees, and then perform a water change, then 1.5 degrees and perform a water change, then maintain a 1.5 or 2.0 degrees of KH level for your water changes.
Other than it dropping naturally over time, I'm assuming the tannins from the driftwood are part of the reason. I just tested my tap water and both the GH and KH are 2 maximum. I do weekly water changes, but with the tap being the way that it is, they don't do much to increase the KH or GH.
 
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darrylzuk

Crushed coral, easy way to raise KH.
Does that also affect the pH? I have a bag on hand, but have hesitated using it because I was concerned my pH would get a little too high. Right now, based on my stocking, my pH is pretty good (the snails would probably prefer it to be a little more basic) per AqAdvisor, which I know isn't the be all end all. I've also read on here and elsewhere that stability is better than chasing the perfect number. In that case, my question becomes, would having a higher KH at the expense of a higher, yet stable, pH be better than keeping the pH where it is and dosing the new water to a higher KH prior to adding it to the tank during a WC?
 
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Mazeus

It will raise the PH, but honestly unless you are keeping really specialist fish or shrimp that shouldn't be too much of an issue.
 
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darrylzuk

It will raise the PH, but honestly unless you are keeping really specialist fish or shrimp that shouldn't be too much of an issue.
Ok, I have two soap dishes filled with SeaChem matrix that I currently use as baffles to keep the turbulence and current down the in the tank. I will replace some of it with the crushed coral today after work. Thanks!
 
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dmk164

just dont raise the ph more than.3 at a time. a ph mter is very handy
 
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Pfrozen

gH is more important to the molting process than kH.. I would just remineralize with Salty Shrimp and raise both. Those numbers are both low enough for that to be totally fine
 
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