Very Low Alkalinity, Almost 0

w_johnson07

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I went to get my water tested today and every thing else is good including my Ph but my Alkalinity is almost 0 what should I do to increase or should I not worry about it. I have one betta and now two ghost shrimp in my 5 gallon tank.
 

Lorekeeper

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What was your PH, specifically? Most of the time, an extremely low alk reading makes for a low PH reading. That might not be an issue, as long as it's within safe range of your stocking.

Personally, as long as your PH is 6.5+, I wouldn't worry about it unless your fish and shrimp start showing issues.

You can try to buffer your PH with some crushed coral, but add it slowly.
 

Jenoli42

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w_johnson07 said:
I went to get my water tested today and every thing else is good including my Ph but my Alkalinity is almost 0 what should I do to increase or should I not worry about it. I have one betta and now two ghost shrimp in my 5 gallon tank.
Right, so this one i have personal experience with.

the trouble with 0 alkalinity (kH) is that it means your water isn't "buffered" so that means any little thing can make your pH swing wildly which can indeed harm your fish/shrimp.

so, what i did:

1. get oyster grit or crushed coral.
2. get a fish safe mesh filter bag
3. rinse the oyster grit or crushed coral until it's not cloudy in tank water
4. put the grit/coral into the mesh bag
5. but the mesh bag directly into your filter
6. if you don't have room in your filter, put as much as you can into your filter (in the bag so it's easy to replace) and put another bag into the tank itself.

crushed coral lasts ages, (EDIT: typo,) oyster grit lasts 1-4 months in my experience

the other option is to get a buffer product like seachem alkaline buffer. be careful, this will instantly raise pH. the way to raise it gradually and get a specific pH is to use it along with acid buffer every time you do a water change.

the oyster grit/crushed coral method will take a while for you to see the improvements (weeks). but i like using it as it's natural and gradual.
 
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w_johnson07

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Image1525818448.196064.jpg


I don’t know if this will help but this is my test sheet. My Betta doesn’t look like it’s bugging him. I also read that I could use baking powder or soda I don’t remeber to increase it.
 

NavyChief20

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Chemically speaking if your alkalinity is zero then your pH is 4.3 or less.

Alkalinity is the measure of dissolves alkaline substances in 7 pH water. Basically the waters ability to counteract or absorb acid.
If you look at the pH scale and overlay alkalinity it can be caused by:
H2CO3 from 0-8.3
HCO3 from about 4.3-12.3 with a parabolic spike in the 8 range
CO3 at 8.3 to 12.3

What this means is that alkalinity starts around 4.3 so below that you have ZERO alkalinity. The bicarbonate formation after pH4.3 helps absorb the acid and buffer it.

So is zero alkalinity bad? yes it is in water, what did you say your pH is?
 

NavyChief20

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@Jenoli42 is right. Crushed coral will help as a buffer and it will do it in a controlled fashion. If you use baking soda (bicarbonate) you can VERY easily overdose your tank and you will have an unhappy betta long enough for him to belly up.
 
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w_johnson07

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NavyChief20 said:
@Jenoli42 is right. Crushed coral will help as a buffer and it will do it in a controlled fashion. If you use baking soda (bicarbonate) you can VERY easily overdose your tank and you will have an unhappy betta long enough for him to belly up.
Okay so what do you recommend I do, get the crushed coral and also what kind should I get I would preferably like to get it from Amazon.
 

NavyChief20

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also get a mesh bag to put it in unless you just want to sprinkle it in or put it in your filter in a mesh bag (media bag)

roll tide
 
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w_johnson07

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NavyChief20 said:
also get a mesh bag to put it in unless you just want to sprinkle it in or put it in your filter in a mesh bag (media bag)

roll tide
Is there any cheaper kind or any other cheaper way to do it because I’m kind of tight on money.
 

Jenoli42

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w_johnson07 said:
Is there any cheaper kind or any other cheaper way to do it because I’m kind of tight on money.
you'd need to read the bag to see about the ingredients and make sure it's only pure oyster shell, but i found this one... alternatively just keep checking amazon
 

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If you wanna go super cheap crushed coral can be had for a cheap per unit price in the chicken feed area of a local farm and ranch type store. A small bag of aragonite is like 5 bucks at any Petco petsmart. Look in the saltwater section.
 
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w_johnson07

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Wraithen said:
If you wanna go super cheap crushed coral can be had for a cheap per unit price in the chicken feed area of a local farm and ranch type store. A small bag of aragonite is like 5 bucks at any Petco petsmart. Look in the saltwater section.
Okay thank you!!!
 
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