High kh/ph in new tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 11-18-2011, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
High kh/ph in new tank

It's been many years since I've been in the fish aquarium hobby but just got back into it this week. Have a 45 gallon tank with a fluval 305 canister filter. I have the water temp set at 77 degrees and am going to try live plants this time around. I have a T5 HO 6700k bulb and a T5 colormax bulb for a total of 60 watts.

To start the cycling process, I put some biozyme in every day for the first 5 days then added a piece of driftwood from an established tank at a LFS. I added 3 amazon swords and 2 anbia coffefolia plants. The next day, I added three platies just to help the nitrogen cycle along. I don't plan to add any more fish until the ammonia and nitrites stabilize.

I'm not very familiar with ph, kh, and gh. Didn't pay much attention to these three elements back in my fishkeeping days. Anyway, my gh is 150ppm, my kh is 300ppm, and my ph is 8.5. My kh and ph are a little high. It seems that high kh just means that my ph will not fluctuate much in a short period of time. Are these levels acceptable for plants? Will these levels gradually decrease as the nitrogen cycle stabilizes?

Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated.

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post #2 of 3 Old 11-19-2011, 09:08 AM
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I think you should be fine. Most fish can adapt to your PH and prefer a stable PH as opposed to fluctuations so it's best not to mess with it. Sometimes the PH of your tap water can either increase or decrease once it gasses out but it should stay stable after that. For example, the PH out of my tap is about 8.4 (a vivid magenta color that doesn't quite match the purples on the API test) but after a few hours it drops to about 7.4-7.6 and there it stays and this is my tank's PH. Just monitor the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels daily as well and do water changes as needed for the fish to keep them safe until the tank cycles. Continue to test PH as well; cycling can cause PH fluctuations (although not always), so keep an eye out for that. Once the tank cycles your PH should be stable.
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post #3 of 3 Old 11-19-2011, 05:26 PM
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You can read info on hardness and pH here:
The article also mentions ways to safely adjust hardness/pH (the two go together in this) if that is necessary.

Most of us will say it is better to select fish that suit your water than trying to adjust the water to suit sensitive fish. So with what you have, livebearers are right at home. Rift lake cichlids would be too, though not with the livebearers and there are a few species suitable to a 45g tank. And there are some other fish that will manage fine. We have fish profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page, and water parameter ranges are included for each species.

As as I see you recently joined, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Glad you joined us.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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