Raising GH and PH with coral/aragonite - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-11-2012, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Raising GH and PH with coral/aragonite

I got some crushed coral w/ aragonite in a filter bag (now up to 1/2 cup or more) in my 55g. Ph was off the charts low, GH 6 degrees and KH 0. I have it in a bag in my 2nd nature 30 HOB in front of the pad. The ph is up to just shy of 7, but the GH and KH have not budged. My swordtails are still fine, but my sword plants get worse by the day (from low calcium and magnesium). Should I add more or wait? How long will it take to get a solid result from the coral/aragonite? Its been about 7 or 8 days since I increased the coral amount, ph hasnt changed in 5 or 6 days.

My fear is adding more and more and more every 4 or 5 days and then overnight have a ph of 14 lol

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post #2 of 3 Old 03-12-2012, 08:26 PM
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I have used this myself in two tanks, and found that GH went up slightly while the pH skyrocketed. Which was disastrous for me, with my soft water fish. But with livebearers you have less of a problem with a high pH. So one method would be to add more of the gravel/sand. Depending what you GH is to start with, it may vary. In my case, with near-zero GH (less than half of 1 dGH) and KH, using about a cup of CarribSea crushed coral/aragonite raised the GH to 3 dGH and the pH to 7.4, in a 115g tank.

Back in the 1980's I used dolomite gravel in a tank for rift lake cichlids, and the pH was above 8 but in those days I didn't measure GH so no idea; but the fish seemed happy. I had livebearers in a similar setup.

I don't know what the pH would be if the CarribSea is used as the substrate; they may be able to tell you. This product is intended as substrate in marine tanks.

I went to using Seachem's Equilibrium to raise just the GH to 5 dGH. This does not affect KH, nor pH, so I got the increased calcium and magnesium with no rise in pH. But you really want both to go up.

Redchigh mentioned limestone in another thread, but I think that thread was more along the lines of what I'm doing, rather than increasing everything.


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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post #3 of 3 Old 03-12-2012, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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aye we spoke briefly on your experiences. I was just curious how long I should be waiting between adjustments, more or less. My livebearers have been doing just fine and producing regularly, my primary drive is to help my ailing Echinodorus bleherae. The raise in ph for the live bearers is only a beneficial side effect.

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