Measuring Low KH - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 07-07-2012, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
Measuring Low KH

My KH measures 1 dKH on the API KH test. I'm wondering what that tells me. Is it really 1, is it a little less than 1, or is it 0? So I figure that I've got to get it up to 2. But how much will that increase my pH, which, at 6.8 in the morning is already close to neutral? And how do you increase KH anyway? I forgot, it's been so long since I've done it. Some people say Baking Soda, some say Baking Soda and Bicarbonate, but I don't know how much.

I suppose I could google it pretty successfully but I kinda want to hear it from a person. I'll appreciate it. I suppose the lps might have something (that's probably what most people do). I hope they have something besides pH Up because I've been turned off to those kinds of chemicals. Well, I was going there this afternoon so I'll look around.


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post #2 of 3 Old 07-07-2012, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
Oops! I forgot whether Byron has this in his articles...
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post #3 of 3 Old 07-07-2012, 10:45 AM
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Some of this is covered in the article on hardness and pH:

Unless you have a need to maintain a high pH, I would not bother with KH. I have near-zero KH in my tap water and I have in 20+ years never messed with it. I have soft acidic water fish, so this is fine.

Now, having said that, there are instances when we want to maintain a stable pH perhaps higher than what it may naturally fall to in a soft water tank. I have done this by using dolomite, just half a cup or less in the filter of a 100g tank will suffice.

Using a GH booster like Equilibrium--I can't remember if you have discussed this issue in another thread, i know there have been a couple members who have--does have some impact on pH I have discovered. My tanks are now remaining in the mid-6 range, whereas previously they were down around 5. And this is due to the Equilibrium I use to raise the GH from zero to 5 or 6 dGH.

KH has no direct effect on fish; it is simply a buffering agent for pH depending upon the level.

The use of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is not advisable; this is explained in the article.


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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