Help with kh levels without using chemicals
im having same problem and need some help. i have a 100litre freshwater tank. tap water levels are kh 5dkh and ph 7.5 good and normal. aftrer about 3 days in my tank which is set at 29c ph drops to 4.5 and kh levels to 1 or 2dkh. i then have to do 50% water change and ok for another 3 days. i have tried sera kh/ph plus and this worked great for about 4 weeks kept ph at 7.5 and kh around4. this was ok until i did a majoy clean of tank and levels have all droped again. i do not really want to keep using chemicals (although they worked brilliently) is there anything natural to keep the kh level around 5dkh to stabalise the ph? new to this type of help noticed a byron had some advice back in 2009?
And I'm still here.:lol:
Have a read of my article on hardness and pH in freshwater, it will give you an understanding of the interrelationship and why chemical solutions are not usually advisable:
Before I get into "natural" ways to deal with this, I'd like to know that it really is needed. And that means, what fish are you maintaining? Livebearers need medium hard water with a basic pH, and some other species too, and of course rift lake cichlids very much so. But soft water fish with some exceptions might manage fine with your water "as is." Also, what is the GH and pH out of the tap?
as stated out of tap water levels are kh 5dkh and ph 7.5. i have garra rufa fish and when the ph levels drop the fish become very nervoius and jumpy cowering in corners of tank and behind outlet filter. as soon as water is changed my fish seem happy and behave normally. as i said when i last used sera kh/ph plus (as a last resort) to stop ph levels dropping, the ph stayed around 7 / 7.5 for a month or so and my fish behaved normally for the entire time. i cannot find anyone who knows what to do and more importantley why this happens. There natural measures to take if you want to lower ph but nothing to keep the kh around 5kdh which in turn will stabalise the ph levels. again thanks in advance for your advice. will look at your link you sent
The link should (I hope) explain the "why." I have the same issue, but fortunately I have wild caught soft water fish so this is ideal.
The best way to deal with this would be a small quantity of dolomite or aragonite in the filter. I used to use about 2-3 tablespoons of dolomite and in a 115g tank with tap water of near-zero GH and KH the pH remained around 6.2 to 6.4. I can't get dolomite locally, soI have recently tried aragonite which is very similar. I have about half a cup in the filter, same tank, and the pH is settling around 6.8 to 7.0 after 4-5 weeks so I assume this is now stable. Either substance lasts years. My dolomite gave out after some 12 years, which is why I tried to get more and went to the aragonite. As you can see, it takes very, very little.
have read you post and understand a little more. i live in spain and noboday has heard of dolomite oraragonite. any iideawhere i can get some. also do i need to soak it fist?
thanks for the advice have looked at CarribSea. They sell aragonite sands for marine tanks, would this be suitable for my freshwater tank? not really sure what a marine tank is? anyway would i put some sand in a mesh like sock and just put it in the top of my filter? Have read it makes water cloudy to strat with should it be washed first, what did you do as your problem is very similar, dont really want cloudy water...merry xmas by the way
The CarribSea sand is fine, I have the Crushed Coral with aragonite blend. I put a small amount, about half a cup I think, in a nylon mesh bag in the top of the canister filter. Rinse it well. It will cloud the water a tad but that soon settles out in the filter.
Marine tanks are saltwater. The substrate is normally a sand mix that contains calcareous substances (crushed coral, aragonite, marble, dolomite, linestone...) since the hardness and pH must be high for marine fish. These substrates can work in some freshwater tanks, such as rift lake cichlids which also need hard and basic water. But aside from this, not a good freshwater substrate as it will harden the water too much. Even a small amount like I use adds 2-3 dGH and raises the pH significantly in my 115g tank.
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