Help needed - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-17-2018, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Help needed

Hi all, I am not new to aquariums but have stumbled onto a problem I do not have a lot of experience with. About 3 months ago I set up a 55 gal freshwater. I used the filter media from an established tank to cycle. My tap water is a 7.0 PH and does not change when aeriated or after sitting. The problem is my waters KH is 5 and GH is 0. After 4 days the KH is depleted and the PH begins to fall. How do I raise the levels without raising the PH to high? Mostly live bearers and barbs in the tank.
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-17-2018, 04:51 PM
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baking soda can be used to increase kh. (very small amounts) I believe calcium and magnesium increase gH. But best check to be sure on that one.


PH will rise as live plants consume carbon dioxide.


But then if your fish are doing fine you might not want to change anything.

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: https://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-17-2018, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaslbob View Post
baking soda can be used to increase kh. (very small amounts) I believe calcium and magnesium increase gH. But best check to be sure on that one.


PH will rise as live plants consume carbon dioxide.


But then if your fish are doing fine you might not want to change anything.
Thank you. I did know about baking soda and that is what I am currently using; but was hoping there was one thing I could do that would handle both. The live bearers handle it but I can tell they are stressed and not acting themselves until I do a water change and bring KH level above 0. The barbs do not handle it well at all and I lost a few before adding backing soda.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-18-2018, 09:27 AM
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others need to input here.


In marine tanks calcium, alk, and magnesium are maintained with calcium chloride, baking soda, Epsom salts, and magnesium choride.


Another option is to use mrs wages pickling lime. But that is dripped slowly as it vastly raised pH. It's calcium hydroxide. You try very small amounts to see if GH increases.


Or Epson salts for gh as well.


I still say you wouldn't be having these problems with the tank was balanced out with fast growing plants.


But that's just me and my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: https://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-18-2018, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaslbob View Post
others need to input here.


In marine tanks calcium, alk, and magnesium are maintained with calcium chloride, baking soda, Epsom salts, and magnesium choride.


Another option is to use mrs wages pickling lime. But that is dripped slowly as it vastly raised pH. It's calcium hydroxide. You try very small amounts to see if GH increases.


Or Epson salts for gh as well.


I still say you wouldn't be having these problems with the tank was balanced out with fast growing plants.


But that's just me and my .02
Can you elaborate more on plants? I will admit I do not know a lot about them. I know they will help keep PH up but was not aware it could help KH, GH problems. You are the first to have any ideas on this and I have talk to dozen of people.
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-18-2018, 10:25 AM
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pH, KH, and carbon dioxide are interrelated. Plants cause pH to rise because they consume carbon dioxide. Which means less alk is consumed. Additionally as plants complete the cycle by consuming nitrates, they also return alk.


So if you have nitrates, and the plants drop that down alk will increase and co2 will decrease.


GH is another story. I presume you have had your water tested by a second source. Could be you simply have a bad test kit.


Plants do filter out all types of ions which could mean they consume calcium and magnesium as well. So they would be lowering gh.


Just thought of calcium nitrate for increasing GH. It's used in fruit plants that use calcium to form shells, skins and so on. If your nitrates are not too high that could be a good thing to dose.


After you verify the gh you could try some fast growing plants like anacharis. 55g could use 10-20 bunches.


I also do no water changes and just replace evaporative losses. My water is 4dkh and 9 gkh. with peat moss in the substrate those values were constant for over 2 years and neon tetras thrived. With no peat moss they rose to very high levels and neons did not do well. Guppies did very well and 9 years later a 10g had 30 guppies with 1/2 dozen reproducing adults from the original cycle trio.


But that's just my experience.


Worth at most .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: https://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-20-2018, 07:21 PM
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KH and PH falling

What type of water conditioner do you use? I had the same problem with Amquel Plus. I switched to Prime and it helped a lot. Also, I swear by WECO Wonder Shell. I have a 60 gallon that I add 2 giant size shells to. They last a couple of weeks. Another thing you might try is adding some of the type substrate used in cichlid tanks. You don't need to replace the substrate entirely, just add some.
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