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Raise my KH


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I have a 20 gallon planted tank and I use RO water because we have a water softener on our well water.  I add Seachem Equilibrium to add back in minerals and have a GH of around 6 dGH.  I also do CO2 injection.  I monitor the CO2 by looking at the ph level with and without CO2 in the water.  I'm looking for a Ph 1 drop.

My KH, however, is only at about 3 dKH.  I would like to raise the KH and have been looking at either crushed coral or Seachem Alkaline Buffer.  I do have a couple of questions:

-  It has been hard to find crushed coral at the local fish stores but I can probably order some online.  Aquarium Coop has it on back order.  My question, however, is if it is slow acting and I'm doing a 50% water change once a week isn't the KH level going to fluctuate a lot?  Wouldn't this be a bad thing?

-  An alternative is to use the Seachem Alkaline buffer.  However, since it is a ph buffer, will it prevent the ph from going down while I'm injecting CO2?  There will be CO2 in the water but will I be able to measure how much either with the ph method or with a drop checker?

Still learning so any comments will be helpful.  

Thanks,

Jeff

 

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Sprinkling a pinch if baking SODA will raise your kh, do it slowly until you find out how much to use to get the rise in kh you are looking for. Crawfish empire also sell calcium chips that will also raise kh. Lastly kats Aquatics also sell snail food enriched with calcium that also raise kh. These last two options will kill 2 birds with 1 stone, feed your invertebrates and also help with kh issues.

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Agree with what @Mmiller2001 is implying (I think) that fiddling with fewer things is better. What fish are you keeping, and do you really need to boost/modify KH? 0 KH has its risks, but 3 should be ok, for most things. 

On 6/27/2023 at 2:52 PM, Jeff_F said:

My question, however, is if it is slow acting and I'm doing a 50% water change once a week isn't the KH level going to fluctuate a lot?

That's a pretty aggressive water change plan. Why so high? Can you get by with less? Alternatively (or also), can you break it into a couple smaller changes? 

I can't help but chuckle at your name @Jeff_F and think of Peanut doing his Je-fuh-fuh routine (Jeff Dunham reference). 

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On 6/27/2023 at 12:52 PM, Jeff_F said:

It has been hard to find crushed coral at the local fish stores but I can probably order some online.  Aquarium Coop has it on back order.  My question, however, is if it is slow acting and I'm doing a 50% water change once a week isn't the KH level going to fluctuate a lot?  Wouldn't this be a bad thing?

I would not use crushed coral to buffer the tank. It will continuously raise Ca levels which is not necessary at a 6dGH. And yes, the KH will fluctuate also. I would recommend using potassium carbonate to set or raise KH. This also adds K to the water which is ideally kept higher than your NO3 level. I don't use baking soda as sodium is not utilized by plants or fish and is unnecessary TDS increase. But it's an option, just not ideal.

 

On 6/27/2023 at 12:52 PM, Jeff_F said:

Seachem Alkaline buffer.  However, since it is a ph buffer, will it prevent the ph from going down while I'm injecting CO2?

They are independent and pH will drop with the addition of CO2 as it would with any buffer.

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Thanks for the responses....

  @Mmiller2001 the reason  I'm thinking of raising the KH is that this website and others say that a planted tank should have a KH range of between 4-8 dKH.  I use RO water and add Seachem Equilibrium to add minerals and bring up the GH so I thought I need to do something about my low KH.  I'm thinking it should be in the 6 dKH as well.

@TOtrees asked about my water change.  I do EI dosing so that requires a weekly 50% water change as part of the dosing schedule.  

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On 6/27/2023 at 9:48 PM, Jeff_F said:

Thanks for the responses....

  @Mmiller2001 the reason  I'm thinking of raising the KH is that this website and others say that a planted tank should have a KH range of between 4-8 dKH.  I use RO water and add Seachem Equilibrium to add minerals and bring up the GH so I thought I need to do something about my low KH.  I'm thinking it should be in the 6 dKH as well.

@TOtrees asked about my water change.  I do EI dosing so that requires a weekly 50% water change as part of the dosing schedule.  

The vast majority of aquarium available plants want lower pH ranges. Some out right require KH of 2dKH or less. I myself run 0dKH. Your current 3dKH is just fine.

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