kh question for planted/discus - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-14-2016, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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kh question for planted/discus

So I've read so much conflicting info I'm looking for some clarification. I've recently started a 75G planted tank which will become a discus tank.

The Kh of my tap water is very low. 1 maybe less. My thoughts are that I need to properly buffer the Kh to maintain a stable Ph. Ph of tap water is 7.6.

Should I be using an Alkaline buffer? I've read various threads of both opinions for discus to either leave the water be or to buffer with additives. My only concern is Ph fluctuations. My Ph seems pretty stable for now but concern is always the swings with the low Kh. Some say additives are bad for discus.

Help please. So confused on this matter.

I'm running a canister filter, planted + 24/7 light with co2 injected for about 8 hours per day (semi-automatic)
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-14-2016, 05:12 PM
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From my experience with discus, it's never a good idea to use any type of chemicals or additives to alter the parameters or conditions of your water source for discus-keeping. A low KH should not adversely affect your discus - in fact from a genetic/heredity standpoint the native waters of discus origin in S.A. are all relatively soft, with low TDS ( & low in KG & GH).
Your pH is relatively stable as you state, so indications are it should remain that way - the only suggestion I would make to ease your concern would be to do regular pH tests of your water to satisfy yourself the pH stability is being maintained.

Having said that, I do know that a number of discus-keepers occasionally use Seachem Equilibrium with no adverse results, and with some apparent success in raising KH.

Last edited by discuspaul; 02-14-2016 at 09:26 PM. Reason: dele
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-14-2016, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reassurance Paul. I actually got a new kh/gh test kit and got different results. The kh is 7 and gh is 8. Seems to me that is relatively in the proper range? Ph has still remained stable even from morning to afternoon with the co2 running from 8am-4pm. I've been daily for over a week and values remain stable.

I'd prefer to use no additives if possible as you have stated. The only thing i currently use is prime and flourish after weekly water changes.

I just have a few small fish in the tank for cycling purposes.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-14-2016, 09:24 PM
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Sounds good - as do your kh and gh levels - which are just fine imo.
Our tap water here in Vancouver is quite soft @ 6.8 and the kh and gh levels are quite similar to yours - and I've keep discus successfully for many years without attempting any modifications whatsoever in the water make-up, except of course for de-chlorinating .
Btw, if I can help you out in any way with progressing properly with your discus project, please don't hesitate to PM me any time.
Have you by chance read my Guide to Getting Started with Discus yet ? It's located here in the "FISH" section - Click on the first thread - the only Sticky - 'Articles & FAQ' - it's the 3rd article.
Best of luck to you.
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