KH Buffer? DIY - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-19-2017, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
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Question KH Buffer? DIY

I have long been using SL Aqua Blue Wizard to raise the GH of my tank to between 140-160ppm for my RCS. This however does not help my KH which is always around 35ppm, which is too low and I can see the effects on my snails shells. For this reason I will not be buying this again and I will be migrating to SaltyShrimp GH/KH, but I am not ready quite yet.

What can I do to raise the KH without buying anything right now? I know crushed coral works but I do not have any. I have read about using Tums/Anti-acid tablets which are mainly calcium carbonate, but I am not sure about the other additives such as coloring, flavoring, etc. They seem dense enough in calcium carbonate that I could probably make a decent difference in my 16 gallon without needing much. Any other ideas? My tap water is 50ppm KH, and within a week it drops to 35ppm however it will never drop below 35ppm, it just stays there.


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 03:59 AM
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Sodium bicarbonate (aka Baking Soda), but be aware that raising KH will also increase pH.

For your issue with snails, I would actually look at raising GH, not KH. I have plenty of snails in aquariums with 0 dKH

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
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How do you correct the KH without tampering with PH? Is higher PH water therefor always high in KH?

If I used crushed coral or SaltyShrimp formula will it leave my PH alone?

My GH is already high between 120-160ppm, however my snails are continuing to develop calcium deficiencies in their shells with holes and incomplete tips.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teebo View Post
How do you correct the KH without tampering with PH? Is higher PH water therefor always high in KH?

If I used crushed coral or SaltyShrimp formula will it leave my PH alone?

My GH is already high between 120-160ppm, however my snails are continuing to develop calcium deficiencies in their shells with holes and incomplete tips.
KH and pH have a direct correlation with one another. You cannot raise one without also raising the other.

As far as I'm aware, crushed coral can only dissolve in pH less than 7, so it kind of buffers to 7. Not sure what CO2 injection would do to that.

Salty Shrimp does have a GH+ that does not affect KH/pH.

Your GH should be sufficient. Maybe diet related? Could be specific to that type of snail? I have ramshorn, pond, nerite, and mystery all in low to no KH. I do feed food with extra calcium though (Ken's Veggie Sticks). I also do kale and other veggies left over from meals we eat

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Last edited by natemcnutty; 09-22-2017 at 06:50 PM.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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If they are so related that is probably why reef tanks have both a high pH and require lots of calcium.

It possibly may be diet, I have never been able to get Nerite snails to eat anything. Therefor I limit the number of snails to the amount of naturally occurring food/surface algae. The only thing I have gotten them to eat are carrots, or something like zucchini but it is too messy to feed and falls apart.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2017, 12:24 AM
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Snail shell erosion is only caused by low PH of the water. The shells are mainly calcium carbonate and it only dissolves in acidic conditions. PH less than 7. The erosion is very slow down to about 6.5 but increase rapidly as the PH drops. Same for coral. Calcium carbonate pushes the PH of acidic water back to 7. At that point is stops having any effect on PH. Backing soda can push the PH well above 7.

CO2 injection reduces PH and it also can cause shell erosion.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-22-2017, 06:18 AM Thread Starter
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I am not using CO2 injection, but I will have to test my pH if this is the case.

I never had this problem in my other tanks using the same water source however the lighting was never as strong as this.

Since the pH and kH are related, does this mean the kH changes with the pH before and after the lights turn on?


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