sholud i Increse my Kh ??
Hi, Just getting back in the hobby after a long break and have a 15gal (57L) fluval flex tank, Filter: inbuilt back sump with foam, took activated carbon out, added about an extra cup and a half of ceramic noodles to the sump section in the back section of the tank. Heater 100watt. Temp 25.5DegC (78F) My journey so far:
(? for tests when i didn't have a test kit for it at the time.)
24Hr Rested Tap water: Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, Ph 7.8, Kh 3-4, Gh 4, TDS 108
Day 1: Started FISH-LESS cycle without any substrate, conditioned water, added 60 drops of Dr Tim's Ammonium chloride for a final tank concentration of 3ppm (no GH/KH test kit yet).
Day 6: No change so far before substrate added, added ADA Amazonia substrate, small amount of timber (10 inch long), and stone (tested in water for 48hrs and no change to ph, no reaction to Vinegar test)
Day 7: Ammonia 3, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, Ph 6.4, Kh ?, Gh ?, TDS ?
Day 9: Started using Seachem Stability daily, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, Ph 6.3, Kh ?, Gh ?, TDS 80ppm
Added Christmas moss and 1 tropica Sword
Day 11: Seachem stability day 3, Ammonia 2, Nitrite 0.25, Nitrate 0, Ph 6.3, Kh ?, Gh ?, TDS 80ppm.
Worried about the low ph and thought my KH was low (still no KH test Kit ) and its effect on the cycling so added 1/4 teaspoon pure sodium bicarbonate, this brought the PH up to 6.9 (surprised at such a large jump) was hoping to only use it while cycling the tank to keep the Ph between 6.4-7 than stop when i do my big water change once cycled.
Day 12: Seachem stability day 4 (Gh/Kh test kit finally arrived)
Ammonia 2, Nitrite 0.5, Nitrate 0, Ph 6.9, Kh <1, Gh 2, TDS 83ppm
So i am worried that the PH will keep dropping to 6.2 or lower once cycled especially since i intend on adding low level Co2, and the Low Kh will affect the cherry shrimp and chilli rasabora that i intend to get once cycled, should i raise my Kh ? if so what would increase it and not take the Ph into the high 7's or 8's ? Just water changes? Will the Substrate keep dropping the Kh/Ph as much or is the initial buffering more significant?
I'm trying to get it all settled before i start adding the live fish/shrimp
P.S. I'm also adding hair grass, monte carlo and using flourish comprehensive fertilizer.
Any advice is greatly appreciated.