What KH level is toxic? Signs of KH poisoning? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 05:03 AM Thread Starter
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Question What KH level is toxic? Signs of KH poisoning?

You would think this is an easy question but I cannot find anything remotely resembling a straightforward answer anywhere.

The closest thing is people asking "is ____ kh too high?"

So what KH level is toxic for freshwater tropical fish?
What KH level would kill within a day? Instantly?

What are signs of KH poisoning?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 09:57 PM
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I've never heard of KH toxicity. The only thing I know about kh is it affects how much/how quickly your PH is able to change. Bumping for you in case someone else can weigh in, but I don't know if that's something you even need to worry about.


Is there a reason you're asking, or is it just gee-whiz type curiosity?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 01:32 AM
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It's not the KH that will kill the fish, it's the change in KH that will kill the fish. When you dramatically change KH all at one time, you induce osmotic shock. Take a tank that is 12 dKH and replace half the water with RO, and you'll get much kill all shrimp and probably a lot of fish.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Question

So if I have well water that comes out of the ground at 4.5, and by the time I have brought it up to 7 it is above 30 dKH, this is fine for my puffer as long as I dont drastically change it?

What if hypothetically I asked the same question but it was at 50 dKH? 100?

@Surrealle The first question is a legitimate question, not a hypothetical. My well water is that bad!


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cds333 View Post
So if I have well water that comes out of the ground at 4.5, and by the time I have brought it up to 7 it is above 30 dKH, this is fine for my puffer as long as I dont drastically change it?

My well water is that bad!
If your well water comes out at 4.5 pH and needs 30 dKH to get to 7 pH then its original KH is about 0.1 degree. That is not bad water. Instead, it is simply very soft water and also most likely without Ca and Mg, in other words, minimal GH.

Based on the above values, it takes 3 dKH to get this water to 6.0 pH. And, that is perfect for most fish, including your Puffer fish. This article https://a-z-animals.com/animals/puffer-fish says optimum pH level for Puffer fish is 5.7 – 6.4.

Nevertheless, you should check GH and TDS just to be sure.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by cds333 View Post
So if I have well water that comes out of the ground at 4.5, and by the time I have brought it up to 7 it is above 30 dKH, this is fine for my puffer as long as I dont drastically change it?
Something does not make sense to me. Could you clarify that these points were already covered in your testing ? Is pH 4.5 the degassed pH of the water ? If not, what is the degassed pH after you leave a small container with water and and active airstone in it for 24h ?

What do you add to increase the pH ? Is the KH 30°dH(?) based on what you add or what is tested in the final solution ?

How do you measure your pH? If using a probe is it calibrated against standard solutions ? Does the probe behave as expected if you start with distilled water and add NaHCO3?

Do you have any idea why your well water is so acidic ? Some substances might still be harmful even if pH is adjusted.

To answer your question, most plants prefer lower KH. What is optimal and survivable depends on plant species so maybe look for plants which are growing in areas with high KH and GH.

On hiatus till later this year
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 01:36 AM
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I might suggest that there is no ultimate level that will kill a fish which is adapted to that level. If I remember my numbers correctly, I have KH above 300PPM! GH is also very high but keeping in mind that the water comes from a limestone aquifer, those numbers are not so odd. Swapping female fish from tanks which are CO enriched, into tanks with no CO2 is not a problem. I used to do that frequently with mouthbrooding females who hold the fry in their mouth until they find a safe place to release them. Common practice to catch the female, move her to a quiet tank and then back to the main after she spits the fry.
The only time I saw them struggle was after moving back to the enriched tank where they tend to lay on the bottom for a while.
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