pH vs. kH - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-03-2005, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Question pH vs. kH

I am new to the hobby completeley... Although this is a "planted" tank discussion forum, I do not have plants yet. I am afraid of trying too much at one time & want to get the water right for the fish first. I am hoping someone might feel sorry for me & help me get started !

I am a quick learner & an information junkie, so I have had no problem learning & understanding what I need in order to have the fish I want. I have well water that gives me a very low pH (6.0) from the tap with 1gH and 1kH.

I purchased a 45 gal (tall) tank & have the undergravel filter with a Tetra Whisper 60 filter on the back of the tank and a Rena 300 to supply my 2 tubes with airstones. I also purchased a 36" bubble wand & hooked that up to a separate Air-Tec pump. I have only put 3 small fish in it thus far. The fish I want (& have) thrive in a gH of 3-6 and a kH of 6-8 and a pH of 6.8-7.2. I have successfully raised the hardness to 4-5, and the kH to 5. The problem is my pH has risen to 7.2-7.5. If I do a water change, the gH & kH will go down again without the treatments I've used to raise them. If I add Seachem pH 7.0 to the water, the kH goes down. When I add the Buffer Up - the pH goes up.

I was reading a previous post on pH & kH and water movement/air circulation has an impact on pH?? Is this problem solved as easily as turning off the bubble wand? The current in the tank does seem swift, but I think that may be caused more by the tubes & back filter. I'm not sure.


Last edited by schenko; 07-03-2005 at 09:50 PM. Reason: left out pH value of fish
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-04-2005, 01:54 AM
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Hey there...welcome to the boards. There are lots of tables out there, but effectively, a pH level varies directly with the KH and CO2 levels. if you have a KH=5 and you are not injecting any CO2, then you should have close to 3 ppm of CO2 from 'standard' air/water CO2 exchange. Thus, per the tables, your pH should be around 7.6. Sounds like what you are seeing.

A couple of things. First don't try to be too perfect. Unless you are specifically targeting breeding of certain species or the like, having exact levels of KH, pH and GH isn't really that critical. Fish and plants are remarkably adaptable, so it is more important to have consistency at whatever level than it is to work too hard to achieve a specific point that just adds extra work.

Saying how you like lots of info, regarding a great overview of the planted tank concepts, please check out Good, straight-forward info.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-04-2005, 03:56 AM
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As BSS suggested take a few minutes and read my Guide.

IMHO you are headed down the wrong road right now. It's much easier to set a tank up with plants right from the start. And your selection of hardware is really not all that compatible with a planted tank.
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