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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I searched on the forums but couldn't find an answer for my situation (may have not looked up the right keywords it's probably on here somewhere...), so here goes:

I have 2 small tanks (sub 5 gallons) that I use RO water on and remineralise with salty shrimp GH+. I had a rough patch and didn't do tank maintenance for almost 3 months, including monitoring pH, gH, and kH. I tested just now and the pH is super low at 6.0 (read at lowest value of API test kit, it could be lower for all I know) for both tanks. I am running carbon dioxide in one tank but not the other so its not solely a CO2 issue. Additionally both tanks have buffering substrates, the CO2 tank has aquasoil and the non-CO2 tank has fluval shrimp stratum.

Basically I am wondering how would I go about raising the pH to somewhere around 6.5? I haven't tested my tap water but it definitely has gH and kH > 0. Since the substrate is buffered and not exhausted Any time I add tap water instead of RO the pH stays really low still. I've been told if I were to raise kH it wouldn't have an effect until my substrate is exhausted as well. Any ideas how I can raise the pH?
 

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Add a 1/4 teaspoon of Potassium Bicarbonate. That should raise KH about 2 degrees in 5 gallons of water. Then test your pH. Add another 1/4 tsp of KHCO3 if you are not satisfied with the pH. Don't put in too much. I would add an 1/8 tsp of Sodium Bicarbonate to keep going after that. Potassium Bicarbonate is hydroscopic and will form hard clumps. I bought a porcelain 70 ml mortar and pestal to grind it from EISCO on Amazon.
1028490
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Add a 1/4 teaspoon of Potassium Bicarbonate. That should raise KH about 2 degrees in 5 gallons of water. Then test your pH. Add another 1/4 tsp of KHCO3 if you are not satisfied with the pH. Don't put in too much. I would add an 1/8 tsp of Sodium Bicarbonate to keep going after that. Potassium Bicarbonate is hydroscopic and will form hard clumps. I bought a porcelain 70 ml mortar and pestal to grind it from EISCO on Amazon.
View attachment 1028490
Thanks for the response. I've been told it wouldn't work with a buffered substrate unless the substrate lost its buffering capacity already - mine hasn't. :(
 

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Thanks for the response. I've been told it wouldn't work with a buffered substrate unless the substrate lost its buffering capacity already - mine hasn't. :(
I guess it's back to the water changes then. That substrate seems to be designed with water changes in mind. I'm now doing daily water changes to resolve an unrelated problem. You might not have to do that many to fix this. Good luck.
 
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