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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I feel like I may have a unique issue that I need some advice on.

My GH and KH are both extremely low. My KH is around 1.3 dH and my GH is less than 1 dH.

With that said, my pH is hovering around 7.5/7.6. It reads highest on the pH scale but doesn't show up on the High Range pH scale.

I have read about calcium carbonate as a way to raise both, but I am concerned about raising my pH since I am currently sitting around the high end of optimal pH range and still have quite a way to go with GH and KH.

Suggestions anyone?
 

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You have several options to raise your GH.

You can pick up a GH booster at a local store, usually Seachem Equilibrium.

You can make your own. There are several chemicals we can use to raise GH. The most popular being Calcium Sulfate (CaSO4) and Epsom Salt (MgSO4.7H2O). Blend at a 3:1 ratio. Add enough to raise GH 2-3 degrees. Many GH boosters contain Potassium, usually from Potassium Sulfate (K2SO4). This can also be added but may not be necessary dependent on your fertilizing regiment.

Your KH is perfectly fine. In fact, many plants do better with lower KH. I wouldn't bother trying to change this.

CO2 does NOT alter KH. This is a common misunderstanding since it can and does lower PH. CO2 is a weak acid meaning the chemical equation can go right AND left. Only strong acids consume KH. Strong acid equations do not shift left. That's the basic difference between strong acids and weak acids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is great information.

I think I will focus on raising my GH, as I understand that is more important. I also am not going to use CO2.

I am going to keep my progress on my project in the Low-Tech forum, I have a thread going there.

Thank you both Nel and Zorfox for responding so quickly.
 

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This is great information.

I think I will focus on raising my GH, as I understand that is more important. I also am not going to use CO2.

I am going to keep my progress on my project in the Low-Tech forum, I have a thread going there.

Thank you both Nel and Zorfox for responding so quickly.
Since this is a low-tech tank your best option would most likely be the Seachem product. This has potassium as well as iron and manganese. You can make your own but I doubt your looking to buy a list of chemicals for fertilizing a low tech tank.
 

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I wouldnt try to alter anything unless you are seeing a negative effect on something that you can contribute to a specific value. Altering water parameters may not seem too difficult. Maintaining specific values over time however can be a bit tricky. Most species we keep in this hobby care more about consistency than an actual value, number, or test result.

I'm going to guess you're somewhere on the east coast perhaps near or in NY? I see very similar values out of the tap and I do absolutely nothing to buffer any of my tanks. I inject co2 in many of my planted tanks without issue; and I'm currently not even dosing basic ferts anymore. I am however contributing my low gh to the trouble I've had keeping "easy" shrimp like red cherries. Amano shirmp fare well but I cant keep cherry shrimp to save my life lol. Other than that all has been well!
 

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I use RO water so, normally no GH or KH. Since I was readjusting my CO2 bubble rate, I added enough tap water to bring the kh up to 3 so I can use the kh/ph chart to guesstimate the CO2 level. Now that I'm happy with the bubble rate, I will just go back to pure RO and GH Booster to bring up the GH to 4. I won't be worrying about adding baking soda or tap to bring up the KH. Plants and fish don't seem to mind zero KH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm going to guess you're somewhere on the east coast perhaps near or in NY? !
I am in Canada, but East Coast is correct. I am in Nova Scotia to be more accurate.

I think after reading all these responses from everyone I feel more confident leaving them or potentially only adjusting GH with Seachem's Equilibrium.

It's great to hear of all your experiences!
 
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