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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First lets get the details out of the way.
55G medium planted, Lots of in habitants. Fairly new to the hobby.
Emporer 400 power filter, Co2 injection with aquamedic 1000 reactor.
I use Prime to condition the water.
I live in Austin TX. Checked the city of Austin website and their hardness at the plant is 5.
PH seems to be about 6.8 about 3/4 through my photoperiod.

I picked up a KH test kit really cause I was getting more into the hobby and i have had some algae problems just wanted to see what it was really. Some of my fish were seeming lethargic. I tested my KH twice and well it was 2.8.

I know I am sorry how irresponsible. So it seems as though I will need to regularly add baking soda to the water to get the desired 6-8 kh. Austin-ites any recommendations here would be welcome I don't know why mine is low.

I got to reading and saw where 1 TSP baking Soda raises 100L/26G 2 deg. I also read not to raise it too quickly. I went with just that Mixed tap with a little prime and 1 Tsp of baking soda let it sit for 2 mins and poured into the back of the filter.

How quickly should I go about trying to raise it safely for the fish is my question? Because obviously 2.8 is not good for them.

Thanks for the help!
 

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Wait!! Your KH is just fine for almost all fish. High KH can be a problem for some fish, but low KH is not a problem for the fish or the plants. Low GH can be a problem, if there is very little magnesium making up the GH, but that is easy to correct with a little Epsom Salts being dosed at water changes. Or, you can raise the GH with a GH booster, like Seachem Equilibrium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Even if the ideal KH parameters for a Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami on live aquaria say 4-10. There were quite a few fish i have in my tank where that site says 2.8 is out of their range. I know they aren't the bible and there is some wiggle room there but that seemed a long way off. Maybe one of them I have is just sick.

I just tested my GH and it seems to be about 7.8. What should my ideal kh and gh be?
 

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There is no ideal KH or GH. With GH you need to be supplying enough calcium and magnesium for the plants. Even "liquid rock" water has been used with good results for both fish and plants. KH probably shouldn't be below 1, but I'm not even sure that is significant. Very high KH isn't good for the fish, from what I have read. Generally you can do more harm adding baking soda to raise the KH than if you just leave it low, especially since most people dump the whole baking soda dosage in at once. And, if you have the fish in the tank, after a water change, then add bicarbonate of soda to raise the KH, you are messing with their "osmotic balance". Incidentally, pH is also of little concern with either plants or fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I feel Terrible!!!!

Well as it turns out KH not a big deal, Thanks for the heads up. All of the other fish are fine even though I did add that one 1/4 tsp of baking soda (diluted over a period of time).

Fish in question 2 powder blue dwarf gouramis. I googled their characteristics, shyness, swimming straight up and down, not eating. As it turns out they both have dwarf gourami disease. No cure! If I had known this was a possibility I would have never bought them. I did some reading and as it turns out its not a very responsible hobbyist decision because it is believed that pretty much all distributers have gouramis that carry the infection.

About 1 month ago I bought two Honey, Sunset Gouramis from petsmart. Added to the tank, I don't run a quarantine tank. I loved the way they looked and didn't think it would be an issue. I think they are the culprits. Oddly enough though they seem fine. Live and learn, very sorry. I guess if I talk about it the more people will know about it, even though it makes me look bad/ fish killer.

Read up on your gouramis! Kind of seems like feline distemper. Once they get it they are done. So Sad!

One more question whats the most humane way to kill a sick fish?
 
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