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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 90 gallon with juvenile peacocks and haps and my ph is good, maybe a bit high, at 8.4 to 8.5 but my KH is low. I use Cichlid Lake salt which raises the GH but not the KH. The tank has lace rock and cichlid sand to help buffer. How do I raise the KH without raising the PH? My tap comes out at 7.8 PH with low GH and KH.
 

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Most municipal sources of Tap Water in the U.S. have a high enough level of KH - 'as is' for your African Cichlid tank. Here is what you can try,
- Try doing a large percentage water change. Measure the KH immediately in the aquarium afterwards. It may be right where you want it.
- If the water change results in KH measurement were disappointing? Next step is to put 1/4 cup of Epsom Salt to the tank, when putting in the add water to your tank during the next water change. THAT will definitely boost your KH! Then, adjust the amount of Epsom Salt additions for each water change accordingly. :)
 

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Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate . It will not raise your KH but will raise GH as it contains magnesium. GH is a measure of the amount of calcium and Magnesium cations in your water and KH is a measure of the amount carbonate. To raise KH, you add baking soda. A KH of 5 degrees or more would probably be sufficient to maintain a stable pH in your aquarium.
 

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Firstly, you need to measure the KH level or provide us with the measurement. How have you determined KH is too low? IF your pH is being maintained then it is likely sufficient. In most tanks, a KH of 5 or more should be enough.
DanM1939 said:
my ph is good, maybe a bit high, at 8.4 to 8.5 How do I raise the KH without raising the PH?
Baking soda will raise your KH and generally won't raise pH much above 8.2. Already having a pH of 8.4, baking soda is unlikely to have any affect on your pH.
Lake malawi has a KH around 6 and a GH of 4-6(rounded up). It is on the soft side!! At the depths most of are fish come from, pH is typically in the 7.6 to 8.1 range. Though malawi cichlids are often kept in much harder water in captivity and do just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
KH is three out of the tap and in the tank using the API test. The PH is being maintained right now but all the fish are juveniles. I'm afraid when they are bigger and producing more nitrate it will have the potential to lower the PH
 

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BC in SK said:
Baking soda will raise your KH and generally won't raise pH much above 8.2. Already having a pH of 8.4, baking soda is unlikely to have any affect on your pH.
+1.
 

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You could try Seachem Malawi/Victoria buffer as it's supposed to raise KH without bringing PH over 8.4. I use it with Seachem cichlid salt to have the right hardness and alkalinity.
 

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DanM1939 said:
KH is three out of the tap and in the tank using the API test. The PH is being maintained right now but all the fish are juveniles. I'm afraid when they are bigger and producing more nitrate it will have the potential to lower the PH
Do you let the tap water sit at all, before testing it? How long?
 

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Fogelhund said:
Do you let the tap water sit at all, before testing it? How long?
^^^This

I am on well water and out of the tap tests 6.0 PH presumably due to dissolved CO2. After an hour or so of resting it tests at 7.2. An airstone expedites the process. My KH/GH remain unchanged in my case but it is good to know what you are starting with before adding buffers/salts to adjust KH/GH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have not let it sit and tested but if I am testing KH in my tank, when the water has been there awhile, I doubt I'll find anything that different right? Would there be anything driving KH down in my tank? I can try some Malawi buffer on a sample of tank water to see how it affects it.
 

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Please test your tap water first as suggested by leaving a sample out overnight in a clean glass container and then test KH. It is possible for the pH to raise or lower after out gassing. Just testing your tank doesn't tell what your base water is doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Let the water sit overnight and the ph went up to 8.4 from 7.8 and the KH was still at three.
 

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Your water is fine as is. As your fish grow, they will eat more and begin to produce more nitrates requiring more frequent/larger water changes to keep those in check. And based on your PH at the tap, KH shouldn't be an issue. If your set on raising the KH, take a 5gal bucket of settled tap water and add maybe a 1/4 tsp of baking soda. Retest the water. You can adjust the amount of baking soda more or less to achieve your target KH.
 

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TROK4614 said:
Your water is fine as is. As your fish grow, they will eat more and begin to produce more nitrates requiring more frequent/larger water changes to keep those in check. And based on your PH at the tap, KH shouldn't be an issue. If your set on raising the KH, take a 5gal bucket of settled tap water and add maybe a 1/4 tsp of baking soda. Retest the water. You can adjust the amount of baking soda more or less to achieve your target KH.
I would go with baking soda too. Get your KH as high as you like and your pH will never pass that ceiling of 8.4
 
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