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KH or PH - which is more important?

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I'm keeping bloody mary and tangerine tigers in a 10 gallon fluorite tank.


Currently paramaters are:

pH 7.95

KH 3

GH 8

Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate 0


The pH seems to be too high, even tho kh and GH should be good for both species. So does the pH matter that much? The only way I can think of reducing pH is lowering kH with RO water. 

Any suggestions or advice? Thanks


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  • 2 weeks later...

Is that true for Cardinias as well as Neocardinias?   I've kept Neo's (Bloody Marys by the way, planted shrimpy) in my well water with a KH of 5 and a GH of 6 and they've done great!  But aren't Cardinias more picky?  Just asking because  I'm getting into Cardinias (I got some PRLs) and am using Salty Shrimp GH/KH with distilled water for a KH of 3 and a GH of 6.  Got a bag of Sera Peat Pellets and my pH is still about 7.8 after off gassing.  Also have IAL and oak leaves in there for extra tannins, but my pH is still high.  Have an Aquaclear 20 on it with a sponge over the intake.  I'm cycling a tank with ADA Amazonia soil, but that will take at least 2-3 more weeks to get rid of the ammonia.  I have some acid buffer, but I'm not a buffer fan.  The KH always fights it and it goes back up to what it was before....   pH swings aren't good.  The pH in my DI water with Salty Shrimp is still at a pH of about 7.8.  Do you think they'll be okay in this pH until my other tank with Amazonia soil is cycled?  Or should I drop my GH lower to 2 or 1?  Or try the evil acid  buffer?


So plantedshrimpy, your BM's will be fine.  Don't mean to steal your thread.  Neo's are tough!


Thanks!   :)



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Glass, you are pulling your water in two different directions.........the GH/KH+ will give an alkaline pH while your ADA Amazonia wants to buffer back to acidic ranges.  The pea/IAL/cones isn't bringing the pH down because of the KH buffering.  


The easiest fix imo would be to change remineralizers to something made for Caridina.......SS GH+ or a liquid equivalent.  With SS GH+, RO, and ADA Amazonia you should see pH ranges much more suitable for bees.  



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I have the GH+ in the cabinet.  Just haven't used it because I was paranoid of a pH crash.  I know a lot of CRS keepers go with a KH of zero.


They're not in the Amazonia tank yet, it's still cycling and full of ammonia.  Right now, they're in a bare bottom tank with a peat bag and IAL and oak leaves.  No live ones, just a few fake ones to make them feel better as it's a temporary tank.   I used the GH/KH+ in distilled water in that tank.


So maybe I should use just the GH+ and drop the KH to zero?   Or 1? Think?

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And once again, sorry to hijack this thread.  But we both seem to have the same ???   I've kept Bloody Mary's for 4 years now in 2 tanks.  One's high tech with CO2 and all the bells and whistles.  The pH is set with a controller to 6.9.  The other tank is a low tech tank.   Kh =6, GH = 8 and pH is 8.1.  They both do just fine.  I see no difference.




I've had fish for about 6 years, and I've never monkeyed with water parameters at all, other that what the CO2 does.  This is the first time I've tried.  I've heard horror stories about pH crashes...  Perhaps we're both KH paranoid.....





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Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of...   I read that even in a tank with no plants and bare bottom, that the presence of nitrates can cause a crash in a tank with zero KH.  And your cycling tank might have started to mature and produce nitrates.  Or maybe the nitrites did it.  Of course I aim to keep my nitrates down by frequent water changes and not over feeding.  But come on, all tanks have nitrates....  Well, not all.  I have a high tech tank that has a monster wisteria in the back and I literally get zero nitrates.  It's a monster...  But that kind of thing takes time to mature.


I just changed the water after 2 weeks and had 10 ppm.  For fish that would be just ducky....  But could that high a nitrate value cause a pH crash?


Maybe I'll get daring and drop my KH to 2 and see what the pH is....

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Well, I read that nitrates could do it...  so maybe ammonia and nitrites can too.  I'm cycling the new tank in regular tap water, because it's ADA Amazonia and it needs a lot of water changes in the beginning to get the ammonia down enough for beneficial bacteria to grow and not be overwhelmed with it.  I don't have an RO unit yet, because this is my only tank that needs it.  I'll probably get one though.  Right now I'm buying DI.  When the tank is finally cycled and 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites I figured I'd switch it over to reconstituted DI (with Salty Shrimp) over the course of a few days or a week so not to shock the bacteria.

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