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What is worse a too low Kh or a too high pH

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by amaranth13, Sep 11, 2019 at 12:51 PM.

  1. amaranth13

    amaranth13 New Member

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    Hi, I don't have fish yet, I'm about done cycling but before I get the ember tetras I wanted to get some feedback on water parameters. My municipal water is pH 6.8, and Gh and Kh 2, I experiemented with some aragonite sand in a baggie in the filter, my Kh rose to 3, but my pH rose to 7.6. Ember tetras need a pH around 6.6 is what I've read and a kh of at least 5. What is worse, if I use the water without aragonite to give them the right pH or with aragonite to give them the right Kh? I've read all kinds of conflicting info so any advise would be vvery appreciated!
     
  2. seangee

    seangee Member

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    Your water is fine without the argonite. I have soft water (dGH = 0, dKH < 2) and have no problems. Just regular water changes and you'll be fine. Ember tetras need soft acidic water and that is what you have in your tap - lucky you!
     
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  3. amaranth13

    amaranth13 New Member

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    Wonderful, thank you!That's great to know! I was worried about it, I'll remove the aragonite and do a big water change since I wwill have to do that anyways to lower all the nitratese now that I'm almost done. Thanks!
     
  4. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    KH is not directly important to fish; all it does is stabilise pH. GH is much more important to fish, with pH as the second in importance.

    Ember tetras need GH between 1 and 10 dH (18 to 179 ppm) and pH 5.0 to 7.0. Your water is perfect for them.
     
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  5. Byron

    Byron Member

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    With the GH and KH this low, expect the pH over time as the aquarium establishes to lower and become more acidic. This is not a problem for the majority of soft water species. I have zero GH/KH in my source water and I do nothing to increase these, and the pH stabilizes at 6-something in one tank, 5-something in one or two other tanks, and well below 5 in a couple other tanks. The entire biological system factors in to this. I just let the pH do what it wants, and I do substantial partial water changes every week (60-70% of the tank volume in every tank).

    My group of Ember tetras, which includes fry that have hatched and managed to escape predation in this tank, are in a pH at or below 5 [I cannot measure below 5 so no idea].
     
  6. amaranth13

    amaranth13 New Member

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    Thank you all so much for your advice! I'm glad to hear that they should be fine, and I'm getting them locally anyways so hopefullly theyr'e used to this water (I -am- drip acclimating them).

    Byron: thanks for the warning to expect a low pH! that was one of the reasons why i was worried, I had pH crashes (several( going to pH too low for the bacteria to multiply when cycling so I was worried the fish would not be safe, but Ican do frequent water changes at that level. Thanks!
     

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