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Old 06-30-2013, 09:58 PM   #1
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Hi All!

Hi, my name is Kate and I basically know nothing about fish, but thought it would fun to to start an aquarium and learn about the hobby.

I had a bit of a rocky start, I tried using SafeStart in a 5 gallon aquarium with one fish. Sadly, that didn't work out and I lost the fish during a Nitrite spike. So, I did some more research, got a bigger fish tank (10 gallon) and went with a fishless cycle, which I just completed.

I just added 2 fish yesterday - glofish danios. Wow, they're pretty active and the bigger one seems to chase the other one all around. The fish store said they were peaceful fish, but perhaps they just need more numbers.

My pressing question is I'm a little concerned about pH and KH. My pH is kind of variable. In fact, I had a bit of a pH crash during my fishless cycle, but a big water change and adding a little fish food got everything going again. I got a API KH test kit and it shows 2 dKH or 35.8 ppm according to their chart. The fish store said I could use baking soda to raise the KH, but I was a little nervous about playing around with the water chemistry when I don't really know what I'm doing. Is there an ideal level for KH or does it depend on the fish. The insert says 0 - 11 for most tropical fish, but also that the KH should be adjusted to 3 - 6 (50 - 100 ppm). Is adding baking soda the best (safest) way to go? Do you just add it to the tank water?

The community looks great, finding the almost Complete Guide and FAQ to a fishless cycle was incredibly helpful.

- Kate
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:11 PM   #2
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Hi Kate and welcome to AA. I can't really help you with your PH/KH issue to be honest, i'm not experienced enough to give you the right advice but i'm sure someone else will help you out very soon. I do know that a lot a people are NOT fans of messing with the PH though. I hope you get the help you need, i'm sure you will....
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:00 PM   #3
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Thanks for the welcome! I look forward to meeting people.


- Kate
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:23 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum. I'm no expert. I have a kh 6 with a pH of 7.8. A low kh means your water doesn't have a lot of buffer in it meaning you are more prone to pH crashes.

Aquarium Chemistry; Calcium, KH, GH, pH, Electrolytes, Magnesium, Mineral Ions

Is a great article, but I admit it is a little difficult to follow when taken as a whole. In general your pH will be more stable with a kh that is a little higher.

Bet wishes and congratulations on your fish!
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:09 PM   #5
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Thanks for the link to the article, it's seems really informative. But, I'll definitely need to read it a few times in order to digest it. My pH seems to vary between 6 and 7.6, at least that I've measured so far. Although it's about 8.4 when it first comes out of the tap.

I don't feel really confident about my interpretation of my pH measurements, so I've been concentrating more on the KH reading. It's never been as high as 50 and was 0 at one point during the fishless cycle, so I'm thinking I need to be more proactive about raising it slightly.

I've read somewhere too that the buildup of sodium can be a problem with baking soda and may periodically require a complete water change. Evidently, from the article it's not the best choice for raising KH anyway.

Thanks again!

The fishies seem happy so far and my other readings are great.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:13 PM   #6
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Yw. Keep us posted on any developments.
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