Hello to a similar "zero" KH
Seachem themselves, in their forum, admits the acid alkaline buffer isn't a stable way to go. I've tried it and it didn't work well.
Aquarium processes make the tank acidic so yes it's a problem.
Baking soda sometimes works but it can be an incomplete solution.
Crushed coral works for many. For me it was messy and didn't work.
I finally tried a suggestion from the book The Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums, by Boruchowitz. He writes that the only time you should add things to the water is when GH
are too low -- and then yes it's very important to supplement. He mentions various methods then settles on buffered cichlid salts as the best choice because they are the most stable and predictable.
This is backed up by the people over at The Wet Spot Tropical Fish, the "lfs
" here in Portland that's one of the biggest freshwater stores in the country. They have tapwater with about zero KH
(same water source as me) and they use buffered cichlid salts for all their tanks too. All the community tanks get a 1/3 dose of their own blend to get KH
up to 3-4. The only time they don't recommend them is people throwing them suddenly into a tank with fish that aren't used to them: better to slowly increase over several days.
I buy their blend (which you can probably order from them) for friends with new tanks.
In my tanks I don't mind more math, and I like GH
to come from a broad assortment of minerals. So I use API Buffer max (marketed for cichlid keepers) at 1/4 tsp per 5 gallon bucket of water that's not quite full. Then I get GH
from 1/4 tsp of Seachem Equilibrium. But API cichlid salts would be ok too.
You know you have the right API products if the labels discuss GH
. They keep changing the name of the product slightly.
You can DIY (baking soda, Epsom salt, and ice melt crystals) but when a years supply of the others is $15-20, why?
I've been using that blend for about 18 months and it completely turned around my fish keeping hobby (my son at the time thought bettas lasted 2 months, lost their fins, then got flushed, then you buy a new one). I now Use it in a 56 and a 10 gallon planted tank.
Sent from my iPhone with three hands tied behind my back.