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Thread: Low KH

  1. #1

    Low KH

    Hi All,
    just have a few questions about my recent water tests. everything tests good (using NT labs liquid kit) apart from KH is on the low side:
    pH = 8
    NH3 = 0
    NO2= 0
    NO3= 0
    KH= 4
    GH= 8

    compared to this time last year for instance KH has dropped
    pH= 8
    NH3= 0
    NO2= 0
    NO3= 1
    KH= 6
    GH= 10

    So my question is would it be wise to treat for this or will it balance out possibly (if KH can even do that?)
    Tested the mains water and that was KH=3 so that route wont help much.
    As i understand from some google searches Baking Soda can be used as long as it is done gradually so not change the pH to rapidly?

    Finally is there a long term solution for this or just keep monitoring and use baking soda when needed?

    I did treat for some blanket weed about 2 months or so ago with cloverleaf between that and the new U.V bulb it cleared it up a treat but would this have had an effect?

    All help and suggestions appreciated!!


    Last edited by tome; 14-08-2019 at 09:52 AM.

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  3. #2
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Grand Champion john1's Avatar
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    I think your fine as long as you keep an eye on it.

    My kh is 0 from the tap so I have to add sod bicarb and keep my kh around 4 ish with no problems.
    Your ph is good as well,so I would just monitor your kh.
    John

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  5. #3
    Ok sounds like a plan. I was just worried with water changes plus the amount of rain we have it would dilute pretty quick. I know the liquid tests are not totally accurate but i remember that saying 4 was the bare minimum but 6 - 8 is ideal.
    Just over thinking it i think! Fish seam happy enough

  6. #4
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Sansai LouiseR's Avatar
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    You’re not overthinking it! Maintaining KH at 6 - 8 dH is ideal - for a number of reasons. According to Manky Sanke add Sodium Bicarbonate at no more than 20gm per 1,000 litres daily to raise KH to your preferred level.

  7. #5
    Moderator Rank = Supreme Champion Feline's Avatar
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    A KH of 4 is nice and safe so long as you test the pond every 10-14 days. No need to push your pH up any higher by adding more in my opinion. If you were going on holiday for a couple of weeks I would consider taking KH up to 5 or 6 before you go though. Also if you needed to use any acidic pond treatments such as Alparex then a KH of 6 is then a good idea. But for general well supervised ponding 4 is pretty ideal

    With a tap KH of 3, water changes will not increase your KH.
    It's perfectly normal. for. KH to fall particularly. when feeding the fish a lot in summer as filter bacteria use up carbonates. So I would have a bag of sodium bicarbonate on standby so you can keep your KH at 4 if it did start to drop lower.

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  9. #6
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Sansai LouiseR's Avatar
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    Opinions and koi/water keeping practises will always differ. John1 and Feline are very experienced - maintaining KH at 4dH obviously works for them. I don’t want to ruffle any feathers, but for the less experienced and those without great filtration/maintenance I do feel that KH at 4dH provides very little safety ‘wiggle room’. I didn’t pluck the 6 - 8 dH range as ideal out of thin air. There are many more experienced than me that recommend this as the ideal/safe level for koi health, for example:

    Manky Sanke/ Home - recommends 90mg/l. - 125mg/l (5 - 7dH)

    John Fornaro/ Hanover Koi Farms - recommends 100 - 200ppm (5.6 - 11dH), ideally 150ppm (8dH), higher if pond is planted, suffers from algae, is overstocked and/or feeding rates are high

    Koi Water Garden Ltd/ Top quality Japanese Koi Carp at sensible prices recommend minimum 6dH, they claim that “it is scientifically proven that ‘harder water’ with a KH and GH above 6dH is much better for the health of koi”.

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  11. #7
    Thanks for the reply guys, i was worried about adding the bicarbonate due to it increasing the PH as the PH has always stayed nice and steady. I have ordered a bulk bag of bicarbonate any way and am going to test at least weekly and see if it drops. If it does i will start adding it in.

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  13. #8
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Grand Champion john1's Avatar
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    Louise is very right in what they say as you would be a lot safer if your kh was higher if you are not used to dealing with it.

    But what I am saying is it is safe enough if you keep a strict eye on it and do as you say weekly tests.
    If you are unsure then Increase your kh with sod bicarb as per Manky Sanky.
    You will in time get used to it but please keep an eye on it as it can become disastrous if neglected and drag your ph way down.
    John

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  15. #9
    Yup i would feel better it being higher but i really don't want to mess the PH about with the weather and temperatures being so unpredictable at the moment i wouldn't want to add more stress to the little fellas. I will be testing weekly at least for a 4 or higher and the first sign of a drop in KH i will start adding it in.

    Just another question would my mains water ever change KH throughout the year for what ever reason? Just wondering as it is 3KH now but i wonder if previously it has been higher so water changes were taking care of it

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  17. #10
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Sansai LouiseR's Avatar
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    Good question. I’ve no idea whether water supply co’s change KH levels, as my source water is consistently hard I’ve only ever been concerned by chlorine/chloramine levels. You could ask your water supply co? If you do, post the answer, would be interesting.

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  19. #11
    I will try and find a contact today if i get time and email them. Will be interesting to know and if the do makes testing water a whole lot more important!

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