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HELP water reading KG=0 (PH fine I think)


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Hi, can anyone please help me? I just got my water test kit in the post & it come out with Carbonate hardness 0, as far as I can understand that means the water is acidic???

All other readings GH 60ppm

PH 6,5-7

Nitrate 0

Nitrite 0

I'm not sure I understand this correctly but does my KH need to be about 80ppm/4,5*?? Do I need to raise it? I did a 20%water change yesterday with dechloriniser & 1 table spoon of rock salt.

I found somewhere they mention using baking soda to the water, I got no buffer products & no car to go get some, is this a good idea?

Feeling confused & very worried :((

Also I set up my tank a week before adding Oscar & plants, I got the water tested at subscape & everything was fine. I now got more plants, driftwood with anubias, spikey moss & liliapsosis & a few rocks that I boiled before adding to tank. It also got a hang on filter & heater set on 28*. He is a very active fish & gobbles down his food.

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Melbourne water at least where I live, is very soft. Ours come out at 0 KH from the tap.

Only thing you need to watch with such a low buffering capacity is that the pH is prone to fluctuating and dropping down below 7. This can be bad for your cycle as Nitrosomonas bacteria do not like extremely acidic conditions.

Baking soda works only temporarily and will cause a sudden pH change. This is what you want to avoid as it can shock your fish. What you need, is to add a small amount of crushed coral to your filter (I put mine in a stocking) and this should gradually raise your KH and subsequently your pH. What you want to have is a pH of at least 7, as this keeps your beneficial bacteria working efficiently.

With that said, if you did not cycle your tank prior to adding your oscar fish, I would be keeping extremely close eyes on your parameters. Oscar fish are pretty big waste producers and if you didn't cycle and don't keep up with water changes you are going to see a rise in ammonia levels. This is followed by a spike in nitrite as the cycle progresses.

Hope that helps you some.

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Thanks Wild nut, I'm feeling slightly calmer now, dosnt sound like as much an imidiate emergency as thought then. To many numbers to keep track of. Will find some coral at a pet store somewhere tomorrow after school. Would they sell coral in any other kind of store you think?

Sorry for the confusion but Oscar (Wilde or the Grouch take your pick) is a CT betta, just realized how confusing that name is..

I haven't cycled the tank only added dechloriniser & salt to the water.

Thanks a miliion!

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Oh okay, that makes more sense now *lol*

Anyways, softer water is always better for CTs as their rays will curl in hard water. So as long as you can stabilise your pH around 7 and don't increase your KH by a significant amount, he should do fine. It can be a bit of a balancing act at first and I was surprised by how little crushed coral I needed.

You can use shell grit and I believe crushed egg shell as well as both are a source of calcium carbonate.

Just still monitor your ammonia and nitrite levels as you go along. That way you can avoid exposing Oscar to trace amounts of nitrite/ammonia during the cycling process.

You also don't need to keep adding aquarium salt. Bettas do fine without it, and there is some suggestion that long-term exposure to it can cause kidney problems. However, some old school fishkeepers swear by it so who really knows.

Look forward to seeing pictures of Oscar in his new home.

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great advice Ashlea!

I also add cuttlefish bone (the ones you give to birds) to my shrimp tanks i find it release quicker into the water and increase the hardness a bit quicker. But then again I'm using rainwater so it's much much softer than tap water.

You should really be careful of baking soda coz it can raise your pH really quickly and trust me that stresses out your fish more than soft water. Furthermore soft water is good for oscars they're an south american cichlids right? in theory they should be very good with melbourne tap water

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Hi Joan, thanks for help. I think I seem to have caused major confusion by naming my CT betta Oscar. Opsie :giggle:

Added crushed egg shells in a piec of tight that u added to the filter.

I'm probably over reacting. It's funny how much you can read & read about them but then the day comes when the water does something it's not expected & I found myself completely unknowledgable. Massive thanks guys.

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