Evalive Aquarium in Frankston has the best and biggest range of fish available. We serve Melbourne,Cranbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. Cichlids, Aquariums, heaters accessories plants tropical natives Here we discuss Carbonate hardness
CARBONATE HARDNESS kH
Carbonate hardness is a measurement of carbonate and bicarbonate in water. Water with a high carbonate hardness has a strong buffering capacity and is much less likely to undergo violent pH fluctuations or sudden pH drops.
Carbonate hardness is measured in ppm (parts per million
GENERAL HARDNESS AND CARBONATE HARDNESS
General hardness and carbonate hardness are quite different and the two should not be confused. For example, its possible to have a low general hardness (very soft water, with virtually no dissolved calcium or magnesium salts) and still have a very high carbonate hardness (a high carbonate and bicarbonate level).
HOW TO INCREASE CARBONATE HARDNESS
Water supplies throughout Australia vary greatly in terms of their carbonate hardness, for example, Melbourne tap water has a low KH reading of approximately 10ppm. As a general rule, hard water (water rich in calcium salts) will usually have some degree of carbonate hardness. It is important to know the carbonate hardness of your tap water. This is easily and accurately measured using a carbonate hardness test kit.
Carbonate hardness generators used to raise carbonate hardness in fresh water and marine aquariums. Note: The addition of these products will also raise pH.
DESIRABLE CARBONATE HARDNESS LEVELS
Freshwater fish 60 - 80ppm Rift lake cichlids 120 - 200ppm
CREATING A BUFFER IN AQUARIUMS
As an aquarium ages the pH in most cases becomes lower (more acid). This is caused by acids, resulting mostly from the breakdown of fish wastes by biological filtration. These acids deplete carbonate hardness, which should be replaced and raised to the recommended levels at regular intervals. In freshwater tanks the addition of kH generator may result in a higher pH than is desired. Most people would use pH down to correct this. Powder form pH down is sodium biphosphate and is not recommended by Evalife Aquarium as it will increase the phosphate levels to a very high level.
DO NOT USE KH PRODUCTS THAT HAVE PHOSPHATES IN THEM
SEE THE PAGE ON PHOSPHATES
ADVANTAGES OF CORRECT CARBONATE HARDNESS LEVELS
Stable pH in freshwater and marine aquariums.
Better plant growth; allows more carbon dioxide to be available to plants.
Fish and invertebrates in both marine and freshwater aquariums have been shown to do better at the recommended carbonate hardness values.
CARBON DIOXIDE AS PLANT FOOD
Where carbon dioxide gas is being artificially added in "high -tech" mini-reef or freshwater plant tanks, carbonate hardness must be at the recommended levels or the pH of water will drop dangerously low.