Carbonate Hardness (KH) is a measure of carbonate ions in a system of water. Carbonates are able to absorb H+ ions release in the system due to nitrification process and therefore maintaining the PH level. The water with carbonates ranging from 3dKH to 6dKH will have PH range between 7.4 and 8.2. This PH is suitable for aquarium as most fish will thrive in this PH range. Water with low KH is susceptible to rapid PH changes, greatly stressing fish and increasing the risk of disease.
In aquaponics system however, if you have difficulties lowering your PH level although nitrification process is found in your system, then you should check your carbonate hardness of your source of water. Not forgetting any possible use of media that have calcium carbonates aka limestone in it. These maybe the reasons you are not getting the desired PH levels for your aquaponics system. You will need to get rid of the ph affecting media to a PH neutral media.
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