Faulty Gh/kh Test Kit?

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
12,904
Reaction score
12,783
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
I am trying to check the gh and kh in a bowl I would like to put shrimp in. The instructions tell me to add a drop and shake the test tube after each drop. For the gh it tells me to stop when the water goes from orange to green and the number of drops I have added determines my numbers. Well I never see orange.

The kh tells me to do the same but the water is supposed to go from blue to yellow. I never see blue.

My test kit should be good until sometime next year so it hasn't expired. I can get the kh to yellow and the gh to green but don't think my numbers are correct because I never actually see the blue or orange. I have tried to do the tests on both the water from the bowl and my tap water. For those of you that do these tests do you actually see the color changes the instructions say I should see?

BTW: I have a TDS meter being delivered today. Maybe it will tell me something.
 

TK Titanium

New Member
Member
Messages
32
Reaction score
7
Location
Spokane,WA
Experience
3 years
I have that same kit. The orange and the blue get steadily darker until the sudden color shift. It take 8-10 drops for me. When you say that you never see the orange or blue, do you mean that it changes immediately upon the first drop?
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
OP
mattgirl

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
12,904
Reaction score
12,783
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
TK Titanium said:
I have that same kit. The orange and the blue get steadily darker until the sudden color shift. Forgive me if this is rude (and you don’t have to answer) but I do have to ask to help cross out possibilities for others. Have you been tested for color blindness? I only ask because orange/blue color blindness is one of the specific subsets and many people don’t realize that they have it.
Not rude at all but no I'm not color blind. I have no problem at all in seeing orange, blue or any of the many other colors.

I am thinking the testing solution must have worked as it should when I first got it. According to my profile info I was able to get an accurate reading shortly after getting the kit. I have to think something has happened to it between then and now. I really would hate to have to buy a new kit just to end up like this one after only using it one time.

Since I have slept several times since the time I originally used the kit and now I have forgotten exactly how the colors changed.

I am curious as to whether this same thing has happened to others. I have to think the solution has gone bad I've had it since Feb. 2016. The expiration date is Sept. 2020. It has never been exposed to extreme heat or cold.
When you say that you never see the orange or blue, do you mean that it changes immediately upon the first drop?
The first 1 or 2 drops don't change the color at all. The water in the test tube is still colorless. By the time I have added 3 or 4 drops I start seeing a faint green for gh and a faint yellow for kh
 

Skavatar

Well Known
Member
Messages
3,971
Reaction score
2,670
Location
Houston, TX
Experience
2 years
my tap is around 12 GH and 17 KH.

looks like the northern half of Arkansas has hard water, and the lower half has soft to slightly hard water.
 

TK Titanium

New Member
Member
Messages
32
Reaction score
7
Location
Spokane,WA
Experience
3 years
Yeah, I would hope they don’t go bad that quickly. Not at those prices. I quickly realized the color blindness was very unlikely when I remembered that it was blue/yellow not orange/blue and edited it out but you caught me. Oh well.
 

ForceTen

Active Member
Member
Messages
331
Reaction score
160
Location
USA Southest
Experience
More than 10 years
According to the API instructions if you cannot see any change with the first drop, look down into the tube, don't look at it from the side. I did and I could see the color change.
I just got my test kit and frankly see no reason to have it?
All mine does is tell you what kind of fish are best for the test results "Drops"? Makes no sense.
I have not read every single tiny word in the instructions so I could be off base.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
OP
mattgirl

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
12,904
Reaction score
12,783
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
Skavatar said:
my tap is around 12 GH and 17 KH.
I got up to 20 drops on the gh and 16 on the kh and since I never saw blue or orange I knew something was not adding up. My original tests showed gh 5 drops and kh 3 drops. I know I have very soft water so having to add so many drops just wasn't making any kind of sense to me. I have to think the test has gone bad.

I know I followed the instructions. They really are simple but the results just don't add up.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
OP
mattgirl

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
12,904
Reaction score
12,783
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
ForceTen said:
According to the API instructions if you cannot see any change with the first drop, look down into the tube, don't look at it from the side. I did and I could see the color change.
I just got my test kit and frankly see no reason to have it?
All mine does is tell you what kind of fish are best for the test results "Drops"? Makes no sense.
I have not read every single tiny word in the instructions so I could be off base.
I will give the test another go today and will look down into the tube. I tried that but could still see no color until I started seeing yellow for kh and green for gh.

If I understand correctly you multiply the number of drops by a certain number and it tells you something. I don't totally understand what it all means but I am considering some shrimp for a well established bowl and was asked what the gh is in it. I was trying to answer that question.
 

Skavatar

Well Known
Member
Messages
3,971
Reaction score
2,670
Location
Houston, TX
Experience
2 years
aniroc post #8
"To convert ppm (mg/L) into degrees of KH, multiply by 0.056.
To convert degrees of KH into ppm of equivalent Calcium carbonate, multiply by 17.848.
Please note the "equivalent" word as you might express your results into a substance that does not exist. A baking soda (Sodium bicarbonate) solution, could have a high KH when it has zero Calcium carbonate while a Calcium oxide solution has a high GH but zero KH."
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfi...dness-how-to-convert-ppm-to-kh-and-gh.316589/

the GH KH test contains strong acid, probably expired.

GH test uses Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid

KH test uses same.
 

kallililly1973

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
10,079
Reaction score
10,035
Location
Rhode Island USA
Experience
3 years
Before you get another test kit have you tried testing the water in your other tanks or just your potential shrimp bowl.. not saying it’ll be different but it’s a fairly quick test to determine if it’s still good... good luck!!
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
OP
mattgirl

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
12,904
Reaction score
12,783
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
kallililly1973 said:
Before you get another test kit have you tried testing the water in your other tanks or just your potential shrimp bowl.. not saying it’ll be different but it’s a fairly quick test to determine if it’s still good... good luck!!
Thank you. No I haven't but I did try it on my tap water and got the same weird results. I think what I am going to do is just get some inexpensive shrimp and see how they fair in this bowl. A new test kit would probably cost close to the same amount as a few if I don't consider the shipping charge in the total amount.

I just got my TDS meter. Now if I can just figure out how to use it
 

angelcraze

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
5,993
Reaction score
4,278
Location
Canada QC
Experience
More than 10 years
I'm curious what the TDS is.

But I had to buy a new KH/GH test. My old one suddenly stopped changing colors no matter how many drops I added. GH tube had almost pure (orangy coloured) reagant in it by the end. I got a new one (Nutrifin) and it turns out KH and GH are still only 2 degrees.

I don't mind the Nutrifin test at all, only it changes from green to pink I think. Colors are different.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
OP
mattgirl

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
12,904
Reaction score
12,783
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
angelcraze said:
I'm curious what the TDS is.

But I had to buy a new KH/GH test. My old one suddenly stopped changing colors no matter how many drops I added. GH tube had almost pure (orangy coloured) reagant in it by the end. I got a new one (Nutrifin) and it turns out KH and GH are still only 2 degrees.

I don't mind the Nutrifin test at all, only it changes from green to pink I think. Colors are different.
Thank you. At least this tells me I am not alone in this. I have been trying to run the tests on my various tanks for the past hour or so and I get the same results each time. I got up to 10 drops on the kh test several times. After 5 drops it starts turning orange and stayed there after each drop.

The GH is supposed to first turn orange and then green. I can get a pale green but there is no orange to be had.

I am so done with it since no matter what I do and which tank I get the water from I get the same results. It has finally gotten on my very last nerve.

I am going to wait until tomorrow to play with this TDS meter. I don't want to try to figure it out when already frustrated.
 

PascalKrypt

Well Known
Member
Messages
2,981
Reaction score
4,323
Location
Netherlands
Just a fair warning because I have very soft water like you - a lot of shrimp need a GH minimum in order to molt properly. If you acclimate them slowly and they do fine but drop dead a few weeks later, your GH was probably the culprit. Unfortunately the less sensitive shrimp like red cherries actually need a higher GH than more sensitive ones like bee shrimp. If you happen to get your shrimp from a breeder who knows their stuff, ask if they have shrimp raised on a GH similar to yours, or if they sell young/juvenile shrimp. Those will have much better odds adapting than adult shrimp having to acclimate to softer water.

Not that I am a shrimp expert, but I learned the hard way.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
OP
mattgirl

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
12,904
Reaction score
12,783
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
PascalKrypt said:
Just a fair warning because I have very soft water like you - a lot of shrimp need a GH minimum in order to molt properly. If you acclimate them slowly and they do fine but drop dead a few weeks later, your GH was probably the culprit. Unfortunately the less sensitive shrimp like red cherries actually need a higher GH than more sensitive ones like bee shrimp. If you happen to get your shrimp from a breeder who knows their stuff, ask if they have shrimp raised on a GH similar to yours, or if they sell young/juvenile shrimp. Those will have much better odds adapting than adult shrimp having to acclimate to softer water.

Not that I am a shrimp expert, but I learned the hard way.
Thank you for the great advice. I will definitely keep it in mind.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
OP
mattgirl

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
12,904
Reaction score
12,783
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
Skavatar said:
my tap is around 12 GH and 17 KH.

looks like the northern half of Arkansas has hard water, and the lower half has soft to slightly hard water.
I live in the Saltwater corner and my water is very soft. The first thing my SIL does when she visits from Texas is take a shower. She LOVES my soft water that much

mattgirl said:
.
I am going to wait until tomorrow to play with this TDS meter. I don't want to try to figure it out when already frustrated.
I am so silly. I was reading the instructions for the TDS meter and thought it might be complicated so didn't want to mess with it since I was already frustrated. Come to find out all I have to do is stick it in the water and that's it.

Tap water: 21 ppm
Bowl: 48 ppm
55 gallon: 60 ppm
5.5 gallon: 54 ppm
10 gallon molly fry tank: 103 ppm

Water changes were done on all tanks last Sunday.
 

angelcraze

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
5,993
Reaction score
4,278
Location
Canada QC
Experience
More than 10 years
Oh my lordie that's soft water. I thought my water was soft! Your kh/gh test is certainly faulty!
 

angelcraze

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
5,993
Reaction score
4,278
Location
Canada QC
Experience
More than 10 years
mattgirl said:
I agree. And this is with both crushed coral and seashells in my tanks to help hold the PH at a steady 7.2
Wow. Definitely get some Equilibrium for the shrimp. And some cuttlebone in the filter. The soft water is nice for hair washing though!
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
OP
mattgirl

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
12,904
Reaction score
12,783
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
angelcraze said:
Wow. Definitely get some Equilibrium for the shrimp. And some cuttlebone in the filter. The soft water is nice for hair washing though!
oops, I forgot. I also have cuttle bone in my filters too. If I finally decide to get some shrimp I will get some equilibrium before I get the shrimp.

I agree, it is great for getting hair and body feeling nice and clean. My SIL says she wishes she could pipe my water to her house. I have been here for so long I have forgotten what hard water feels like.
 

New Threads

Similar Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
222
Guests online
3,372
Total visitors
3,594

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom