GH, KH, and pH - Page 3

Dcchillin

Well, tied all my plants to some rocks, rearranged everything, was a little short on my leftover RO water, only had about 2-3 gallons. The rest was outside water, was a bit rusty in color but nothing crazy. Put in some root tabs and liquid CO2. Added some flakes to keep the cycle going, and added the water the plants came in. Going to give it a couple hours to settle then see where my parameters are. Here's hoping!

Thanks for all the help guys! It was definitely a learning experience, and I'm sure it won't be the last!
 

Dragones5150918

From my past experience to current, I'm still learning things. I'm still questioning things about fish keeping, and I must say that this forum has been the best resource I've found so far.

If I can suggest, for now on, take a couple of 5 gallon buckets put and fill them up, them keep them inside so they will be at least room temperature. Don't want to add 50 degree water to a 75/80 degree tank. The temperature shock could harm your fish. At least 70 degree water won't drop the temp as much as really cold water will.
 

Dcchillin

That is a good idea, I plan on picking up another 5 gallon bucket and keeping 10 gallon of ro in house, wouldnt be a bad idea to keep the same amount of my unsoftened water around either. This time it was negligible since I only have plants in the tank, but moving forward it could be an issue lol
 

Dcchillin

Ok guys, This has moved a bit past GH/KH questions, but I suppose they are still buried in this too. After the work last night (added plants, 50% water change, added flakes to maintain cycle) here are the results, they have me a bit confused.

3/10
before all this
PH-8.2
NH-.25
NO2-0
NO3-90
KH-10(179ppm)
GH-1DGH

3/11
PH-8.2
NH-.25
NO2-3
NO3-80
KH-13(234ppm)
GH-6dgh

So the harder water definitely raised the GH, the KH went up a bit as well. The one that has me really confused is my NO2. It had finally bottomed out on 3/10 so I was excited my cycle was finished, but today its back up to where it has been for about a week.

Aside from that, my new plants all have some brown fuzz on them, from the bit of research ive done it looks like it might be brown algae, which it said to just give it time to clear. Other possibility is I stirred up some stuff in the gravel, because it is around my filter intake as well. Let me know what you see from these numbers!
 

Dragones5150918

What is your nitrite at today?
 

Dcchillin

3/12
PH-8.3
NH-.25
NO2-0
NO3-80
KH-13
GH-5/6

So nitrites dropped back down, ph stepped up a tiny amount. nitrates are still high. I would have thought after a half change they would drop a bit. KH/GH stayed pretty steady after the addition of the harder water.

Plants still have the fuzz, but I think its just stuff that was in the gravel, it can be brushed off.
 

Dragones5150918

Datoms most likely. If they are like light brown fuzzy spots it's datoms.

Nitrate will keep climbing as the cycle progresses. If there is no fish, I would not worry quite yet.

Am I reading right you have 0 nitrite?

The slight fall in gh has me baffled. You should not be experiencing any drop in that. I don't want to say another water change because the KH will increase again. So I'm thinking it's time to fight that kh a bit. You have a couple of options. The more natural way by using peat moss and almond leaves, or chemical way by using PH Down or acid buffer. Or you can use Replenish and Boise the gh by adding minerals.

13dKH isn't bad, especially if you want shrimp and snails. Your PH will not drop at all. Well, if you used ph down, dropped the tank to 6.5, wI t have in 24 hours it will be back to 8.2, but your kh will drop about 5 degrees, if not a little more.

Dropping your kh would be risky, especially since we want to just raise your gh. I think the safest bet would be Replenish.
 

Dcchillin

Yes, my nitrite was back at 0 today. As for the gh idk if it even fell, the colors are pretty light in the vial, so it could have just been how I interpreted it. I have some PH down, I can try adding that to adjust KH, but as long as the ph doesn't get any higher I'm not too concerned.

The picture I linked shows that "brown stuff" I'm talking about.
 

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Dragones5150918

Yeah, that looks like datoms. They will go away over time.

You ph will go down using the ph down, but it will come back up because you have so much kh. Ph down and acid buffer both erode Bicarbonates and after enough use, you will chip away that kh to 0. Takes awhile though. I just want to drop it from 13 to 8. Then it won't be to bad going back up with water changes.
 

Dcchillin

Ok, so I should add some ph down to knock the KH down to 8? That won't affect my plants will it? I'm sure theyre going through a bit of shock adjusting to my tank, as nothing is really ideal at this point lol. and the NO2 is ok? I mean 0 is ideal, I just don't understand the spike yesterday.
 

Dragones5150918

You can, like I said it will slowly erode away the Bicarbonates. You might need a couple of tries to get the KH down to 8dKH.

Plants don't go through a ph shock like fish. It could cause leaf melt, but won't kill them.

0 nitrite is perfect. I'm guessing it got stirred up if you have none in your well watet.
 

Dragones5150918

How is your tank doing?
 

Dcchillin

Sorry been a busy couple days and internet is down. Been dosing daily with a hefty dose of pH down, kh is still stable at 11/12, gh is at 6, pH is at 8.4. Everything seems to be staying about the same at this point despite the daily pH down. I have not done a water changes since the 50% 50/50(ish) I did last Friday while planting. I also retested my water outside and found that the external water has a NH-.25/.5.

On a side note I bit the bullet and splurged a bit. Ordered a finnex+24/7, some replenish, and some driftwood. So raising the gh and keeping an overall better environment should be easier moving forward.

So I'll have replenish, I'm going to purchase 10gal of RO water Friday, and then get 10gal of my external water inside as well so that will be 20gal premixed. Is there anything else I should pick up to keep a stable environment? Should I invest in Acid buffer as well? I'm kind of looking at maybe going to straight ro for better control and investing in the additives, but I'm not sure. any thoughts?

I'm wanting to start stocking asap since the cycle is complete, aside from the .25 NH.
 

Kellie Lanchbury

Ok have been testing with apI master kit and have that down.
PH 8.2
Am- 0
Nit-0
Nitrates 5-10

reading on this forum lead me to get a gh/kh test kit as I live semI rural but we are on city water but it has always seemed very soft so I ran my tap water and
GH was 1
KH was 10

Having trouble deciphering conversion chart. Any experts here that can tell me what it means
 

aquatickeeper

For the GH, your water is very soft. If you decide to keep any hard water fish, you'd have to harden it.

KH looks good. It's high enough to keep the pH steady. Having a low KH can lead to a pH drop, but good thing you're KH is high enough.
 

BettyD

and you are not using a water softener in your home?
 

Kellie Lanchbury

No water softener, this is just straight unfiltered out of faucet.

So tested tank and while GH is still 1 KH is 12
I have 2 guppies and 3 platy’s which I see are more hard water but they seem to be active and eating.

Fish keeping is way more complicated in an interesting sort of way than I ever imagined
 

aquatickeeper

So tested tank and while GH is still 1 KH is 12
I have 2 guppies and 3 platy’s which I see are more hard water but they seem to be active and eating.
Yeah, both the guppies and platies are hard water fish. I would get a bottle of Seachem Replenish, Seachem Equilibrium if you have a planted tank, or cuttlebone. The guppies and platies both like GH of at least 9 dGH.

What's the tank size the fish are in?
 

Kellie Lanchbury

Peppered Cory’s.

5619e325ee1f5d37ca2ab35105168ac0.jpg

These are the glofish not sure what type?
 

aquatickeeper

The glofish are glo tetras, aka skirt tetras. You have some stocking issues if you'd like to discuss it.
 

Kellie Lanchbury

The glofish are glo tetras, aka skirt tetras. You have some stocking issues if you'd like to discuss it.

Sure, I am new to this so any information is appreciated. I know that I have hard water live bearers in soft water but do I have other problems you can foresee?
 

aquatickeeper

Here are the issues:

1. Glowlight tetras, peppered cories, and zebra danios are schooling fish; so they need at least 6 of their own species in a tank.

2. Having 4 schools of top-mid dwelling schooling fish is too much for a 75G. The max, IMO, is 2.

3. Glowlight tetras need warmer water than neon tetras, peppered cories, and zebra danios.

I would suggest you to do some rehoming.

I would do:

12 neon tetras, 12 zebra danios, AND/OR, 12 glo skirts (choose two of the three)
2 guppies
3 platies
12 peppered cories

OR

12 glowlight tetras
12 glo skirts
2 guppies
3 platies
12 bronze cories
 

Kellie Lanchbury

Ok I see what you are saying. What is interesting is that the neon tetras seem to stay towards the bottom 1/3 of the tank. The glofish are really mid tank and the zebras are mostly toward the top. So while they seem to be in theee different zones could I maybe keep all 3 species? My temp was at 78 but to try and accommodate the Cory’s I reduced it to 75-76. So I guess the only real odd fish out are the glowlight tetras and they are growing beautifully. Well that is something to think about! I don’t know anyone else with fish so not sure how I would re home them.

Definitely want all my new fish friends to be happy and well adjusted though.
 

aquatickeeper

I would still do some rehoming, if I were you. There's also no temp overlap between the glowlight tetras; and the neon tetras, peppered cories, and zebra danios.
 

Targetpirate

My KH is 40 and my GH is 30 in my shrimp tank what is the best way to raise them??
 

Swampgorilla

Don't even think about it until you read this ...

Important - Understanding pH, KH, GH in Home Aqauriums

Once you fully understand that post ... you will then be educated enough to make your own decision. It's a complicated thing. Well, not that complicated but certainly something that it appears most aquarists don't bother to learn about before doing - with disastrous results.

So worth the research, imo.
 

TexasDomer

What kind of shrimp do you have? Why do you want to raise them?
 

Targetpirate

Ghost shrimp and I have them as pets not food for anything else.
 

TexasDomer

Then I'd add something like crushed coral or limestone to the tank. You can get these cheap at a landscaping store.
 

Targetpirate

Can you get that at pet stores to or just landscaping stores?
 

TexasDomer

You can get some crushed coral at a pet store, but it will be much more expensive.
 

Targetpirate

How much am I supposed to add?
 

TexasDomer

What size tank is this? You could start with a 1/2 cup and see how that changes things. You can always add more, and there's really no such thing as adding too much - ghost shrimp are fine in a high GH and KH.
 

Targetpirate

My tank is only 1gal.
 

TexasDomer

Ooh, then maybe a few tablespoons? Or even use it as the substrate.
 

MrsMontoya

So I am currently in the process of cycling my new 2.6 gal fluval ebI and as I am preparing to stock it with neo blue velvet shrimp, I tested the gh and kh as I have read they require specific conditions and I've honestly never tested it before. I used the apI kit, and my gh was 3, and the kh was 1-2ish. I have a stable ph at 6.4 and 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 5 ppm nitrate. Is this appropriate? What exactly do my gh and kh factors do to the tank? I have no fish or shrimp in here yet, just trying to make sure it has the proper parameters before introducing my colony! Thanks in advance.
 

Jocelyn Adelman

Unfortunately no
Your water is currently too soft for neos...
Neos are usually kH 5+, gH 8+

In order to keep neos you would need to raise both of these. Caridina May be a better match for your parameters (kH 0-2, gH 6)
 

MrsMontoya

Unfortunately no
Your water is currently too soft for neos...
Neos are usually kH 5+, gH 8+

In order to keep neos you would need to raise both of these. Caridina May be a better match for your parameters (kH 0-2, gH 6)
That's what I was afraid of...is there a way to bring these factors up? I know my substrate (fluval stratum) is definitely keeping that ph down. I read that adding more kh will just eat up the buffer in the substrate. Totally could be wrong, just trying to check my information! I am still new to how exactly the gh and kh function in my tank. Thanks for your reply! I am definitely set on neos so I'd like to see what I can do to make it more appropriate. I was thinking about checking my untreated tap water to see what I end up with. My 10 gallon betta tank is reading much higher.
 

NYFishGuy

I have soft tap water too, kh - 2-3 gh: 3-4
I just started using this
 

Jocelyn Adelman

Equilibrium is for gH, alkaline buffer is for kH.

Yes, dosing these will exhaust the buffers... but there’s nothing wrong with that, I do it all the time
Exhausting the buffers just makes it so that it does not reduce the ph/kH anymore...nothing else besides that. Still keeps substrate “nutritious” for the plants.

What is the kH and gH of your tap (assuming you are using tap)?

Realize if you are, you are going to have swings each wc...
 

MrsMontoya

I have soft tap water too, kh - 2-3 gh: 3-4
I just started using this
Have you used it long? Do you like it so far? I am a big fan of seachem products!
 

MrsMontoya

Equilibrium is for gH, alkaline buffer is for kH.

Yes, dosing these will exhaust the buffers... but there’s nothing wrong with that, I do it all the time
Exhausting the buffers just makes it so that it does not reduce the ph/kH anymore...nothing else besides that. Still keeps substrate “nutritious” for the plants.

What is the kH and gH of your tap (assuming you are using tap)?

Realize if you are, you are going to have swings each wc...
Okay, that makes sense about the buffer, thank you! And yes, I have just been using the regular tap with water conditioner. I suppose I could treat my 5 gallon bucket (I keep one with conditioned water at all times) with the product before adding it to the tank for water changes.
 

Jocelyn Adelman

So... if your keeping tap, order seachem alkaline buffer. While the tank is empty it’s super easy to adjust parameters.... becomes more tricky if you don’t stabilize it pre inhabitants
I would start by dosing 1/8 of a tsp of alkaline buffer daily, check parameters right before adding.
Stratum took about 1.5 weeks to hold a kH of 5 for me.

Any other specific questions I’m happy to help
 

Inactive User

I suppose I could treat my 5 gallon (I keep one with conditioned water at all times) with the product before adding it to the tank for water changes.

That's really all there is to it.

Some people prefer mixing their own GH and KH supplements.

GH is nearly always a mix of calcium sulfate (CaSO4) and magnesium sulfate (MgSO4). They're commonly sold as fertilisers for planted tanks, so aren't too difficult to find.

Likewise Seachem's Alkaline Buffer is simply a mix of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) with a few other less soluble carbonate salts. Perfectly acceptable to use baking soda by itself; the added sodium won't cause any issues so long as you're not trying to do a 10 degree KH increase.

And as always, when modifying either GH or KH it's best to do so very gradually. AI'm for 1/2 degree shifts every day to lessen the osmoregulatory load.
 

PonzLL

I'm insanely jealous of your water. My SOFTENED water is 17kh and 3gh

I'd love to have low values I could buffer lol
 

MrsMontoya

That's really all there is to it.

Some people prefer mixing their own GH and KH supplements.

GH is nearly always a mix of calcium sulfate (CaSO4) and magnesium sulfate (MgSO4). They're commonly sold as fertilisers for planted tanks, so aren't too difficult to find.

Likewise Seachem's Alkaline Buffer is simply a mix of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) with a few other less soluble carbonate salts. Perfectly acceptable to use baking soda by itself; the added sodium won't cause any issues so long as you're not trying to do a 10 degree KH increase.

And as always, when modifying either GH or KH it's best to do so very gradually. AI'm for 1/2 degree shifts every day to lessen the osmoregulatory load.
That's really all there is to it.

Some people prefer mixing their own GH and KH supplements.

GH is nearly always a mix of calcium sulfate (CaSO4) and magnesium sulfate (MgSO4). They're commonly sold as fertilisers for planted tanks, so aren't too difficult to find.

Likewise Seachem's Alkaline Buffer is simply a mix of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) with a few other less soluble carbonate salts. Perfectly acceptable to use baking soda by itself; the added sodium won't cause any issues so long as you're not trying to do a 10 degree KH increase.

And as always, when modifying either GH or KH it's best to do so very gradually. AI'm for 1/2 degree shifts every day to lessen the osmoregulatory load.
Awesome, thanks! I will probably do this as I added a chilI rasbora to hold my cycle until I can get the shrimp. They didn't have them this week when my lfs put their order in, worked out since I need to adjust parameters.

I'm insanely jealous of your water. My SOFTENED water is 17kh and 3gh

I'd love to have low values I could buffer lol
Thank you Colorado water!
 

Arainais

I’m working on getting this new 29 gallon tank set up and ready for fish. PH of my tap water is 6.6 and the tank is for a black moor goldfish, so I wanted to raise the PH to at least 7.0. I got some API Proper PH 7.0 and followed the dosing instructions, but it did absolutely nothing. I emailed API and they told me to just keep dosing it every day that some tanks take longer to adjust. So I did. I dosed it maybe 3-4 times (literally used almost the whole bottle of that stuff) and still nothing. Then I read about crushed coral, so I bought a lb of that and added it to a filter bag in the back of one of my hob filters. Ph is still 6.6. So anyway - I ordered the API GH/KH test kit, and it came in today so I figured I would test it. It took 18 drops of the KH solution to get the water to change from blue to yellow. That’s off the charts to what was in the instructions. GH pretty much turned green instantly - it was never yellow and only got a darker green with each drop (I stopped at 3) which tells me my GH is low. I’m sure the KH is through the roof probably because of the Proper Ph 7.0 that I dosed it with. So as a complete newbie - what does all this mean? Should I do a large water change to lower the KH? Is that too high for a goldfish? Should I just accept that the PH is going to stay around 6.6? Is that ok for a goldfish? I have read they like a higher PH. Should I be worried that the GH is apparently so low? I have so many questions.
 

Zigi Zig

Hello
The best way to accomplish correct balance between KH,GH and PH is adding natural resources instead using water softeners or chemicals. However keep in mind , and although the three properties are distinct, they all interact with each other to varying degrees, making it difficult to adjust one without impacting the other. That is one reason why is advised NOT to tamper with these unless absolutely necessary. If you looking to adjust PH to 7.0 witch is neutral you can use Seachem Neutral Regulator adjusts pH to neutral (pH 7.0) from either a low or high pH..
 

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