Gh/kh Questions And Explanations

Dragones5150918

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Yeah, you should be. The heavy metals should not effect the plants.....Fish on the other hand......

For the plants, the sodium will be an issue, and that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible.
 
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Dcchillin

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Ok, i was planning on taking about half of the water out to have a bit more room to work while scaping, then refilling with the new water after. That should remove a decent amount of sodium once the new water is in correct?
 
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Dcchillin

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really appreciate the continued help dragon, i just cleaned the rocks and am going to test the tank then get to work!
 

iZaO Jnr

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Ok, for tonight though i am stuck without any of those chemicals as i live about a half hour from the nearest shop. The neutral regulator removes everything but the heavy metals if im reading it right, so will i be ok tonight to do a half/half water change after i plant and scape without the chemicals?
I would recommend an even further greater WC. Get the temp matched, and mix up a 75% if you're confident enough.
 
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Dcchillin

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I do have some tank water with these plants, so there will be some bacteria there. The temp match will be the hard part, as the outside water is a bit chilly lol.
 

KarainSD

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I think the fear of sodium from water softeners is a bit overstated. I have a very healthy planted tank - using the softened water cut with RO water- I've experienced virtually no melt and my plants have been in there for a couple of months now, . Ive had fish for 6 months, all very healthy, and had fish for a couple of years using straight tap water when i was in high school. Just my two cents worth.

Using the unsoftened water may be the best route since your softened water has such low gh, but I wouldn't worry too much about your plants instantly melting due to the softened water already in your tank.
 
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Dcchillin

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Well, nitrites hit 0, NH is at about .25 so looks like my cycle is wrapping up. Being fishless for another week im going to try to keep it going with food alone. wish me luck.
 
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Dcchillin

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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 im sure it wont be the last!
 

Dragones5150918

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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.
 
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Dcchillin

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That is a good idea, i plan on picking up another 5g bucket and keeping 10g 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
 
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Dcchillin

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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!
 
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Dcchillin

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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

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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.
 
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Dcchillin

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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 doesnt get any higher im not too concerned.

The picture i linked shows that "brown stuff" im talking about.
 

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Dragones5150918

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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.
 
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Dcchillin

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Ok, so i should add some ph down to knock the KH down to 8? That wont affect my plants will it? im 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 dont understand the spike yesterday.
 
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