Need help with GH and KH

RachaelPro

I have a 5.5 betta tank with two snails. I’ve already lost several snails. I added a dechlorinater just in case and waiting to see how my new guys do. I have well water with softeners system since we have high iron in our aquifer since we sit on rocks.

All my PH and other readings were spot on. I got a G/Kh test kit and I’m not sure how to treat my 65 gal before I add fish. My GH was 1 drop and my KH is 6 drops.

I wanted to have angels or a tetra tank but I want to make sure my water is good.
Any recommendations?
 

MacZ

My GH was 1 drop and my KH is 6 drops.
It's normal for a water softener, that lowers GH (protecting household appliances from scaling calcium), but often raises KH (or doesn't influence it at all). KH is linked to pH. GH is not.

Anyhow: Most testkits have a scale of one drop per degree (°) so that means you have a GH of 1° and KH of 6°. Which is both not a problem for Tetras and Angels, as they can live in water with both at 0°.
But while these fish have absolutely no problem with this, snails and other invertebrates do. In nature there are very few species of snails and shrimp living where the fish come from.

In short: You can keep fish in this water, snails and other invertebrates need more calcium. You can either add it as a salt directly to the water, raising just GH or - which I would prefer, to keep the water parameters stable - feed enriched foods once or twice a week for the inverts. Question is whether they will get it then or whether the fish eat it before they can even reach it.

If you don't care to keep snails or shrimp, you don't have to do anything.
 

RachaelPro

It's normal for a water softener, that lowers GH (protecting household appliances from scaling calcium), but often raises KH (or doesn't influence it at all). KH is linked to pH. GH is not.

Anyhow: Most testkits have a scale of one drop per degree (°) so that means you have a GH of 1° and KH of 6°. Which is both not a problem for Tetras and Angels, as they can live in water with both at 0°.
But while these fish have absolutely no problem with this, snails and other invertebrates do. In nature there are very few species of snails and shrimp living where the fish come from.

In short: You can keep fish in this water, snails and other invertebrates need more calcium. You can either add it as a salt directly to the water, raising just GH or - which I would prefer, to keep the water parameters stable - feed enriched foods once or twice a week for the inverts. Question is whether they will get it then or whether the fish eat it before they can even reach it.

If you don't care to keep snails or shrimp, you don't have to do anything.
Thanks. How much salt for this? What type of food would be best? Running out today so I can grab stuff before my snails go. Went to my LFS and they said I have chlorine and that was killing my snails. But we have filters that take that out so I was a little confused.
 

MacZ

It's not literally salt. There are products that raise GH. It has to be dissolved in your waterchange water before adding it to the tank.
Against chlorine use a de-chlorinator.
Both should come with instructions when you buy it.

I keep my fish in close-to-nature conditions, so I haven't got any snails or the like. I don't use any of these GH and KH products, I just know they exist, what they do and how they do it. No practical experience and no brand recommendations there from me. Sorry.

Oh , and do yourself a favour: Get yourself some test strips. Avoid API and Tetra, those are bad quality. With the test strips you get approximations for pH, Nitrates, Nitrites, GH, KH and Chlorine. Won't be 100% accurate, but that isn't necessary and when handled correctly 90% accuracy should be reached.
 

StarGirl

Seachem Equilibrium raises your GH and KH levels, Its what a lot of members use who have very soft water.

There are some other kinds of brands too that people use for shrimp tanks with RO water. Salty shrimp or something like that.
 

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