Only kh and ph high

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Niceandeasy, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. NiceandeasyNew MemberMember

    I have started with a 3gal 5months ago then I just got a 20gal. So I'm some what new. Just found out I need to be testing the water. I been doing 20% water changes. I bought the test strips to start just can't swing $30 for the nice kit. So I tested the water and nitrate , ammonia and gh are low but my kh and ph is off the chart in both tanks. How do I get them down. In my small tank i did a 50% water change yesterday and added just distill water and still no change to it.
  2. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to Fishlore :)

    What fish do you have in the 3g and 20g tanks? Test strips are inaccurate but could you post all the parameters of each tank as well as the readings out of your tap so we can get a rough idea?

    And how often are you doing these 20% water changes?
  3. OP

    NiceandeasyNew MemberMember

    3gal has two older gold fish and one new gold fish (it was eating fins in big tank).
    Tank been going for 5 or 6 months.

    20gal has 5 goldfish 4 swords and wife got two purple glow fish. And one albino bristle nose.
    Tank been going 2 weeks or so.
    Has 3 Amazon swords

    20% water change once week on small tank and 2 time on 20gal.

    As soon as I figured out how to put a picture up I will of
    the tap water test

    Just want to get this right I got a 75 gal to about ready to set up and want to get nicer fish.



    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2016
  4. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Can you post the results from each tank as well?

    The problem with those strips is that it doesn't test for ammonia which I can only imagine is extremely high given both tanks are way overstocked. I know you said it's not in your budget to get a Master Test Kit but believe me, it's a valuable tool to have and far more accurate than the strips. It's actually cheaper than the strips because you get about 800 tests which tests for everything you need to know to monitor your parameters - pH, high range pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrates.

    What kind of goldfish do you have? If these are common/comet goldfish, they will do best in a large pond. If they're fancy goldfish, the minimum for one is 30-40 gallons and I think 10-20g for every one.

    None of the goldfish can stay in the 3g even temporarily. Even if they are small, the water parameters would be near impossible to keep stable.

    Goldfish and tropical fish cannot be kept together. They have different temp requirements. Swords get up to 6 inches and would probably do better in the 75g you're setting up. The glowfish are a schooling fish and need a group of at least 6+. These could stay in the 20g. The BN pleco can stay in the 20 but would probably do better in the 75.

    I'm sorry but I would adjust the stocking on your current tanks before adding any new fish.

  5. OP

    NiceandeasyNew MemberMember

    3 gal I was planing to use as a hospital tank. And I have no plans in keeping the gold fish. Just got them to help the tank start and if I lost them it would not be a big deal. Yes the swords I plan to put in the 75 gal and my wife wanted to take my 20gal to do the glow fish.
    As of the test they look just about the same as what the tap water is just the Nitrate is about 25ppm and nitrite is 0
  6. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Next time I would consider fishless cycling instead of using goldfish esp since you have no plans on keeping them permanently. Or at least use fish you are going to keep long term.

    It looks like the pH is at 8.4 but could be higher. Alkalinity looks like it's at the highest color value. As far as lowering it, I'm guessing you would have to use RO water but I would probably get a more accurate test kit to see what those actual numbers are first.
  7. BamBamSorg

    BamBamSorgWell Known MemberMember

    I would recommend getting a api test kit from amazon or your lfs
  8. CindiL

    CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Hi, welcome to fishlore :;hi2

    I wouldn't worry at all about your KH or your PH, there is no reason to lower either of them. KH just tells you, you have lots of minerals in the water (carbonates) which absorb acids and hold your PH steady. I think you'll find once you do the "real" test with the API kit the numbers will be quite a bit different. You can find the API test for less money on Amazon usually so I would look there. With three tanks, it will be worth your while having an accurate test kit.

    As far as ph goes, the majority of fish will be fine in ph from upper 6's to low 8's. Also with those strips you have to look at most of those tests at 30 seconds, except for nitrates which I think is 60 seconds.

    I am actually more concerned about your GH, does it look like 0 to you, I couldn't tell. But it looks too low. Do you have a water softener? If you do, is there a way to bypass it for tank filling? On my water softener there is a valve I can push to only get hard water. I'll wait to hear back from you before talking more about softened water :)
  9. OP

    NiceandeasyNew MemberMember

  10. CindiL

    CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    What number are you showing for your GH?
  11. OP

    NiceandeasyNew MemberMember

  12. CindiL

    CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Fish cannot live in a GH of 0. With your alkalinity as high as it is it really makes me think there is a water softener somewhere in the water line. Are you in a house? an apartment? I'm not saying its not possible just would be rare to have an alkalinity of 300 and up and a GH of 0. I have never seen anyone have this issue without a water softener. So, maybe double check unless you're the owner of the house then I'm sure you know :)

    So lets say your GH is really 0, even for soft water fish, that is too low. Because you don't want to raise your PH anymore I would exclude using minerals or shells like crushed coral or limestone to raise your GH as they will also raise your KH and PH more. Instead I would suggest Seachem Replenish which is a pre-mixed calcium and magnesium liquid you just add to your tank. I have used it for years and it only raises GH.

    What type of fish do you have? This will determine the GH you would want to target. Generally speaking soft water fish like tetras would be fine in about 75ppm but if you have livebearers like guppies, platies etc they would need double that, closer to 150ppm. Using a cap full initially per 5g will get you closer to the 150.
  13. OP

    NiceandeasyNew MemberMember

    I own and got the house build. No water softener in this house. We are on city water. Gh is 0 even tested the water out side.

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