Questions about KH and GH

  1. Pamdemonium Initiate Member

    I have a betta and I recently placed him in a 5.5g tank from his 1 gal bowl. I'm doing a fish in cycle and he's been in there for one week tomorrow!

    The water was super clear and now it's getting a bit cloudy. I was wondering if that has something to do with the KH or GH?

    I'm not using a test kit, just paper strips for now. Though on the strips it says my KH is low and GH is getting higher as well. My pH has been between 6.8 and 7.2 from yesterday's test. Also I'm using prime and I used TSS to help start up my tank. He's been happy by making his bubblenests, flaring his Gils when he sees me, and been changing some colors!

    Just wondering if I should add some TSS to raise those levels or get some products to help with that. The last thing I want is a ph shock. Or maybe it has something to do with the filter as well? It's brand new and I use the Whisper 10i for him. (I cut a plastic bottle and used it a cover for the current. Plus placed some plants near it. My betta likes to lay in the plants right underneath the current lol)

    I'm also obsessed taking pics of him lol
  2. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Nope, KH/GH refers to the minerals dissolved in your water. Having a low KH might make you more susceptible to pH crashes so it might be advisable to add a cuttlebone or limestone (there are a few other options) to bring that up a bit.

    What are your other parameters so far? I would highly recommend getting at least an ammonia test to go with your strips if you're not quite ready to invest in the Master Test Kit. Until your tank is cycled, which means your filter media has enough of a bacterial population to handle all the ammonia your fish puts out, the ammonia can climb to dangerous levels and you'll need to know when to do water changes with Prime to neutralize them.

    You've got one lucky betta!
  3. Pamdemonium Initiate Member

    Thanks! Maybe I'll try a small piece of cuttlebone. I forgot to mention I have ammonia strips, my ammonia is good too. It was at 0. My nitrate is at 20 according to the strips, nitrite at 0, GH is 150, and my KH is between 40 and 80, and chlorine at 0.

    Anything that can help with the hardness of the water too?
  4. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Actually, your hardness is fine! So are all your parameters:)
  5. Pamdemonium Initiate Member

    Okay thanks for your help! I'm guessing your water shouldn't be too hard or soft. I was confused about that.
  6. Lady Monster Well Known Member Member

    Just break a bone in half and you can float it, stick it in your filter, or boil it (so it sinks or so they say, I've never tried it). I personally plant it in a corner so it looks like a headstone or something. My snails nibble it so that's why i plant it. My shrimp like to hang out on it too. But my Betta pays no attention to it, he swims around it like its not even there.
  7. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Just to clarify, by "bone" you mean cuttlebone, right? There's not as much calcium carbonate in skeletal bone as there is in mollusc shells;)
  8. Lady Monster Well Known Member Member

    Yes i mean cuttlebone
  9. oldsalt777 Well Known Member Member

    Hello Pam...

    Bettas aren't good fish for cycling. They're sensitive to changes in the water chemistry which from your post, the water is changing. These are good fish by themselves, but shouldn't be kept until you've mastered the management of your first tank.

    You need to get some stems of a floating plant to help steady the tank water. Hornwort is good and so is Anacharis. You should test the tank water daily for traces of ammonia and nitrite. The test strips are fine as long as they're recently purchased. If a test shows a trace of ammonia or nitrite, you should remove a gallon or so of the tank water and replace it with treated tap water. Feed just a little bit every other day and test the water every day. Just remove and replace the water when needed. When several daily tests show no traces of the above forms of nitrogen, the tank is cycled. After this, you remove and replace half the water every few days to keep the water clear of dissolved fish waste.

  10. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    That's interesting that you think that Bettas are one of the more sensitive fish since they seem to manage to survive in those awful cups! I'm not advocating for them to be kept in bad water but they were the perfect fish for me to learn the ropes with!

    Furthermore, the OP's tank does appear to be cycled! I don't get where you see fluctuating parameters.
  11. Shadowfox118 Member Member

    1 think, they last so long in those cups because sadly they as a species are used to conditions worse than that. Plus with a Betta I'd add a Moss ball or something else he can hang out on.
  12. Pamdemonium Initiate Member

    I had to do a fish in cycle since I had bought the fish before I knew about cycling a tank. Though I have been feeding him frozen mysis shrimps every two days, I haven't given him any peas since he seems to be a finicky fish.

    He has some betta buddies with him by his cave. I was planning to replace his plastic plants with live ones and some of the floating moss balls as well.

    My water parameters have been good but my ph levels have been dropping from the last two days. Will doing a simple 25-30% water change with prime and tss solve this issue.
  13. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    I love cuttlebone have some pieces in my tank and occasionally I'll grab one and rub it a little to rub off the soft part. It looks like it's snowing underwater!
  14. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    What is your current pH reading and how fast is it dropping? Has your KH dropped as well?
  15. Pamdemonium Initiate Member

    Two days ago I tested it and the ph was around 6.8-7.2. Now it seems to be stabilizing to 6.8

    My KH seemed to stay around the same levels
  16. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    That's good! Your KH must be high enough to maintain the pH in spite of being used up by the nitrifying bacteria.
  17. Pamdemonium Initiate Member

    Okay, thanks so much for the advice! :)