So Lost On This Kh Gh Thing...

River Gray

Valued Member
Messages
211
Reaction score
26
Points
63
Experience
2 years
So I finally got my gH and kH test and I don't get how to measure the outcome. Is the number of drops it takes to change color = to the #°-#° that it gives? And if so how do people get these accurate numbers when it just gives a general "gH & kH range" 0°-3° (0-50 ppm) and 3°-6° (50-100ppm) etc... Which is pretty confusing when you get way different drop numbers...
So what kind of parameters should I be striving to get my cherries to breed and also no matter how many water changes I do or gravel vacuuming my nitrates seem to never drop very much or for very long. I know having a UGF in the tank can skew the numbers higher and when I tested my TDS they were in the low 200s which I've read is good for shrimp and if that's accurate where are all these nitrate readings coming from, since don't they translate into the TDS? I'm not sure what is the best to strive for to get the shrimp colony growing. I have at least one female who has had her saddle for a lot longer than the normal amount of time and so I don't know if she will ever berry or not at this point and I want to make sure the tank is at the right stats before I add in any more shrimp of better quality and hopefully before my youngest set of blues are old enough to start breeding... Which actually shouldn't be that long but they are growing slow because I've kept them in the float breeder box so they don't all cross with the cherries and just produce all culls, but they need to be added into the main tank soon I fear they could possibly become permanently stunted which I definitely don't want and would rather have a generation of all culls than that.
The last other issues is that I have my guppy fry still in the same tank as they are too small to hurt the shrimp though they are in a different float box and a HOB breed box where I seperatedale and females between them, however they are a little young to be for sure about their gender and so I put them in at my best guess to avoid as much early pregnancy accidents as I could and will recheck them in another week when they are fully a month old and keep repeating that till I'm sure which are which. Once I am theales will go into my 5gal and the females, being less aggressive typically will stay with the shrimp. Also by that time the four shrimp I singled out as having "MN" and secluded into the 5 gal will be brought back into theain tank by then because if they are still eating and moving and acting like healthy shrimp after what will be at least 2-3 weeks I don't think it can really be MN and so likely is something non communicable or at least not deadly because it hasn't seemed to affect those shrimp at all. I think they just have mixed blood history maybe with snowflakes or crystals somewhere... It's strange and I'll take some more pictures with themacro lens and post them before I add them back in to the general pop but from what I've read they should've died long ago if it was truly MN they are suffering from....

Any insights, ideas, and suggestions or solutions are welcome as for almost all of these things so many different sources and people and things etc, say so many different answers to the what's how's and do or not dos...
Help?
 

Mick Frost

Valued Member
Messages
482
Reaction score
157
Points
73
Experience
More than 10 years
There's a pretty wide margin when it comes to water chemistry.
GH represents total mineral content. It's not perfect, and a number of other factors have a small effect, but it's a viable alternative to a mass spectrometer.
KH represents Alkaloids, substances which contain Carbon, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Sulphur, or Oxygen (there are more). Most of these (the ones commonly found in an aquarium) will raise PH slightly. Again, no mass spectrometer, so it's at least an indication of volatility of the water chemistry.
TDS counts most of the substances represented by GH or KH. Very few minerals/alkaloids dissolve in water, most of them remain solid and are suspended in the water. TDS (Total Dissolved Solids - dissolved being a misnomer) is just a count, in ppm (parts per million), of these suspended compounds.
Most of us who will give a firm number rather than a range are giving an approximation based on a gradient. They become more accurate with experience. Make sure to read your results in proper lighting (indirect sunlight works best). Also, I do believe "there's an app for that", though I don't know how well it works.
 

Bithimala

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,188
Reaction score
353
Points
108
Experience
3 years
A lot of people will also just count drops when giving the number instead of actually providing the specific number. I'm happy to hear that your few that were a concern are still doing well! kH is going to help keep your pH stable and not crashing.

As to the nitrates, have you tested the source water? I run Seachem Matrix in all of my tanks because my source water is pretty crappy (.5-1 ppm ammonia out of the tap depending on the time of year), so without it, mine are at about 40-60 the day after a water change, even with low population tanks. That's with them being heavily planted as well... There are other nitrate absorbers as well, so you may want to play around with a few options and see what works best for you.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #4

River Gray

Valued Member
Messages
211
Reaction score
26
Points
63
Experience
2 years
My kit for gH and kH didn't come with a spectrum like I had expected and just says to count the drops till it changes color from a to b and then refer to results however it doesn't really have a results table that says 1 drop kH=x or 1 drop gH=x but a "kH gH" (1°-3°)=(0-100ppm) so I am guessing that means the °# is equal to the drop # and therefore whichever you're counting falls into that range?... That's the only way I can figure it to mean anyways... I did buy a TDS meter so know they are in the mid 200s which I read was good, hopefully that's correct. I decided to completely clean everything from under my UGF and in the process I actually ended up just removing the whole dang thing... (My tank looks so weird without its bubble tubes on the sides!!!!!) and then filled the evap and also the extra space created by the loss of the height of the UGF itself with fresh water and Prime. By then it was past 1am and so I took a break and fell asleep while giving it time to settle down a little so I could redo the tests and see what all my readings are like now with all that UGF gunk layer gone. I have yet to do the tests but will likely do it a little later today. I sure hope the biowheel on the HOB alone can sustain an optimal bb load because it will take awhile before I can get the sponge filters to replace the UGF and then decide if I want to keep the HOB as well or if just the sponge is best... Because I plan to keep some fish, most likely female guppies and fry or other non aggressive females and/or fry in the "shrimp" tank I will likely keep the HOB and just use a sponge cover on its intake again when I know their are any fry that may be prone to being pulled into it without one. I've already seen a couple of molts in the tank however which makes me happy as I was starting to worry about how slow comparatively the youngest batch of shrimp that were born were growing. They seem almost like they were stunted for some reason and I can't be sure why... I could only figure there was too much food hogging or competition when they were in the float box so hopefully there will be a lot more noticeable growth in them now that they all have almost (the breed box is still in the tank but has the guppy fry that are most likely males in it while the females are in the HOB breed box so that they can easily be observed over the next week or so as their true sex becomes more and more definable and thus hopefully we can avoid any premature impregnation!) the whole tank to roam and chow down on the various food pellets and algae (natural and wafer). I'll update this posts with the results when I can finish testing where I'm assuming for now that my interpretation of drops to °symboled #s is correct. I do still have questions about what water parameters people have found the best for the growth of their colonies and would appreciate the input.
Also still dealing with new mysteries and questions about the possibly sick shrimp. Please seemy other post for updated info and pics as I'm trying to only discuss one issue per thread so it's not too confusing and I get more precise answers, however please take a look and read the latest post there if you know about shrimp illnesses and/or possibly odd colorations...
 

Bithimala

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,188
Reaction score
353
Points
108
Experience
3 years
I would definitely keep a sponge or something over the intake for the HOB with shrimp, snails, or babies in there. They will get sucked in otherwise. Even with the filter, some will climb in the front, lol.

Numbers for my neo colonies that have worked well.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0-15
Temp: 76-78
pH: 7.8-8
kH: 3 drops
gH: 12 drops
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #6

River Gray

Valued Member
Messages
211
Reaction score
26
Points
63
Experience
2 years
I have a folder of pictures of my current shrimp tanks denziens... There's a couple more shrimp that I put in QT when I was first concerned about having a deadly contagious disease in the tank, yet none have died and since then I've found a couple more in the main tank that have the same look, though I can't know if I just missed it before or they developed the coloring later because it is contagious or just something that they are genetically disposed to grow into at different points.
I also recently came across some shrimp described as being "blue bodied" and most were rilis, many of which came from some variant of blue neo stock, and I think that might be what is actually happening with my shrimp since they have way outlived and out swimmed any description of shrimps with MN I've found to date. Anyone else seen, heard, or had any shrimp with this?
I also took out my UFG so I can get my Nitrates nailed down to a more specific number without the added questions that the UGF adds to the equations. Going to try to get a sponge filter setup into the tank soon... I don't think that having just the HOB and one small bubbler is enough to keep the tank clean... At least not while it's hosting all the guppy frys in it anyways lol. And yes I plan to keep the sponge over the intake whenever there are any small fry be it shrimp or fish or whatever in the tank.

*Sorry if there's a few fuzzy or duplicates etc. I'll try to cut down the extras to make the folder more efficient soon. I tried to use the overhead pics (or once or twice a blank pic) to help seperate the different yet so similar looking shrimp apart tho I probably forgot to sometimes lol...

iCloud Photo Sharing
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7

River Gray

Valued Member
Messages
211
Reaction score
26
Points
63
Experience
2 years
Bithimala said:
I would definitely keep a sponge or something over the intake for the HOB with shrimp, snails, or babies in there. They will get sucked in otherwise. Even with the filter, some will climb in the front, lol.

Numbers for my neo colonies that have worked well.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0-15
Temp: 76-78
pH: 7.8-8
kH: 3 drops
gH: 12 drops
Seems like a bit high on the pH from other things I've read... Mine usually hovers around 7.4 as far as I can tell. It's always the top color of regular pH and the bottom color of the high pH. So I imagine that equals the average level that both scales skip of 7.4 lol.
 

tjander

Well Known Member
Messages
1,289
Reaction score
376
Points
128
Experience
More than 10 years
As long as the Ph stays stable and the shrimp are properly acclimated a Ph of 8 is not going to hurt. It is high but if that’s what you get out of the tap then leave it alone. Don’t Chase Ph the chances of getting swings or changing too fast are very great. Which of course is bad for shrimp.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9

River Gray

Valued Member
Messages
211
Reaction score
26
Points
63
Experience
2 years
tjander said:
As long as the Ph stays stable and the shrimp are properly acclimated a Ph of 8 is not going to hurt. It is high but if that’s what you get out of the tap then leave it alone. Don’t Chase Ph the chances of getting swings or changing too fast are very great. Which of course is bad for shrimp.
Well mine is 7.4 normally pretty stable, so I think mine is just fine lol.
 

Bithimala

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,188
Reaction score
353
Points
108
Experience
3 years
tjander said:
As long as the Ph stays stable and the shrimp are properly acclimated a Ph of 8 is not going to hurt. It is high but if that’s what you get out of the tap then leave it alone. Don’t Chase Ph the chances of getting swings or changing too fast are very great. Which of course is bad for shrimp.
This right here! You asked what mine were doing well in, and that's what they're in. Far safer to keep the pH stable and they've been doing well for a few years
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #11

River Gray

Valued Member
Messages
211
Reaction score
26
Points
63
Experience
2 years
Bithimala said:
This right here! You asked what mine were doing well in, and that's what they're in. Far safer to keep the pH stable and they've been doing well for a few years
Ya thank you for the stats am glad you've gotten a good stable going.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom