What Is Gh And Kh Exactly?

Discussion in 'Bamboo Shrimp' started by AGentJ2468, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. AGentJ2468

    AGentJ2468New MemberMember

    I thought I was ready for all my fish but now I'm learning about this so called care for shrimp called KH and GH, can someone fill me in on this? I'm planning on housing Bamboo Shrimp and Vampire Shrimp.
  2. andrearamirezo91

    andrearamirezo91Well Known MemberMember

    Following because I want to learn too!
  3. david1978

    david1978Fishlore LegendMember

  4. Wraithen

    WraithenFishlore VIPMember

    Keep your kh at or above 5. Gh is general hardness, kh is carbonite hardness, gh measures everything including kh, kh only measures carbonates.

    Kh is linked to ph. High kg = high ph, and vice versa.

    Shrimp generally prefer a softer water, with lower ph. I keep amanos in a ph at or above 8.0 with high kh and gh. My gh is almost entirely kh, and my fish and shrimp do ok. I've been told there are many shrimp that wont thrive in my tank. Given that amano cant reproduce in freshwater, and my amanos have no trouble surviving and molting, I dont care. I do want to try a vampire or bamboo, but they aren't easily found locally, and I dont want to ship shrimp.
  5. OP

    AGentJ2468New MemberMember

    wow really complicated from what ive read. But im ready for the challenge of planted and having new kinds of fish. Goodluck guys!
  6. fa4960

    fa4960Well Known MemberMember

  7. Wraithen

    WraithenFishlore VIPMember

    What through me through a loop was phosphates being used to raise ph without raising kh.
  8. OP

    AGentJ2468New MemberMember

    Very interesting! If I increased my phosphate source would that be better algae growth leading to a food source for snails and shrimp?
  9. SeanyBaggs123

    SeanyBaggs123Well Known MemberMember

    kh is an indicator of your buffering capacity. In other words, when an opportunity arises for your water to become more acidic, there are enough carbonites (CaCO3 I believe) to absorb or bind to the acidic change factor and keep the ph at a stable level.

    gh is an indicator of your water's general hardness (hence gh). In essence, it is an indicator of mineral content in your water. Namely, calcium and magnesium.
  10. Wraithen

    WraithenFishlore VIPMember

    No, the best way to get algae is to keep your tank well fertilized and keep the lights on too long. If you have co2, I make pretty good bba when I point my circulation pump too high and then fixing it 2 days later after I notice the bba everywhere.
  11. OP

    AGentJ2468New MemberMember

    Oh ok, I'm getting the hang of it. Sadly I wont be able to set up a Co2 setup when I get my tank started but hopefully later down the road.
  12. PascalKrypt

    PascalKryptValued MemberMember

    I think this thread is plenty informative but to avoid future confusion I will mention that PH and KH are not as interdependent as has been presented above. Though in general, especially in natural environments, high PH and high KH go hand-in-hand as does the opposite, it is not actually true that a low KH means a low PH or vice versa. For instance, my tap water has a very low KH (~3) but a somewhat high PH (7.5~7.8). There is all sorts of other chemical buffering at play as well.
  13. Momgoose56

    Momgoose56Well Known MemberMember

    Yeah that's great. If you like algae, fill your tank up with phosphates.
    And why would you want to raise your pH and not your KH? That's like wanting your house to stay at 68° without using a thermostat to regulate the furnace!
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  14. fa4960

    fa4960Well Known MemberMember

    This is interesting, and not how I understand it. Where did you see the information that phosphates can be used to raise PH with/without raising KH?

    In some cases phosphate (in the form of Phosphoric acid) can act as a PH adjuster but it is typically in our food, body (skincare & cosmetics) and other places. Phosphoric acids can also lower PH in your tank, but it will increase phosphate levels and therefore increase the risk of algae growth.

    Only Alkali (Alkaline) salts raises PH without raising KH. Common examples are Lye (Sodium hydroxide – often called "caustic soda" and/or Potassium hydroxide – commonly called "caustic potash") so these would be your best choices if you intend to raise PH without impacting KH.

    I agree with your other answer. High / excessive light is a better a choice for growing algae than playing with phosphate levels.