What Is Gh And Kh Exactly?

AGentJ2468

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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.
 

Wraithen

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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 won't thrive in my tank. Given that amano can't reproduce in freshwater, and my amanos have no trouble surviving and molting, I don't care. I do want to try a vampire or bamboo, but they aren't easily found locally, and I don't want to ship shrimp.
 
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AGentJ2468

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wow really complicated from what ive read. But I'm ready for the challenge of planted and having new kinds of fish. Goodluck guys!
 
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AGentJ2468

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Wraithen said:
What through me through a loop was phosphates being used to raise ph without raising kh.
Very interesting! If I increased my phosphate source would that be better algae growth leading to a food source for snails and shrimp?
 

SeanyBaggs123

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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.
 

Wraithen

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AGentJ2468 said:
Very interesting! If I increased my phosphate source would that be better algae growth leading to a food source for snails and shrimp?
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.
 
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AGentJ2468

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Oh ok, I'm getting the hang of it. Sadly I won't be able to set up a Co2 setup when I get my tank started but hopefully later down the road.
 

PascalKrypt

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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.
 

Momgoose56

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Wraithen said:
What through me through a loop was phosphates being used to raise ph without raising kh.
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!
 

fa4960

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Wraithen said:
What through me through a loop was phosphates being used to raise ph without raising kh.
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.
 

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