What should the GH be in my Rain Water

CoryMaster151
  • #1
Hello everyone,

I am on rain water and do not have the availability to tap water. I have a few tanks and i do nothing to the water this includes water conditioner.
Recently i had a betta pass away and when using various different treating methods they did not seem to work. So i got told GH has a lot do with it (Minerals in the water) and both of my bettas died pretty much of the same age. Which is odd because i do a lot of maintenance and seem to do ok with fish keeping other fish which i have had for more than 2 years.
I got a result of 3dkh or 53.7ppm using the API GH test kit! Is this good or does it need to be dosed up a bit With the use of equilibrium? I have no idea of what I’m requiring & talking about with rain water…
What do bettas need to survive And fish in general With GH?

My KH is 2 dkh or 35.8 ppm

thanks heaps & i am really looking forward to some assistance.
CoryMaster
 

Advertisement
TClare
  • #2
I don't have much experience with bettas but I believe they like soft water, so maybe yours had some other issues? Our water is also untreated, comes from a mountain stream and has 1-2 GH, 0-1 KH and very low conductivity. I have not had a problem keeping soft water fish. If you want to keep rift lake or Central American cichlids or some livebearers and maybe rainbow fish it would be different, but if you keep soft water species you should be fine.
 

Advertisement
RayClem
  • #3
Betta are beautiful fish, but they have a rather short life span of 2-4 years in captivity. In many instances, fish sold in pet stores might already be 1 year old as it takes nearly that long for the fish to display their full adult coloration and finnage. Thus, do not be surprised if your betta do not live as long as some of your other fish.

Rain water is essentially the same as distilled water. The water evaporates near the ground, condenses in the clouds, and falls back to earth where you collect it. In some industrial areas, the rain can pick up contaminants from smokestacks, including acids. I do not know how much industry you have near Cuenca, so that might not be an issue.

I do not know if you have access to chemical additives in Ecuador to adjust GH. I used water purified by Reverse Osmosis in my aquariums, My source water would be quite similar to your rain water. I add a supplement called Equilibrium to the water I use for water changes to raise the GH.

There are many South American species that live in the tributaries of the Amazon River. These streams get high rainfall, so the water is soft and somewhat acidic. I suspect your rain water would be well suited to these species.

Bettas prefer water with some dissolved minerals. I have seen recommended ranges of 5-20 dGH. Your water is likely to be less than 1 dGH. If you cannot adjust the GH of your water with additives, one thing you might be able to obtain is crushed coral. Since Ecuador is near the Pacific Ocean, you should be able to obtain some. If you find coral fragments, rinse them thoroughly, submerse them in a pot of boiling water for several minutes to kill any micro-organisms that might inhabit the coral. Then break it into small pieces and add it to your filter or allow it to settle on the tank floor. The coral will dissolve slowly adding minerals to your tank.


BTW: I was not familiar with Ceunca, Ecuador so I looked it up on the Internet. It appears to be a beautiful city. Although near the equator, which can be hot, the city is located at higher elevation making for nearly perfect weather. You are fortunate to live there. :)
 
TClare
  • #4
Betta are beautiful fish, but they have a rather short life span of 2-4 years in captivity. In many instances, fish sold in pet stores might already be 1 year old as it takes nearly that long for the fish to display their full adult coloration and finnage. Thus, do not be surprised if your betta do not live as long as some of your other fish.

Rain water is essentially the same as distilled water. The water evaporates near the ground, condenses in the clouds, and falls back to earth where you collect it. In some industrial areas, the rain can pick up contaminants from smokestacks, including acids. I do not know how much industry you have near Cuenca, so that might not be an issue.

I do not know if you have access to chemical additives in Ecuador to adjust GH. I used water purified by Reverse Osmosis in my aquariums, My source water would be quite similar to your rain water. I add a supplement called Equilibrium to the water I use for water changes to raise the GH.

There are many South American species that live in the tributaries of the Amazon River. These streams get high rainfall, so the water is soft and somewhat acidic. I suspect your rain water would be well suited to these species.

Bettas prefer water with some dissolved minerals. I have seen recommended ranges of 5-20 dGH. Your water is likely to be less than 1 dGH. If you cannot adjust the GH of your water with additives, one thing you might be able to obtain is crushed coral. Since Ecuador is near the Pacific Ocean, you should be able to obtain some. If you find coral fragments, rinse them thoroughly, submerse them in a pot of boiling water for several minutes to kill any micro-organisms that might inhabit the coral. Then break it into small pieces and add it to your filter or allow it to settle on the tank floor. The coral will dissolve slowly adding minerals to your tank.


BTW: I was not familiar with Ceunca, Ecuador so I looked it up on the Internet. It appears to be a beautiful city. Although near the equator, which can be hot, the city is located at higher elevation making for nearly perfect weather. You are fortunate to live there. :)
Yes, Cuenca is very nice, in the Andes, but the OP is from Australia! Our water is very good for keeping Amazonian species and I suspect that is true of the OP as well.
 
Flyfisha
  • #5
Hi CoryMaster151

There are a number of minerals needed by fish in various amounts. Calcium and magnesium being two that come to mind.

The GH test measure of 53 ppm is a total of all minerals. While 60 ppm is good enough for most species we do not know if one mineral is low or even missing completely in your water?

Adding a small quantity of Equilibrium to ALL your change water is a small cost and slight inconvenience.

I do not know if your water is low in one or more minerals but a KH of 35 ppm / 2 German is an indication of very soft water. So soft your PH may not remain stable without constant ( weekly) water changes ?

I am no scientist ether but suggest you try the added minerals. ( equilibrium) .

Perhaps as little as one teaspoon of the powder per 20 litre/ 5 gallon bucket will make a difference?
 
TClare
  • #6
I have never had a pH crash to my knowledge, despite having very soft water and never adding any minerals. My water has low conductivity which is good for the sort of fish I keep. Adding minerals would raise this I presume. I do do water changes every week so that must help to keep the pH stable, but it does not seem to change during the week. In my most densely planted tank the pH does change during the day, being lower in the morning and slightly higher in the evening, due to the plants using CO2 I presume. But the change is gradual and doesn't seem to affect the fish.
 

Advertisement



CoryMaster151
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Hello Everyone And thank you for all the replies!

My PH is usually when tested at about 7.6 -8.0. The plants in my tank have never really grown to be fully established even when adding leaf zone every couple of weeks just to add something as I know my water does not contain very much. Would this be why my plants don't grow the best because the water is not hard enough? I do a 25%-30% water change every 4 weeks and within that time on the 2nd week I top the tank up with water as a bit of it evaporates because it’s been a bit hot here. I don't think contamints would really be an issue except of birds because where I am we are on property in Australia. Is there any downsides to using equilibrium, like will it affect any of my fish or parameters and are there any benefits that I might see if I start using it? And can I add the water to the tank and then dilute the equilibrium & add it? The water before we drink and use it goes through 2 carbon filters that we replace every 6-8 months.

Thanks heaps
Corymaster151
 
ruud
  • #8
My PH is usually when tested at about 7.6 -8.0
> This is the normal pH given the pH - CO2 equilibrium in low KH water without much biological activity.

Would this be why my plants don't grow the best because the water is not hard enough?

> Plants need a bit of calcium and magnesium, but not so much in low CO2 conditions.
> And some (aquatic) plant species can produce CO2 out of KH. KH is also appreciated by micro-organisms that form symbiosis with plants.
> That said, pretty much all plant issues are CO2 and light intensity related. Out-of-the-box aquarium lights and no CO2 injection is the usual recipe for plant issues.
 
Zer0Fame
  • #9
Hey,

KH 1.5, GH 3.0, very old T5 tubes, should push around 17-20 lumens per liter, no CO2. Picture taken 2 minutes ago. The holes are from me dumping water in like a madman yesterday, usually everything looks like the middle. :D


PXL_20230404_101636582.jpg

Key is balance, patience, appropriate light levels, full nutrient availability, not too much but also not zero and enough oxygen.
Sounds complicated, is not complicated. Enough plants, dimmed lights in the first few weeks/months, regular 50% water changes and a dash of fertilizer every 1-2 weeks if needed plus something that moves the surface. Push that microflora.

The above tank is so "ripe" by now, the last water change was months ago ... could be over a year now that I think of it. I add a few pumps of micro nutrients every 3-7 weeks. Virtually no algae.
 
ruud
  • #10
Hey,

KH 1.5, GH 3.0, very old T5 tubes, should push around 17-20 lumens per liter, no CO2. Picture taken 2 minutes ago. The holes are from me dumping water in like a madman yesterday, usually everything looks like the middle. :D

View attachment 877223

Key is balance, patience, appropriate light levels, full nutrient availability, not too much but also not zero and enough oxygen.
Sounds complicated, is not complicated. Enough plants, dimmed lights in the first few weeks/months, regular 50% water changes and a dash of fertilizer every 1-2 weeks if needed plus something that moves the surface. Push that microflora.

The above tank is so "ripe" by now, the last water change was months ago ... could be over a year now that I think of it. I add a few pumps of micro nutrients every 3-7 weeks. Virtually no algae.

Word is some unknown fish species has evolved in this tank.
 

Advertisement



TClare
  • #11
Many plants do fine in soft water - here is another tank - GH 1-2, KH 0-1, pH 6.6-6.8. Never added equilibrium, occasional fertilizers but hardy ever lately. No Co2. About 20 lumens per litre but floating pants cut out quite a bit of light. I do weekly water changes usually.

IMG_8772.jpeg
 
ruud
  • #12
What's the one in the front, next to pearl weed.... viscidula or zosterifolia?
 
TClare
  • #13
What's the one in the front, next to pearl weed.... viscidula or zosterifolia?
I think it is H. zosterifolia, but not 100% sure as they never give the proper plant names in shops here, in tanks with lower lights it grows tall..
 
CoryMaster151
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Thanks for the replies,
So do i need equilibrium for any type of fish like bettas, Based On my water parameters? im not understanding what i require?

Thanks
 

Advertisement



TClare
  • #15
Thanks for the replies,
So do i need equilibrium for any type of fish like bettas, Based On my water parameters? im not understanding what i require?

Thanks
I don't think you need to add anything to your water. Except maybe fertilizer for the plants occasionally.
 
RayClem
  • #16
Hello Everyone And thank you for all the replies!

My PH is usually when tested at about 7.6 -8.0. The plants in my tank have never really grown to be fully established even when adding leaf zone every couple of weeks just to add something as I know my water does not contain very much. Would this be why my plants don't grow the best because the water is not hard enough? I do a 25%-30% water change every 4 weeks and within that time on the 2nd week I top the tank up with water as a bit of it evaporates because it’s been a bit hot here. I don't think contamints would really be an issue except of birds because where I am we are on property in Australia. Is there any downsides to using equilibrium, like will it affect any of my fish or parameters and are there any benefits that I might see if I start using it? And can I add the water to the tank and then dilute the equilibrium & add it? The water before we drink and use it goes through 2 carbon filters that we replace every 6-8 months.

Thanks heaps
Corymaster151

Leaf Zone is not an ideal plant fertilizer for your situation. It contains ONLY iron and potassium. Since you are using soft rainwater, you need to be adding a lot of other minerals as well.

I do not know which aquarium supplements you have available to you in Australia. In the States there are some all-in-one supplements that contain nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and lots of other micronutrients. Seachem Flourish Comprehensive sounds like it is an all-in-one, but it is not. It contains only micronutrients. Seachem sells separate products containing nitrogen, potassium, and phosphates.

Seachem Equilibrium is a great product, but it contains only minerals that will raise GH. It contains calcium and magnesium and some other minerals, but it does not contain any carbonates or phosphates to maintain alkalinity (KH). However, if your pH is stable, you might not need a pH buffier.
 
SparkyJones
  • #17
With KH and GH of rainwater, both should be zeros. If you are using rainwater, you need to collect it and test it for pH, KH and GH immediately. It SHOULD BE 0KH and 0GH and a neutral pH of 7, however if it's picked up CO2, pH will drop lower, which is why it's important to age it for a day and see if there is any difference. Depending on the collecting method, it can also pick up KH or GH.
As rain falls it's basically as neutral as distilled water is. but may pick up other things in the air if there's industry nearby, it is an excellent solvent and will take on nutrients and minerals from soil or dirt in collection vessels like cisterns, or pick up pesticides or fertilizers if collected from puddles on the ground and do gas exchange as well as other nutrient chemical or minerals from the air above it. It will balance out with the environment it touches as it sits is basically what I mean.

Depending on how testing goes, you could in theory collect rain water in buckets or a barrel, and use it in an aquarium, but if you aren't remineralizing it you may want to collect and sterilze soil, and use that as a substrate ( also would require testing to see what that and the water does together) collected and heated to sterilize soil should then remineralize the water and give you a GH and KH.
That soil will give you the KH and GH of the soil, but over time it will deplete just like the nutrients in it will deplete unless there's a really soild established decay cycle that is breaking down waste into usable nutrients.

Takes testing to know what you got exactly as a starting point from it falling from the sky,then testing to see what it does as it sits, then while you use it , and over time as to depletes to know when some soil needs to be removed and new soil added to "refresh" the depleted minerals.

I wouldn't say it's "quick" or instant gratification like bottled solutions, but can be done with time and patience.
 
CoryMaster151
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
With KH and GH of rainwater, both should be zeros. If you are using rainwater, you need to collect it and test it for pH, KH and GH immediately. It SHOULD BE 0KH and 0GH and a neutral pH of 7, however if it's picked up CO2, pH will drop lower, which is why it's important to age it for a day and see if there is any difference. Depending on the collecting method, it can also pick up KH or GH.
As rain falls it's basically as neutral as distilled water is. but may pick up other things in the air if there's industry nearby, it is an excellent solvent and will take on nutrients and minerals from soil or dirt in collection vessels like cisterns, or pick up pesticides or fertilizers if collected from puddles on the ground and do gas exchange as well as other nutrient chemical or minerals from the air above it. It will balance out with the environment it touches as it sits is basically what I mean.

Depending on how testing goes, you could in theory collect rain water in buckets or a barrel, and use it in an aquarium, but if you aren't remineralizing it you may want to collect and sterilze soil, and use that as a substrate ( also would require testing to see what that and the water does together) collected and heated to sterilize soil should then remineralize the water and give you a GH and KH.
That soil will give you the KH and GH of the soil, but over time it will deplete just like the nutrients in it will deplete unless there's a really soild established decay cycle that is breaking down waste into usable nutrients.

Takes testing to know what you got exactly as a starting point from it falling from the sky,then testing to see what it does as it sits, then while you use it , and over time as to depletes to know when some soil needs to be removed and new soil added to "refresh" the depleted minerals.

I wouldn't say it's "quick" or instant gratification like bottled solutions, but can be done with time and patience.
Thanks for your reply & Sorry for the delay in getting back to you its been really busy.

I understand what you mean and we do not have any air industry nearby.

I will do some tests like you said tomorrow and get back to you. I definitely can confirm my PH is 7 when coming out of the tap.

I will update tommorow with the GH & KH and then let it sit for a day and get back to you.

I definitely agree with you, that its not quick and those that are patient with time will get good results!

Kindest Regards
Corymaster151
Leaf Zone is not an ideal plant fertilizer for your situation. It contains ONLY iron and potassium. Since you are using soft rainwater, you need to be adding a lot of other minerals as well.

I do not know which aquarium supplements you have available to you in Australia. In the States there are some all-in-one supplements that contain nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and lots of other micronutrients. Seachem Flourish Comprehensive sounds like it is an all-in-one, but it is not. It contains only micronutrients. Seachem sells separate products containing nitrogen, potassium, and phosphates.

Seachem Equilibrium is a great product, but it contains only minerals that will raise GH. It contains calcium and magnesium and some other minerals, but it does not contain any carbonates or phosphates to maintain alkalinity (KH). However, if your pH is stable, you might not need a pH buffier.
Thanks for your reply as well and once again sorry for the long response.

I have quite a variety over here and I was mixing leaf zone with Seachem flourish advance. Like once a week leaf zone and the other Seachem flourish advance.

I know about the seperate nutrients but have really never known on how to dose them.

So if my GH is low I should add equilibrium? Im not so sure on my ph.

Thanks again for your reply
Corymaster151
 
RayClem
  • #19
Thanks for your reply & Sorry for the delay in getting back to you its been really busy.

I understand what you mean and we do not have any air industry nearby.

I will do some tests like you said tomorrow and get back to you. I definitely can confirm my PH is 7 when coming out of the tap.

I will update tommorow with the GH & KH and then let it sit for a day and get back to you.

I definitely agree with you, that its not quick and those that are patient with time will get good results!

Kindest Regards
Corymaster151

Thanks for your reply as well and once again sorry for the long response.

I have quite a variety over here and I was mixing leaf zone with Seachem flourish advance. Like once a week leaf zone and the other Seachem flourish advance.

I know about the seperate nutrients but have really never known on how to dose them.

So if my GH is low I should add equilibrium? Im not so sure on my ph.

Thanks again for your reply
Corymaster151


I use RO water for my water top off and RO water plus Equilibrium for water changes. I add around 8 grams of Equilibrium per 10 liters of water to produce hardness of 7 dGH. That works for me as I keep a community tank with a variety of species. They are all OK with that hardness level. Some fish will prefer harder water and some will prefer softer water, so you will need to adjust your dGH based on the stocking of the tank. Since RO water and rain water should be similar in mineral content (quite low), they should respond in a similar manner.

If the pH of your water starts to drop, you might need to add a pH buffer to your tank. Some are phosphate based and some are carbonate/bicarbonate based. Even adding a pinch of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) will help to stabilize pH if it drops too low.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
4
Views
392
Fljoe
  • Question
Replies
5
Views
390
richiep
Replies
12
Views
171
wdbwdb777
Replies
4
Views
2K
chromedome52
  • Locked
  • Question
Replies
4
Views
416
DogsOfWars
Advertisement






Advertisement



Top Bottom