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  1. We have a 40g planted tank that has been up for a month. Currently, it has 1 mystery snail, 1 amano shrimp, and 4 neocaridina shrimp. We also have a rice sized pea puffer who is in the quarantine tank, since I wanted to dose it for parasites. Puffer is going in his own tank (that has yet to be set up). The water parameters are as follows: pH: 7.5 gH: 300ish? (co op test strip) kH: 40ppm (2.25~dkH) (both coop strip and API kH test) nitrates: 5ppm (might be due to fertilizer) nitrites: 0 ammonia: 0 According to the water company: gH: 289 TDS: 410 pH: 7.8 We have cast iron pipes and get water mostly from surface water and ground water (from what I can research, but Ohio makes it REALLY hard to find information about your specific water source when you live in an apartment). I noticed over the past several weeks, that the pH drops an entire point with nothing in the tank but plants over the course of a week and from my research, it seems all fish but especially inverts are sensitive to pH fluctuations, but many also need higher kH than I have. I read mixed reporting about using baking soda to raise kH (as it is claimed it doesn't raise pH). I attempted to raise the kH of my tank (before adding the shrimp) to 6dkH, but it most certainly rose the pH of my tank to 7.8. I did a 75% water change to get the parameters back to normal. The stock we have has been here for 8 days. From the initial stocking we have lost 1 amano shrimp and a bamboo shrimp. After the 1st amano died, we haven't seen the second, however I haven't had any ammonia spikes so I have chosen to closely monitor the water rather than stress out the shrimp looking for the amano. Should I be concerned about the lack of kH? Is there something I can do to help stabilize my kH and pH without making it higher than it already is? I have been doing water changes every few days because the pH drops. What pH stabilizer would you recommend? To note, the pea puffer in quarantine has no live plants, substrate. etc in order to facilitate cleaning and making sure not to complicate things further (for me, the new fish keeper). This pH flux doesn't happen, nor does the kH deplete quickly. Any and all help is greatly appreciated!
  2. I'm just figuring out GH & KH and could use some direction. With the API Test Kit I have a KH of 5 and GH of 25. Which, if I'm right, means I have super hard water. What does that mean for keeping fish? I believe it means shrimp are out of the question. I have fish now that are fine, but going forward do I need to adjust it at all? Use distilled or RO water? How would either of those affect my KG? How would a water softener (for the whole house) affect fish keeping? Generally, what do I need to know or do any this high GH? TIA
  3. Dear community, I have a fluval flex 123 litre tank which has been running for around 18 months now. It is fully planted with a fairly large piece of mopani. All the fish are happy in a soft acidic environment so i was not too concerned with PH of 6.4 a few weeks back. This tank is beautifully over filtered as standard & i have a seperate internal UV filter with venturi running as well The tank gets a 25% water change fortnightly, the gravel is vacuumed as best as possible. all the fish are healthy & happy. I was running 50/50 RO/Tap but on noticing low KH started leaving the RO out & just using tap. Here in Norfolk UK the tap water is liquid rock, super hard. I thought that maybe the trumpet snails were stripping carbonates out? I am having real problems with KH & PH. The KH is 0 & the PH is around 6.0. I have tried adding seachem equilibrium to get the KH up but i think i could add tubs full & get nowhere. I did a tap only 50% water chage which brought the KH & PH up to nicer levels but within a few days both were back to low levels with KH at 0. I am concerned with no KH the PH can swing wildly but thankfully all fish are healthy & not stressed. At this point i am considering the only solution being to strip the tank down, throw away the substrate which is 2.5 inches of aquasoil topped with a half inch of gravel. Thus getting rid of the snails. I can’t think of another way but am reluctant due to the beautiful mature swords & lotus. So here i am reaching out to you guys for help, all suggestions will be gratefully received. I’m sure i have left out some technical details that may be required for a reasoned response so please ask anything. I would rather avoid having to add vast quantities of chemical. Many thanks for reading this post.
  4. My tap water is soft. 30 TDS. 1st photo Tap that sat overnight. 2nd My regular tanks that have Driftwood and/or catappa leaves 3rd My Shrimp tank after adding Baking soda to raise Kh back up. Wood and catappa I was given 2 nerite snails. I'd like to add a few snails and leaf litter to a couple tanks. In my shrimp tank I also use Aqueon Shrimp Essentials for minerals and have success w/molt and babies . I'm concerned that about Ph craziness and how I can at least maintain a Ph of 6.8. Is Seachem Equilibrium something I should consider or other additives ? I know its not good to chase parameters but these are rather low. It's been great for breeding my cory metae and bristlenose but w/wood and leaves I worry it will get too low.
  5. I have been setting up my first tank in about 10-12 years. I have a question or three about water hardness. These are the numbers in question. PH=7.4 not very concerned about that. GH= 3 or 3 drops with ATI test. KH= 3or 3 drops on same ATI test. I would consider this fairly soft. My main concern is the buffering ability of KH. That and a lot of fish/shrimp say they need harder water. I have 2 questions. 1. should I try to raise the hardness of my water? I have read that crushed coral can raise it nice and slow. I like slow. 2. if I do raise it, how do I go about keeping it from crashing when I do water changes? Thanks in advance for any advice, and yes I tried the search function. I am terrible at searching.
  6. I need to buffer my water for some fish I am getting from an aquarium shop local. I was told to use crushed coral or aragonite sand. But I only have african cichlid sand on hand. I assume it does the same thing, caribsea african cichlid mix white sand. It buffers KH and Ph. But I also have to buffer the Gh. Hmm
  7. I am using the API GH&KH test kit and simply do not understand it. I followed directions exactly but with GH the water in the test tube was never orange but it did change to green with added drops...how green should it be to determine the level? hint of green, really green, etc.? Similar with KH water was never blue but did change to yellow but again, how yellow should it be? Now what? GH took ~6 drops, KH took ~9 drops, how does that translate on the chart? The Master Test Kit is so much easier to work with. TIA
  8. Hello everyone, I’m getting some new guppies and cherry shrimp in. The tank I’m planning on putting them in is a 29g which has been up and running for over 2 years and seems to be cycled. I tested the water today, PH was 8.2 ,no ammonia or nitrite, and 10ppm nitrate with a GH of over 215.8ppm and a KH of 196.9ppm. I tested the KH and GH straight out of the tap and had the same readings. Is this too much hardness and too high of a ph in the water that would be harmful to the guppies and cherry shrimp???
  9. Hi all, Been testing my water before getting live plants and fish.. Kind of concerned about having high KH of 18, my PH is 7.6 and GH is 4. I wanting to keep cold water fish and some live plants. Will the plants survive that high of KH, like java fern and petite anubis.
  10. KH 4 GH 4 ph 7 would you consider that soft water ?
  11. I added coral to ALL my tanks! I added a bit at a time not to over do it all at once. 10G got 1 pound , 20 gallon 1 pound, 40G 2 pounds and the 5G has a little less than half a pound.. I added it after water changes. the 5 G has some in the filter and a bit in the tank. I am thinking he needs more in his tank. The PH is still dropping to around 6.6 - 6.8 ish... I have hard water. 280... Should I add more? Wait??? ugh.. I do water changes every 2 weeks sometimes every 3 weeks if all is good chemistry and looks wise.
  12. I've been researching and planning a 10 gallon shell dweller tank. I know they prefer water with higher pH, GH, and KH. I finally got some test strip to check the latter 2. I checked my betta tank and tap water. pH is about 7-7.2 KH is 40 GH is probably 60 (I'm not good with color shade matching) All 3 of these values are not ideal for African cichlids. I've researched methods such as crushed coral to raise these values. But it doesn't last. Then I read about CaribSea African cichlid sand that supposedly keeps the values where they need to be for the life of the aquarium. Then I read about aragonite. Then I read about oolite Aragonite. I think I'm just confused and overwhelmed by this. Can someone share some wisdom here? Either experience with shell dwellers, any of these products, and whether or not it really does maintain levels for the life of the tank.
  13. I have a guppy breeding tank and KH is vary low and I am have guppy with bent spines how could I raise KH I was thinking marine salt.
  14. 300+ GH, 0 KH, and 6.4 PH Nitrates 25 Nitrite 0 Ammonia 0 Chlorine 0 Temp 74-76 20 gal tank Water varies only slightly and I check everyday. Do I need to do something to my water or is this an acceptable combination for Emerald Corydoras? I have just started a few plants but am adding more. My tank has been cycled now for several months. TIA for your help.
  15. I am wondering if I am doing something wrong when it comes to testing my KH. I am using the API test kit and the first drop is a really light blue, the second drop goes almost clear to VERY pale yellow. I know its supposed to go from blue to yellow but is it a certain "shade" of yellow? So per that reading I have a KH of 2?? I added a 3rd drop and it became a readable shade of yellow... but that was just to see what would happen I have posted my struggle with keeping the KH in my 5 gallon pea puffer tank to even a reading level. Water changes keep my PH up but not my KH. I have a small wonder shell in there and keep one in at all times. I purchased coral from ACO but not sure if or how to use it. He is doing well, eating swimming enjoying life. Plants are thriving as well. I am afraid to do anything but wondering if I "should" do something. I don't have equilibrium but can easily get some if that is what is recommended. ALL my other tanks are fine KH wise. Here are the parameters for reference purposes: PH 7.0 (FYI rest of my tanks are ALL 7.4) KH 2 (on the ACO strip big fat 0!) GH 14 (or on the ACO strip 300) Ammonia 0 Nitrate: 20 Nitrites: 0 Temp 78.2
  16. So I'm running pressurized CO2 on my Fluval V. This is my first attempt at pressurized Co2 (I've done DIY before). I put a drop checker in on the opposite side of my diffuser, and it's still reading blue (low CO2). I'm currently running almost 3 BPS and thought that might be a little much and was surprised to see the drop checker reading "low" still. I'm on well water and the KH is at 19dKH (340.1ppm) - will having a high KH effect the drop checkers reading ability?
  17. So, I'm new to fishkeeping -- I started in February and cycled for a few weeks before adding 6 neon tetras (which are all doing great) to my 10 gallon tank. It has a few plants (anubias, a few stems, and some dwarf sagg that is starting to carpet) and gravel substrate (no driftwood). I attached the anubias to a small rock I found (and boiled). I think it is quartz or an agate and it didn't seem to change the water parameters for the first two months. However, in the last few weeks I've developed some weird problems: 1) I have low PH (6.3-6.6) even though my tap water is 7.0. I can't raise it above 6.6, which is frustrating because I'd like to add guppies or other fish that might need a neutral PH. 2) My tank has developed very high GH (the very purple square on the aquarium co-op test strips) even though my tap water is VERY soft (nothing registers on the test strips). I've confirmed these parameters with 3 brands of test strips, and have confirmed the PH readings with the strips and liquid test kit. Also, GH is very high while KH is low (it barely shows up on the test strips) The only things I add to the water are Seachem Prime, a variety of fish foods, Easy Green (per instructions), and a few Aquarium Co-op root tabs (when I started). I added 0.7 pounds of crushed coral to the substrate when I began and ran a small bag of it in my filter for a week several weeks ago -- still, the PH stayed at 6.6. I'll admit there are reasons for acids in there -- I let the tank get dirty for the first 1-2 months thinking it would fertilize the plants (not realizing that 4-5 small plants don't need all that fertilizer). That said, I've changed my ways and after some major (60-80%) water changes and cleaning I'm gravel-vacing now. I've always done a ton of water changes on this tank to keep the nitrates down to 20-40 (sometimes 3 or more 30% water changes a week). I'm so confused because it seems like low PH is usually associated with low hardness. My PH is low but GH has been very high for a few weeks now and KH is relatively low (barely registers on the test strips). What could be going on? How can lower the GH and raise the PH? Thanks!
  18. I am new to hobby so I never paid much attention to KH, but in my search to discover why I can no longer effectively keep floating plants, I have been testing and analyzing my water a thoroughly and discovered my KH is basically non-existent. I haven't bought the liquid test kit for KH yet, but on both the Tetra and the Coop test strips I test consistently with a brightly colored zero indication. I was surprised because with my limited knowledge of GH and KH I assumed having hard water meant I would have in the least some registerable amounts of KH. I mean I don't even have just hard water, I have SUPER hard water. Coop test strips give me a royal purple every time 😂 I am pretty sure my water is basically a brick out of the tap. So adding crushed coral or wonder shells sound counterintuitive to me when all I want is registerable KH. And just to remove any tank factors out of the equation, the KH is non-existent out of the tap. So weekly water changes seem to do nothing but add zero to zero. Now on to PH concerns...currently I am running peat moss in my tank and the lovely thing about KH being on hiatus, I can lower my PH pretty easily. PH is around 6.8, down from my normal average of 7.4. It actually only took me, maybe two weeks to get there approximately. And my concern is that maybe I shouldn't be playing with PH if I have no KH. It feels like I got in a car to drive in a city with no traffic lights? So while on one hand I can go as I please, the danger of something going horribly wrong is possible as well, unfortunately. So basically I guess my questions are whether I should just keep doing what I am doing regardless of KH absence? Can you just supplement KH without adding more brick to my brick water? And should I even be adding peat if I don't have KH on the premises to police?
  19. Using this chart I calculated the CO2 in my tapwater. My KH is off the charts (test strips) while my pH is pretty low. The only reason I could think of was high CO2 since CO2 lowers the pH and hightens the capacity of carbonates in the water. My question is wether this CO2 is available for my plants and wether it might harm my fish. I don't have any problems with my fish right now, but they are all pretty hardy. I do get a lot of growth, even on my anubias, though my java moss struggles.
  20. I am using 100% ro water and remineralizing with gh boost cause my well water has over 30 ppm nitrate in it. I do frequent water changes cause I’m breeding plecos and corys. My question is my kh is 0 and should I be worried about that and what should I use to raise it. Any info would be appreciated. Kirk
  21. I have ANOTHER pH question! I want to add a snail to my 5 gallon planted betta tank, but from what I understand, low pH can be tough on snails, particularly their shells. My pH is currently 6.4, due to the fluval stratum I have as substrate. I was thinking of using crushed coral to raised the pH as recommended on another thread by a member here, but I have a few questions. Can I put the crushed coral in the filter instead of in the actual tank, so it's not visible? I like the way the stratum looks and I'd prefer not to have it on top if possible. Second, how quickly will the crushed coral raise the pH, and is there a way to control how high it goes? I don't want to raise it too quickly and hurt my fish, and I don't want it to go too high. mans any snail recommendations for a 5 gallon (I would prefer it not be able to reproduce) would be appreciated also! Thank you!
  22. Tank tested is a 55 gallon lightly planted (just added Anubias Barteri and Scarlet Temple a few weeks ago. The tank has been running for about 2 years with occasional gravel vacuum and top offs (no water changes). My GH is through the roof. The GH in my tap water is 4 drops. My tap water has chloramine. I don't use prime or other conditioners prior to adding. I let the water sit for minimum of 24hrs, and have done things this way for years. I do add Flourish, and recently began adding trace. The substrate is eco-complete black, about 2-3 inches deep. So here are parameters. All tests done with API liquid tests. pH 7.8 Ammonia 0 ppm Nitrite 0 ppm Nitrate 40 ppm KH 4 to 5 drops (starts to turn color at 4, fully changes at 5) GH 28 drops phosphate .5 ppm The article, The Fish Keeper’s Guide to pH, GH, and KH, suggests that reducing water changes would make the tank more acidic and help reduce GH. Clearly not in my case.
  23. Chemistry done on April 4th 20G Temp 79.1, Ammonia 0; Nitrite 0; Nitrate 5.0; GH 14 and KH 5 (current load 6 fish 2 snails, 3 shrimp) 5G Temp 77.5, Ammonia 0; Nitrite 0.25; Nitrate 8.0; GH 8 and KH 4 (1 Pea puffer) I was testing my tanks this morning and ALL of them PH and KH have dropped I have had PH in ALL of them consistent 7.4 for MONTHS.. I even did them on April 4th and my PH was 7.4 (in 20G and 5G) and KH 20G = 5 and 5 Gallon = 4. The PH in my tap water is also 7.4 and I use tap water (with prime) to do water changes. Temp is 79 in both tanks I did a water change/clean on the 5 G on Sunday (30%) and 20G I cleaned/changed 20% before I added 5 new fish from QT. Even my QT tank PH has dropped to the mid 6's where it used to be like all the others @ 7.4 What happened? What did I do wrong? Do I fix it? or leave it.
  24. The pH in my 60 gallon tank keeps dropping. It will stay at about 7.2-7.4 for a while and then, when I check again a few days later, it will have dropped to about 6.0! I add baking soda to get the pH back up and it works for a week or so and then the same thing happens again. Anyone seen this? And how can I stabilize my pH?
  25. Hi everyone. I'm working on getting harder water in my tank. I'm using RO water with Seachem Alkaline Buffer and Equilibrium. I'm trying to get a pH of 7-7.5. I was away for a weekend recently, so the tank went 2 weeks without a water change. Thought I'd test parameters before changing water, out of curiosity. My gH was 8 and kH was 6, more or less as expected, and my pH was 6.6. All tests were liquid API tests. I did NOT expect to find a pH under 7 with the kH still so high. My understanding is the kH will buffer the pH quickly up to 7 or so, then more slowly towards and above 8. How could my kH have remained that high but the pH so low? I really don't know what to make of it.
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