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About Me

  1. KH 4 GH 4 ph 7 would you consider that soft water ?
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. I recently moved to the Puget Sound, Washington area and my water is PH 6.8 GH 0 KH 80 I have never had to deal with SUCH SOFT water before! I will be adding crushed coral, but do I also combine it with Seachem Equilibrium and Wonder Shells? I had to place all of my fish before I moved, so I am essentially starting over :o( Not fun!! So far, I have bought a lot of plants and I will be water testing, with each addition, as my tanks cycle. Any advice dealing with "GH 0" water ? ~ I need help! Thank you!!
  6. I've tested my water out of my tap and it only measures between 0 to 25ppm I usually use wonder shells and equilibrium to harden the water. I have recently "restarted" my 75g aquarium after a couple years of it sitting empty I power washed and cleaned it and filled it with water from my tap and treated with fritz complete. The only things in the tank when I measured it was 2 medium sponge filters and 2 aqueon heaters otherwise it was an empty tank and it measured over 300 ppm. Very confused as to what could cause this I have 2 10g tanks and a 29g and none of them have this issue any ideas what this could be?
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. Hi, I've been doing some reading about GH and osmoregulation and I'm a bit confused about the role GH plays in water. Could you put a brackish fish like a figure 8 puffer in high GH water (e.g. 12-20 dGH) and have them thrive as if the water was brackish? Thank you
  12. Hi all, As my tank comes towards the end of its cycle (yes I have been checking my water daily, yes people on this forum said I probably shouldn't because it would drive me crazy, no I do not regret it. My ammonia spiked and dipped and my nitrite spiked and is dipping now, so the end is near), I realize there are two things I have not paid enough attention to: KH and GH I purchased the API water tester for gh and kh and it took 6 drops for the kh to change to whatever the specific color needed to be and it took 12 drops for the gh. I understand that means my water is hard. That is about all I understand though (and I should have known, my bar soap doesn't last hardly at all). What does it all mean?! And how do I find a reliable source to find out what parameters each type of fish needs? I was browsing the web to try to see if the fish I wanted all had similar water parameters and, my goodness, no two websites for one specie listed the same parameters. It only adds to my confusion about gh/kh honestly. I guess--since my water is hard, should I try to add water softener? Is adding driftwood best, or peat moss to my filter, it other methods? I am hoping to get gourami & tetra (haven't committed to specific species yet), kuhli loaches, and maybe otos or corys that don't mind warm water to my tank.
  13. I need to get my pH down, but increase GH and KH. Everything I'm finding online indicates that it's not possible to do both. (For what it's worth, I used pH Down yesterday to get the pH from 7.8 to 7.3. Only 3 hours later, it was back to 7.8.) Any idea how I can simultaneously decrease pH, and increase GH and KH?
  14. I'm running water changes through an r/o system and can barely get the gh/kh back up to suitable levels. Gh =25ppm kh= 80 ppm barely, and the ph hangs around 7. Any tips on raising these levels suitable to maintain guppies and snails in same tank.
  15. Hi all, I am trying to assess my water balance to determine if I need corrective action. It seems my Ph is on the low side and KH and GH are not quite in sync with each other. I live in Tucson, AZ where the tap water is VERY hard, so I use RO for water exchanges and top offs. Fish (4 Denison's, 1 Congo Tetra, 1 Gold bristle nose Pleco - 60 gal tank) seem to be doing fine, plants look like they could be a bit more vibrant. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Here are my water parameters from the Tank, Tap and RO: Tank: Ph = 6.4 KH = 4 dKH GH = 8 dGH Nitrite = 0 ppm Nitrate = 5 ppm Ammonia = 0-0.25 ppm CO2 = 35-40 ppm Tap: Ph = 8.0 KH = 6 dKH GH = 17-18 dGH RO: Ph = 7.0 KH = 0 dKH GH = 0 dGH C
  16. I was told not to chase numbers . But every time I test water in all my tanks with test strips , PH and GH are high . Is this ok ok? I have been keeping fish for almost two years . No visible signs of stress on fish but I just want to make sure they are leaving the best life in my aquariums .
  17. I am trying to figure out why my PH, KH, and GH differs from my aquarium, tap water, and my aged water (45 gallon Brute trash can).Tap:PH - 8.2KH - 6GH - 3Aged water:PH - 7.5KH - 6GH - 3Aquarium:PH - 8.2KH - 6GH - 14My tap and aquarium PH are both 8.2, however the PH of my aged water is 7.5. The GH in my tap and aged water are both 3, but it is 14 in my aquarium. The KH is the same across all 3. I did all the tests using a API test kit and did them multiple times to insure they were accurate.I keep a Flowerhorn and noticed he gets really stressed out after water changes (30% weekly). My aged water is also heated to match the aquarium temp. He is kept in a bare bottom tank (no substrate )differs from my aquarium, tap water, and my aged water (
  18. Hi ~ I decided to purchase the API GH & KH kit to ensure that my readings are accurate. I am a bit concerned by the following difference between this test kit and the Tetra Easy strips readings (which I struggle with sometimes) KH (7 drops) = 7 degrees or 125.3 ppm GH (12 drops) 12 degrees or 214.8 PPM (YIKES) *** Should I be worried about this? if so what do I do? I have a wonder shell in the aquarium, should I remove it? My PH is between 7.3 -7.4 ppm My Ammonia suddenly went up from yesterday to 0.25-0.30 ppm so I am going to do a water change to deal with that.
  19. Hello! I have just started using live plants in my aquariums. I have put quite a few in most of my tanks. I have a questions that I am hopeing someone can help me with. In my tap water I have really high KH (179ppm or 10 degrees) I have 0 GH though, when I test the GH with the API drops, it doesn't even go the ogrange color, it just turns green when I put the first drop in. This must be a rare problem to have becasue finding answers online has been super hard! I need to know if it is nessisary to my plants and fish to raise my GH and if so how can I raise that without raising my KH? I have a few betta (in seperate tanks) and bristlenose Plecos and a bunch of different low light plants. My PH is 8-8.2 (if that matters) and I never see any swing in it really.
  20. Happy Sunday! I just got an API gh/kh test kit and really have no idea how to interpret the results. I know this question was probably posed a million times before, but I can't find what I need. I don't have any idea what my gh/kh results mean and how to improve the condition of my tank. Right now, I just have cherry shrimp, a Nerite snail and bladder snails in my planted 10g. But I would like to add pea puffers and move the others to another tank. I do small routine water changes to keep the nitrates around 20. Tank is two months old. Here are my levels: Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrates ~20 Ph 7.4 Now for what I don't understand: Kh 4 drops or 71.6 (I think that means 3-6 °) Gh 12 drops or 214.8 (I think that means above 11°) From what I gather, I need to lower the gh but I don't want to throw off the whole tank. The ammonia, nitrite, nitrates and pH have been so stable for weeks. What do you think and what should I do?
  21. Hello, I have a 3-year old, 15 gallon nano tank. It contains 1 betta, 6 otocinclus cat fish, and 2 amano shrimp. My parameters are: ph 6.8 - 7.0, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 5ppm, gh 179 ppm, and kh 35.8 ppm. Water temp is 78 degrees. I do biweekly water changes and dose with Aquarium Co-op Easy Green, Iron, and root tabs. My tank is heavily planted with low maintenance plants (anubias, java fern, swords, crypts) and I do not use CO2 injection. Here is my question: How do I raise the KH to a more acceptable level without increasing the water hardness/GH? I have SeaChem Equilibrium, but do not know how to dose my tank enough to raise the KH without raising the GH. I do not want to use RO water. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
  22. Good evening Nerms. I just found a weird situation. I did not test every tank but in the few I checked I got high - over 1000 ppm TDS.. no, not my tap water. It checked average 25. So, on two tanks I checked all parameters which were within normal, low ranges except GH which was off the chart. Tap water normal. What is causing this? Fish seem fine. Plants seem fine. Low pH. 6.0 - 6.5.
  23. I have a 20g planted community; it is pretty well planted and is stocked with 2 honey gouramis, 6 lamb chop rasboras, 10 green neon tetra, 1 reticulated hillstream, bunch of snails, a few Amanos and around 6 cherry shrimp. I have some wonder shell in the tank, and run a HOB plus an air stone. Today the water numbers were pH 7.6, 0 ammonia and nitrite and 10 nitrate. I tested gH and kH for the first time today and I am confused about the results, based on the instructions with the API test kit for those. It seems to show 2 for kH and 214.8 for gH. Does that sound right? Thanks for the help!
  24. I am trying to start up an aquarium and have been hearing about how water hardness impacts the pH and the ability to affect the pH. I am using the Tetra Easy Strips and using the app they have that reads the strips and the results have been the same. The results show very soft water and Low Alkalinity. The recommendation is to do a 3 gallon water exchange and add 2ml of Tetra AquaSafe Plus and add 10 ml of Tetra Easy Balance Plus for my 10 gallon tank. Before jumping to adding chemicals I checked my city water to see what it had as far as hardness in concerned since I heard it impacted the water parameters. Below is what I found but can't make heads or tails of. Need a little education and direction. Total Alkalinity 87.2 mg/L as CaCo3 Total Hardness 144 mg/L as CaCO3 Langelier Index .2887
  25. Please correct me where I'm wrong, or where I'm not not necessarily right about something. For context, I am building a 30gal guppy/ghost shrimp in a planted potted aquarium. I am using a liquid plant fertilizer and fish food while I cycle the tank to increase it's nitrite levels until I buy all my plants. I also have a DIY co2 system I'll be using later. I've been doing research the past week or so now, and I'd like some help pulling all these threads I've got going in my head together. There's a lot I mention here, so I don't expect a full response by any means! pH is the measurement of ionized hydrogen particles in the water. The more ionized particles in the water means the pH will be lower. Acidic particles exchange electrons more readily with the alkali particles around them. If a fish naturally has a high metabolism (versus that of a cichlid, for example), then it makes sense that they can more readily process the acids present in the water. Thus, it leads me to believe that fish with a faster metabolism can process more acids with fewer minerals in the water (softer & more acidic water). Cichlids on the other hand, from what I've read, prefer hard water, and don't react well to acidic/reactive solutions -- they much prefer more stable alkaline environments. Is this accurate? From what I can gather, the alkali metals (minerals in the water) are what neutralize the acidic nitrites and convert them into nitrates. It makes sense to me that if fish and plants lack these specific metals then they have no way of metabolizing / neutralizing the acids in the water. This also explains the general malaise of fish in mineral deficient water. KH, as far as I understand it, is both a total amount and also a ratio of carbonates vs bicarbonates in the water. KH describes how hard or soft the water in the aquarium is. Acidic water is often accommodated by soft water, and alkaline is accommodated by hard water. What is the typical golden ratio between carbonates and bicarbonates? What is a healthy total amount of this ratio in an aquarium? GH, as far as I understand it, is, again, the measurement of the ratio and the total amount of magnesium and calcium suspended in the water of the aquarium. Are carbonates & bicarbonates directly relative to the amount of Magnesium and calcium (among other minerals) in the water? From what I have read, carbonate is produced by magnesium, and bicarbonate is produced by calcium (crushed coral). Is it as simple as this?
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