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About Me

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. KH 4 GH 4 ph 7 would you consider that soft water ?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. hello! im having KH/PH issues—- I’m not a newbie, but new house with new tap water is blowing my mind!!! I have very low KH from my tap but very hard water (hardest readable on test strips)and PH at about 7.0 depending on the day. I’ve been getting PH swings throughout the day that I’ve been tracking for 3 weeks. My ph is swinging from 6.5 to 7.6 throughout the day most days (starting 3 days after water change) Yikes! I’m thinking I must need more KH- but how can I get it? water changes are only lasting me about 1-2 days, then I’m readying nearly 0 KH in my tank. So I guess a water change won’t be my best bet. Crushed Coral? Seachem’s Equilibrium? I have 1 lb of crushed coral currently mixed into my gravel, but should I use more? No room in my filter to add it, unless I toss one of my 2 sponges out (AC50) this is happening in my 29 gallon. any help would be greatly appreciated!
  9. 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?
  10. 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?
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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!
  14. 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.
  15. I'm located in Davie, FL. Our well water has a ridiculously high KH (14-15 drops to change colors in an API KH test kit). My frustrations on trying to have a planted aquarium are so high that I'm almost giving up on the hobby. Rare plants are able to survive, such as anubias and so far java ferns, but still, struggle with what seems to be potassium deficiency. I have to dump almost a whole bottle of potassium supplements in addition to ferts to have the leaves look somewhat presentable. Anyone have suggestions on plants to grow or what to do with the water (least expensive solution)? should I just give up on plants and get hard water fish? Thanks
  16. 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.
  17. 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?
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Hello, I'm looking for help understanding what super low KH means and how a PH crash works. I started my first tank (29G) two weeks ago. Initial readings for PH/ KH were about 7/4, but would drop to 6/0 over the course of a couple days without a water change (there's driftwood and fluval stratum in the tank). The GH would remain around 5. I'd like to keep Honey Gourami and Kuhli Loaches which I've read do well in softer water- but the PH crash thing worries me. It seems like any alternative to raising the KH also raises the PH and if PH gets too high, then the parameters aren't right for the gourami and kuhli loaches. I've read that KH is a buffer for PH but I don't completely understand what this means- particularly in relation to a PH crash. And does a higher KH mean a higher PH or is that only if you're taking active steps to raise one or the other? (such as a buffer). And is it possible to raise KH without raising PH? What causes a PH crash exactly? When my readings were showing KH at 0 and PH dropping I panic bought crushed coral and have since bought Alkaline Buffer (this was before I landed on Honey Gouramis and Kuhli Loaches as my fish of choice). I also got droplet kits for PH and KH/GH (I had been using a strip kit). I put a handful or so of crushed coral into my HOB. I have not yet opened the Alkaline Buffer. The handful of crushed coral kept my PH levels consistent at 7, KH at 2, and GH at 5 for about a week and through 2 water changes (one about 50% on about 70%). However, after another 70% water change and adding some plants yesterday, it read PH 7.2, KH 3, and GH 6, which is getting out of the range of the fish I'd like to keep. The levels are now back to 7/2/5. Am I messing around with the tank too much? Should I take out the crushed coral and see where the parameters land without any boosts? Or should I try the Alkaline Buffer? Do I need to give up on softer water fish to raise my KH and thus my PH? Any kind of guidance would be much appreciated. -Chris
  21. 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?
  22. 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
  23. I'm having some problems with super high pH. My tap water initially reads at a pH of 7.2 with a KH of 19 (woah, right?). It's well water that goes through 2 house filters and a softener. After 24-48 hours, the pH reads and stabilizes at pH 8.3, which I think is WAY too high for fish and/or plants. Even when I mix in some parts reverse osmosis water (pH 7, KH 2), the tank water still gets up to pH 8.3. I have 5 small Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus and one small Anubias Golden. Is this pH too high if I plan to be putting in guppies (I think so)? Is this pH going to hurt my Neocaridina shrimp (blue velvets)? I'll take any guidance I can get!
  24. 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 (
  25. 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.
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