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Help Me Understand ACO Test Strip Reading


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Ok, I need help here. Am I seeing this right… I have Hard water with Medium Buffer? And what does that even mean? Because according to my Cities Utility Website, they claim we have “Soft” water. I’ve lived in Florida my entire life and it’s my understanding that we basically have liquid rock. This test strip would appear to back this up, right?

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On 5/30/2024 at 6:56 PM, AllFishNoBrakes said:

Hard water, an insane amount of buffer (at least compared to my water), and a higher pH (again, compared to my water). 

So then why does my City say we have soft water?

I ask because I was concerned after reading that, that I might need to add a Wondershell to the tank for the Amono Shrimp and Mystery Snail. But, I decided to test again because living in FL, we are KNOWN for having very HARD water. Now, I don’t know if I should add the Wondershell or not?!?

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On 5/30/2024 at 7:42 PM, doktor zhivago said:

You can add wondershell but your high ph and buffer probably means it won't dissolve very quickly. It can't hurt tho.

Ok, thank you. I just didn’t want to turn the tank to solid rock by adding the Wondershell to already hard water😂. Just trying to look out for the Shrimp and Snails!

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On 5/30/2024 at 8:02 PM, FLFishChik said:

Just trying to look out for the Shrimp and Snails

You have enough calcium to not bother with it. translate to degrees is roughly 15dgh and close to 9dkh. That's perfectly normal water for most of us. especially those of us with limestone aquafers. You kh is sort of midline. it's definitely lower than we have in most of the midwest. Mine is normally around 13dkh (260ppm kh). if that's the consistent number, you don't need to add anything. the animals you have in tank will do just fine with tap

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I would agree that your GH looks to be at 150, but it’s interesting that your city says you have soft water. 🤷🏼‍♀️

If you’re worried about it you could buy the API liquid GH/KH test kit. It’s more precise than the strips so you’d know for sure what you’re looking at!

Maybe your city is lying to you😂😂

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"The average" + "about"= We don't  know.  Like my local newspaper, your city likely does not employ proofreaders. 

My test strips indicate that my GH = 301.  My API test indicated GH = 250.  Either way it is hard water.  Even if your test strip reading was off, your 150 GH still isn't soft water.

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I could see that happening. You've going from hard to very hard more than likely. Wondershell will dissolve right up to the point of saturation. I'm guessing your gh went from 150 to closer to 240-300. Your corys should be fine. you may be pushing your congo's a bit. 

Edited by Tony s
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