Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Christiansburg, Va
Help me understand KH and GH test results...
So, the KH & GH test kit I ordered came in today (API). I've never tested these before, but my ramshorn's shells are eroding and many snails die, so took the advice from members & ordered a kit. I also ordered calcium montmorillonite from a member to add to the tank. I just ordered it and it hasn't arrived = I haven't used any yet. So my first question is; does the calcium montmorillonite effect both the KH and the GH?
According to the instructions in the kit I should aim for a range of 3 to 6 for my stock, which is 95% tetras (and live plants of course). The range given for live plants is 0 to 6. My first test showed a KH of 3 (between 2.5 and 3), and a GH of 7. All the adjustment advice in the instructions uses only API products, of course. pH buffers of some kind, which I don't want to buy if there are other ways to go about this. Can I still use the calcium montmorillonite in this tank? I don't know if it would effect the KH, the GH, or both, but my snails need calcium. I have some veggie sticks with extra calcium on order for the snails - but my fish love them too and I don't think the snails actually got any out of my first sample pack. I put rinsed egg shell in the tank and the snails worked on that - but I didn't see any improvement overall. I have a cuttlebone I was going to put in the HOB, but I wanted to wait on the API test kit first. I wonder if I could break the cuttlebone into smaller pieces & put it directly in the tank - would the snails graze it?
What to do?
If I wanted to increase the KH by a degree or two, what should I do. Is it ok to have a GH of 7 (which is barely above the 3 to 6 recommendation)?