Help me understand KH and GH test results... - The Planted Tank Forum

 
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Question 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)?

Thanks!

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Perhaps I should add that the pH in the tank is 6.6 - 6.8. I add this because I just found the KH, pH, Co2 charts - I don't know if they apply only for those adding Co2 in a tank? This is a low tech/low light tank, no added Co2 or ferts other than osmocote caps. Although I did go out looking to price Excel today, and neither the lfs or Petsmart carry it...would the addition of column ferts (specifically Yamato Green) and Seachem Excel effect Kh or GH? I am thinking about trying both in my tanks.

The Fraternity of Dirt # 7 - Daughter of the Dirt - Canon Club #018
Twin 29g Dirt Tanks on an Iron Stand - DIY 3D Backgrounds
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...stand-pic.html
The Behemoth - 125 dirt tank
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=199772
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