GH = 18dGH KH = 11dKH , acceptable?
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:14 AM   #1
paul195
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GH = 18dGH KH = 11dKH , acceptable?


Are my GH & KH values (18,11) acceptable? should I consider trying to lower and/or match them? Does this depend on my LFS's water parameters?

Thanks

Paul
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:24 AM   #2
Diana
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Those values describe hard water. This is great for most live bearers, many Rainbow fish, and certain other species. Rift Lake fish, of course.

Many of the community fish that are available in the stores have been hatchery raised, so even if their ancestors came from soft water, many of them are OK in harder water now. Some fish have not made the transition, and still require the soft water their ancestors came from.

I would prefer to suggest you go for fish that are known to thrive in the water you have. If you want to keep (and especially to breed) the soft water fish, then look into ways to soften the water. Reverse Osmosis is the way most serious fish keepers end up.
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Here is how I deal with the water at the store:
1) Set up a quarantine tank with water that matches the TDS, GH, KH and pH of the store water.
2) Drip acclimate the fish. Even though the water is as similar as I can make it, a slow introduction is best.
3) Over the month or so that the fish are in quarantine I gradually alter the water until it matches the display tank.
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:17 PM   #3
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Confirming that the tests are valid it come down to tanking choices. Selecting species to match the water you have is the easiest without argument.

Altering water doubles if not more the efforts required for each water change. I'm not going to spend 1/2 a page outlining the basic methods to achieve lower mineral content. Diana's post regarding RO filtering is exactly the method I employ here. The equipment used is cost comparable to another mid sized tanking system. My heart is set on soft water species so I deal with the extra work. Make no mistake dealing with water is ultimately work in the long term not enjoyable hobby time.

System parameters necessary for healthy long term husbandry with domestically raised fauna does have a wider range of 'wiggle' room. Use discretion and a little common sense in your selections because those ranges of mineral content and osmotic pressure still have effect on health long term.
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:59 PM   #4
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Agreed, do yourself a favor and do not fight the water it will always win.
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:54 PM   #5
paul195
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I did a 50% water change yesterday and that has brought my GH down to 14dGH.

Quote:
Many of the community fish that are available in the stores have been hatchery raised, so even if their ancestors came from soft water, many of them are OK in harder water now.
Quote:
Make no mistake dealing with water is ultimately work in the long term not enjoyable hobby time.
Point taken, why mess with the water parameters if the local bred fish are acclimatized to it anyway - that's just creating work. I will talk to the LFS to see what the fish are used to.
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:19 PM   #6
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Following on from this, what about plants? is 11 dKH / 14 dGH to hard for plants to do well? Most of my plants aren't looking too happy at the moment.

Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10-20ppm
Phosphate 2.5ppm
pH 8.2
Ferts - Micro ferts and liquid C02 daily (as per pack instructions).

My LFS did a test on my water parameters and said that the water was too hard for growing plants well, and they suggested that I tried to soften my water to around 5-8 dGH

Do you agree? If not, then what do my plants need to perk up?

Thanks

Paul
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:11 PM   #7
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My water is much harder, 55 dGH, 12 dKH, and I get over-run with some plants. Maybe a different plant selection, or maybe just patience.
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Old 06-22-2013, 02:28 AM   #8
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Most aquatic plants are just fine in almost any level of GH and KH.
There are a few specialized plants that really demand soft water.
There are some plants that come from water as hard as yours. But even plants that originated in softer water can thrive in harder water (well, most of them), so go ahead and work with all the commonly available plants. If you find a particular plant does not grow well, then skip it. There are many others that will grow just fine.

Plants need the right light, and they need all the nutrients. Your hard water is already supplying Ca and Mg, so that much is OK...
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:09 AM   #9
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Thanks for your reply.

I have been trying to narrow down what the limiting factor(s) are for my plants as they are almost all showing some signs of deficiency.

GH/KH/Ammonia/Nitatite/pH --- ok

Macros

Calcium --- yes
Magnesium --- yes
Carbon --- yes (liquid c02 + fortnightly water change)
Nitrogen --- yes (nitrates)
Hydrogen --- yes
Oxygen --- yes (surface movement + circulation + fortnightly water change)
Phosphorus --- yes (phosphate)
Potassium --- no? (contained in JI3 soil?)
Sulphur --- no? (contained in JI3 soil?)


Micros

According to the bottle, all micro's are included in my daily fertilizer including iron. Should I question if there are sufficient micro's in my fertilizer, and how would I check?

Light

I have low light. 1x 58w T8 bulb = 1.3 WPG.


So by narrowing down I think its a lack of one or all of these:

light
potassium
sulphur

What do you think?
Thanks

Paul
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Old 06-22-2013, 05:39 PM   #10
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Potassium and iron are the most commonly deficient nutrients, especially if you are relying on fish food for many nutrients.

I would start dosing with those 2 and see if the plants perk up. When I had low light, high fish load tanks these were the 2 deficiencies that showed up. Some people find that the amount of iron in some trace mineral supplies is not quite enough. Some hard water (from wells) has more potassium, but I would still dose it.

Of course, the right light will help.

My plants really took off when they got more light, then I needed to dose the full EI method, with only minor modifications.
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:22 PM   #11
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Well the tank was supposed to be a low light low tech setup, but I started to use the liquid C02 because I thought that may have been what the plants needed initially.

Ideally I want to keep the tank low tech with low light so I don't have to service the plants too often. Can I just stop dosing the liquid carbon now I have started or would that cause problems?

I will try what you suggested and dose the potassium and iron and see what that does, and then if they don't show any signs of perking up over a couple of months then I guess I will have to consider more light. Could I increase my lighting level without the tank becoming 'high tech' i.e dosing the EI method?

Thanks

P
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul195 View Post
Well the tank was supposed to be a low light low tech setup, but I started to use the liquid C02 because I thought that may have been what the plants needed initially.

Ideally I want to keep the tank low tech with low light so I don't have to service the plants too often. Can I just stop dosing the liquid carbon now I have started or would that cause problems?

I will try what you suggested and dose the potassium and iron and see what that does, and then if they don't show any signs of perking up over a couple of months then I guess I will have to consider more light. Could I increase my lighting level without the tank becoming 'high tech' i.e dosing the EI method?

Thanks

P
Don't jump to increasing light. You will always benefit from adding a co2 supplement. If you use too much light without enough CO2, you are setting yourself up for algae. If you are going to increase anything, make it CO2.


And your MACROS are nitrogen, potassium, and phosphates; everything else is MICROS.
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:20 PM   #13
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Here is the order in which I gradually shifted from low tech to medium tech:

1) Low light, fish food as fertilizer. Plants did not do much, except the ones by the windows. High fish loads, so fertilizer and CO2 matched plant needs. Light was too low.

2) Improve lighting. Almost immediately potassium and iron deficiency started showing up.

3) Add potassium and iron. Something else was needed.

4) Added Excel.

That sort of level seemed to work for a long time. I think things were in the right balance. Any algae that grew was not a big problem, no rampant growth, and algae eating fish took care of it.
Most tanks had about 2 watts per gallon from T-12 or T-8 bulbs, selected from Plant and Cool or Daylight spectrums. Plus some were right in a window, others near by. Sheer curtains in the summer.
Tap water has 4-5 degrees GH and KH.
K and Fe added.
Carbon in the form of Excel.
I still had a lot of fish in the tanks.
Weekly large water changes.

5) Then I started playing around with DIY CO2, EI dosing of fertilizers and more light. Mostly these were more work than I wanted to put in, so I went back to level 4 conditions.

6) Repeat level 4, except with fewer fish in the tank. Modify the EI dosing from level 5 to replace the fish food, but so I do not have to do such frequent large water changes.

For each person the level that you stick with will be different. Find the spot that you are happy with. Figure out what the tank needs at the different levels and try to meet those needs. If meeting those needs is more than you can do, then alter some condition until the tank is manageable to you.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:37 PM   #14
paul195
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Thats a great help, thanks. I will report back here once I have added my extra ferts.

One more thing, would it be worth considering switching from my current micro only fert liquid to dry ferts (such as a reduced EI dosing routine) to make it cheaper? If I go and buy flourish pottassium and iron, I could buy a load of dry ferts for the same money.

P

Last edited by paul195; 06-23-2013 at 11:16 PM.. Reason: dry ferts
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:47 PM   #15
paul195
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*BUMP*

Seeing as I have already bought the micro ferts and now I need the potassium and iron additions, can I just dose my micro ferts and then add KN03 + chelated iron or would it be better to follow the whole EI rouine (KN03,KH2P04,MGS04 + CSM+B)?

Thank you

Paul
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