GH and KH - My Soft Water Issue - The Planted Tank Forum
 1Likes
  • 2 Post By Zorfox
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 54
Question GH and KH - My Soft Water Issue

So I feel like I may have a unique issue that I need some advice on.

My GH and KH are both extremely low. My KH is around 1.3 dH and my GH is less than 1 dH.

With that said, my pH is hovering around 7.5/7.6. It reads highest on the pH scale but doesn't show up on the High Range pH scale.

I have read about calcium carbonate as a way to raise both, but I am concerned about raising my pH since I am currently sitting around the high end of optimal pH range and still have quite a way to go with GH and KH.

Suggestions anyone?
Netcode is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 11:46 AM
nel
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
nel's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Poland
Posts: 745
Use both calcium carbonate and peat (or something like that). Peat will bring pH down and with low KH and GH it's pretty easy.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- 120x48x60 cm

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- 30x30x30 cm + 30x30x20 cm,
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- 33x21x22 cm
nel is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 54
Thanks for the suggestion!

The more reading I do, I ask myself is 1.3 dH KH really something I need to be worried about?
Netcode is offline  
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 03:00 PM
nel
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
nel's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Poland
Posts: 745
I've had same KH, but when I started adding CO2 decided to make it around 3-4. With KH<4 pH can go ridiculously low in short time. Feeding frozen food or dosing CO2 brings pH down, so you have to be careful.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- 120x48x60 cm

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- 30x30x30 cm + 30x30x20 cm,
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- 33x21x22 cm
nel is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 03:49 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Zorfox's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 2,105
You have several options to raise your GH.

You can pick up a GH booster at a local store, usually Seachem Equilibrium.

You can make your own. There are several chemicals we can use to raise GH. The most popular being Calcium Sulfate (CaSO4) and Epsom Salt (MgSO4.7H2O). Blend at a 3:1 ratio. Add enough to raise GH 2-3 degrees. Many GH boosters contain Potassium, usually from Potassium Sulfate (K2SO4). This can also be added but may not be necessary dependent on your fertilizing regiment.

Your KH is perfectly fine. In fact, many plants do better with lower KH. I wouldn't bother trying to change this.

CO2 does NOT alter KH. This is a common misunderstanding since it can and does lower PH. CO2 is a weak acid meaning the chemical equation can go right AND left. Only strong acids consume KH. Strong acid equations do not shift left. That's the basic difference between strong acids and weak acids.
Zorfox is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 54
This is great information.

I think I will focus on raising my GH, as I understand that is more important. I also am not going to use CO2.

I am going to keep my progress on my project in the Low-Tech forum, I have a thread going there.

Thank you both Nel and Zorfox for responding so quickly.
Netcode is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 04:01 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Zorfox's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 2,105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Netcode View Post
This is great information.

I think I will focus on raising my GH, as I understand that is more important. I also am not going to use CO2.

I am going to keep my progress on my project in the Low-Tech forum, I have a thread going there.

Thank you both Nel and Zorfox for responding so quickly.
Since this is a low-tech tank your best option would most likely be the Seachem product. This has potassium as well as iron and manganese. You can make your own but I doubt your looking to buy a list of chemicals for fertilizing a low tech tank.
Netcode and Netcode like this.
Zorfox is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 05:41 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
lksdrinker's Avatar
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: NY; LETS GO METS
Posts: 1,916
I wouldnt try to alter anything unless you are seeing a negative effect on something that you can contribute to a specific value. Altering water parameters may not seem too difficult. Maintaining specific values over time however can be a bit tricky. Most species we keep in this hobby care more about consistency than an actual value, number, or test result.

I'm going to guess you're somewhere on the east coast perhaps near or in NY? I see very similar values out of the tap and I do absolutely nothing to buffer any of my tanks. I inject co2 in many of my planted tanks without issue; and I'm currently not even dosing basic ferts anymore. I am however contributing my low gh to the trouble I've had keeping "easy" shrimp like red cherries. Amano shirmp fare well but I cant keep cherry shrimp to save my life lol. Other than that all has been well!

Rich's Fishes
Curator of an ever growing fishroom that currently houses 30 different tanks. Most full of at least water....some even have fish!
lksdrinker is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 06:34 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
hbosman's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Leesburg Virginia
Posts: 1,728
I use RO water so, normally no GH or KH. Since I was readjusting my CO2 bubble rate, I added enough tap water to bring the kh up to 3 so I can use the kh/ph chart to guesstimate the CO2 level. Now that I'm happy with the bubble rate, I will just go back to pure RO and GH Booster to bring up the GH to 4. I won't be worrying about adding baking soda or tap to bring up the KH. Plants and fish don't seem to mind zero KH.
hbosman is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by lksdrinker View Post
I'm going to guess you're somewhere on the east coast perhaps near or in NY? !
I am in Canada, but East Coast is correct. I am in Nova Scotia to be more accurate.

I think after reading all these responses from everyone I feel more confident leaving them or potentially only adjusting GH with Seachem's Equilibrium.

It's great to hear of all your experiences!
Netcode is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome