API Gh and Kh? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-25-2010, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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API Gh and Kh?

I am currently in the process of moving back home. I have already moved most of my aqaurium stuff but the directions to my API Kh and Gh test kit is missing and I need to check the well water where I am going to live to know what I will be putting in my tanks. Anyways, I just have a couple of questions. How do I know when the Gh test is done (changes from x color to y color?......)? And, what does each drop mean? One drop = 1 degree? Im really lost.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-25-2010, 11:19 PM
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The KH will change from deep blue to yellow and the GH will change from deep yellow to green. Just fill 5ml tank water add one drop shake add another drop till you get the color change. 1 degree is 17.9ppm just multiply your number x 17.9.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-25-2010, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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So I am correct in thinking that one drop = one degree?

___My 120 Gallon___ EHEIM PIMP #407, 2x 2229, 2x 1250 Hobby Pumps, 1x Ecco 2236, and 1x Eheim Sludge Extractor

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 12:04 AM
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Yes every drop is one degree
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I think my Gh tester may be bad (although I bought it new 3 months ago), one drop and the test turns green. Is it possible to have that soft of water without a water softener?

___My 120 Gallon___ EHEIM PIMP #407, 2x 2229, 2x 1250 Hobby Pumps, 1x Ecco 2236, and 1x Eheim Sludge Extractor

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 02:15 AM
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not sure ~ I have the opposite problem. It takes 18 drops and that is after the softener!!
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
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Well, now I am really confused and frustrated! I just did another test, first drop = clear, drop 3 = kinda yellow, drop 8 = kinda yellow green. Its like there is no definate yellow or green.

___My 120 Gallon___ EHEIM PIMP #407, 2x 2229, 2x 1250 Hobby Pumps, 1x Ecco 2236, and 1x Eheim Sludge Extractor

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 02:32 AM
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The API GH test kit isn't very good, in my experience. It might work ok right after you buy it, but it might not. And, not too long after that it likely won't work at all. I switched to a Red Sea test kit, which worked a lot better. But, I only used that one a couple of times, then just left it on the shelf, so it may not work well now either. When a GH kit works well, the color change is very easy to see, and you get an easy to interpret reading. When it doesn't work well, you may not see any color change, or it may be so light in color you can't be sure if it changed or not.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds like I need to get a new (red sea) test kit. I am thinking of having the water tested locally, its never been done on this well.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 03:16 AM
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I like the Tetra tests for these. I used to manage a pool and the Tetra kit gave me the same results as the professional pool kit.

I live in Vancouver and our water is often less than 1 degree KH and 1 degree GH out of the tap, so the water can be as soft as you describe. I doubt well water would be that soft though.

For the pool we raised both of these to about 6 degrees.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 04:01 AM
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I was using the API kit and it seemed to work but, I stopped testing for GH and KH. I figured out, thanks to this and other forums, how much Equilibrium, GH booster , Ca & Mg to add every week to have a Gh of 7 and a Kh of 3.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-26-2010, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Landau View Post
I like the Tetra tests for these. I used to manage a pool and the Tetra kit gave me the same results as the professional pool kit.

I live in Vancouver and our water is often less than 1 degree KH and 1 degree GH out of the tap, so the water can be as soft as you describe. I doubt well water would be that soft though.

For the pool we raised both of these to about 6 degrees.
When my API test kits failed to work - I even bought a new one and it still didn't work - I then bought both the Tetra and Red Sea GH kits. One of them worked very well. The other not nearly as well - hard to see the color change. Unfortunately I'm not sure which of the two was the best one. Right now I can't find the Tetra kit, so I assumed it was the Red Sea kit that worked well, but from what you said, I suspect it was the Tetra kit. I think that's the one I would try if I ever need to test for GH again.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 09:51 AM
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helps if you look at the top of the tube looking down through it with a piece of paper under it
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 06:31 AM
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My API GH and KH test kits seemed to last a bit longer than they say they will, but eventually they got too old to read.
Yes, the GH test is difficult to tell where the change happens, even when the kit was new.
However, I usually could tell when I had gone a drop too much. "Oh, that little tinge with the last drop really WAS green"
So while I may not know if it really was 4 or 5 degrees, I at least knew it was not a lot more or less.

I read the tests and seem to get the best results when I am near a bright window. Not direct sun, but well lit. I also have a problem with the GH test when there are too many green things in the background, or nearby. Definitely hold up the card as a background, and ditto looking through the test tube from the top.
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