GH through the roof! Why??? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 05:19 AM Thread Starter
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Question GH through the roof! Why???

I live in the Seattle area where the water is soft, around 2-3 degrees GH out of the tap.

I have two high tech tanks, a 29 gallon and a 10 gallon. Both have something that is causing the GH to skyrocket and I am not sure what it could be.

My 10 gallon has the highest hardness, I stopped counting at 45 drops from my test bottle!



Temperature: 78F
PH: 6.8
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: ~50ppm (I never can read the color chart)

Substrate: Seachem Flourite Black and black aquarium gravel (have this same substrate in a low tech tank w/ normal, low GH)
Hardscape: Driftwood, slate stone


My 29 gallon tested around 17 degrees GH



Temperature: 78F
PH: 6.4
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: ~50 (again, it was red)

Substrate: Seachem Flourite Red and small rock from the aquarium store
Hardscape: Driftwood


I feed with Simple Green from Aquarium Co-Op in Edmonds (2x per week) and run 2-5bps CO2 per tank.

Any insight or help into figuring out what is causing the GH to skyrocket in these two tanks would be extremely helpful!

-SG
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 05:58 AM
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Could it be the rock? Did you soak it/test the GH before putting it in the tank? Edit: I mean the rocks in either tank.

Last edited by geisterwald; 08-17-2016 at 06:02 AM. Reason: both rocks
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 07:08 AM
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are you sure that rock in your 10g is actually slate? that's the only thing i can think of that could cause your gh to go up that high


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 07:18 AM
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What does tap water test at for GH Today?(not last month)
Are you using seachem equilibrium? GH booster,or excess micro nutrient's that may contain magnesium?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by geisterwald View Post
Could it be the rock? Did you soak it/test the GH before putting it in the tank? Edit: I mean the rocks in either tank.
I didn't test anything when I set these up. However, I'm using the same substrate that's in the 10g in my quarantine tank also and the GH is 4 there. There is no wood or stone otherwise in there either...

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Originally Posted by SingAlongWithTsing View Post
are you sure that rock in your 10g is actually slate? that's the only thing i can think of that could cause your gh to go up that high
Bought it from Petco as such, have some in my Turtle tank w/ river rock substrate and slate decor... Just tested the GH in it and it was 13 so the slate is a suspect... but I don't have it in my 29g is the thing. Weird.

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Originally Posted by roadmaster View Post
What does tap water test at for GH Today?(not last month)
Are you using seachem equilibrium? GH booster,or excess micro nutrient's that may contain magnesium?
Tap water GH today is 2. Not using anything besides the Simple Green and Seachem Iron to supplement.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scapegoat79 View Post
Bought it from Petco as such, have some in my Turtle tank w/ river rock substrate and slate decor... Just tested the GH in it and it was 13 so the slate is a suspect... but I don't have it in my 29g is the thing. Weird.


Tap water GH today is 2. Not using anything besides the Simple Green and Seachem Iron to supplement.
slate should be inert, petco probably mislabeled


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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slate should be inert, petco probably mislabeled
Looks like every other piece of slate I've come across, no sparkly or shiny bits whatsoever.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 05:35 AM
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Something being added to the tank or in the tank is increasing the hardness.
Calcium/magnesium are the mineral's that make up the GH and influence pH.
Are you sure your not measuring KH?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 06:28 AM
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Looks like every other piece of slate I've come across, no sparkly or shiny bits whatsoever.
I had seriryu in my tank and it raised the GH through the roof. As soon as I took it out and did a 50% water change GH went waaaay down. You should take out the rock, do a water change and see what happens.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 12:42 PM
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Looks like every other piece of slate I've come across, no sparkly or shiny bits whatsoever.
Sparkly and shiny bits in slate will usually be micas, and won't affect gH. There are some slates though, which can contain calcium. One way to check would be to drip a few drops of HCL on the rock. It's hydrochloric acid, also known as muriatic acid, in most buying supply stores. Important to note here, though, is remove the rock first, test, and thoroughly wash before putting it back in the tank. If there is calcium, the rock will fizz.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scapegoat79 View Post
I live in the Seattle area where the water is soft, around 2-3 degrees GH out of the tap.

I have two high tech tanks, a 29 gallon and a 10 gallon. Both have something that is causing the GH to skyrocket and I am not sure what it could be.

My 10 gallon has the highest hardness, I stopped counting at 45 drops from my test bottle!

Temperature: 78F
PH: 6.8
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: ~50ppm (I never can read the color chart)

Substrate: Seachem Flourite Black and black aquarium gravel (have this same substrate in a low tech tank w/ normal, low GH)
Hardscape: Driftwood, slate stone

My 29 gallon tested around 17 degrees GH

Temperature: 78F
PH: 6.4
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: ~50 (again, it was red)

Substrate: Seachem Flourite Red and small rock from the aquarium store
Hardscape: Driftwood


I feed with Simple Green from Aquarium Co-Op in Edmonds (2x per week) and run 2-5bps CO2 per tank.

Any insight or help into figuring out what is causing the GH to skyrocket in these two tanks would be extremely helpful!

-SG
Hi Scapegoat79,

Welcome to TPT (and 'airstone')

First of all I would contact Cory at Aquarium Co-op and find out about the ingredients in the Simple Green, specifically if there are any Ca and Mg compounds - those can definitely increase dGH.

Secondly, there appears to be substantially more rock/stone/slate in the 10 gallon verses the 29 gallon on a per gallon basis....so the stone becomes a suspect. I would remove a piece of stone, put it in a small glass container with enough water to cover it, and stir the water and measure the dGH once a week for a month....is the dGH climbing substantially?

A couple of other questions: do you have a lot of evaporation happening that requires water replenishment?; do you do weekly water changes weekly; if so how much?

Hope to see you at a GSAS meeting sometime! -Roy

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi Scapegoat79,

Welcome to TPT (and 'airstone')

First of all I would contact Cory at Aquarium Co-op and find out about the ingredients in the Simple Green, specifically if there are any Ca and Mg compounds - those can definitely increase dGH.

Secondly, there appears to be substantially more rock/stone/slate in the 10 gallon verses the 29 gallon on a per gallon basis....so the stone becomes a suspect. I would remove a piece of stone, put it in a small glass container with enough water to cover it, and stir the water and measure the dGH once a week for a month....is the dGH climbing substantially?

A couple of other questions: do you have a lot of evaporation happening that requires water replenishment?; do you do weekly water changes weekly; if so how much?

Hope to see you at a GSAS meeting sometime! -Roy

Easy Green is an all in one liquid fertilizer which does contain some Mg(0.4%) but you wouldnt get that large of an increase in GH if you dumped the entire bottle in there, let alone the suggested dosing amount.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 04:55 PM
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Maybe I missed it but, how often do you don't WC's? and How much? Do you do top offs with tap or RO?
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 06:20 PM
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I highly suspect the rock. Especially with your pH being on the acidic side. I have a 6 gallon fluval edge in which I used a heavy amount of seiryu stone, the substrate also being fluorite black and my GH was constantly skyrocketing. Being that it's an edge, which such a small opening, it took me weeks and a good amount of reef glue to scape. Considering the amount of time I put in on it I decided to try to find a way around the GH problem which I believe (fingers crossed) I have. The solution: RODI water.
I purchased an RODI system from AquaFX. I use Seachem's Alkaline Buffer and Acid Buffer to target my pH and forgo any use of products such as Equilibrium. Doing so has stabilized my GH to about 8 dkh.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pattern8 View Post
I highly suspect the rock. Especially with your pH being on the acidic side. I have a 6 gallon fluval edge in which I used a heavy amount of seiryu stone, the substrate also being fluorite black and my GH was constantly skyrocketing. Being that it's an edge, which such a small opening, it took me weeks and a good amount of reef glue to scape. Considering the amount of time I put in on it I decided to try to find a way around the GH problem which I believe (fingers crossed) I have. The solution: RODI water.
I purchased an RODI system from AquaFX. I use Seachem's Alkaline Buffer and Acid Buffer to target my pH and forgo any use of products such as Equilibrium. Doing so has stabilized my GH to about 8 dkh.
Careful on the buffers I've heard it increased phosphate like crazy.
@Smooch had a tread on it.
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