Low KH, High GH, Cloudy, Acidic Tank...help - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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Low KH, High GH, Cloudy, Acidic Tank...help

Hi Everyone,


I just joined the forum although I have been reading for years. Always great info so I thought I'd see if anyone had any recommendations for me. I have a 29gl freshwater tank. Has been established for several years. Assortment of tetras, cory cats, algae eaters, and one lone gourami. Plants consist of java ferns and amazon swords. 2 pieces of driftwood in tank. Unique point: I use a UGF for my tank as it was established when I started keeping plants and while not the ideal it works great...at least until this past week.


Back story: due to life happening, ended up going a little too long between cleanings, nothing horrible but had gotten to that stage where you're like "I need to clean the tank". So approximately 4 weeks? After cleaning, normal floating debris resulting from filtering substrate with vacuum, key word being normal. That was four days ago. I have since done two-three 25% water changes in an effort to get the water to clear up and it is still beyond cloudy with a slight greenish tint. Tested all levels of everything using API liquid. Results: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrate, 0 nitrite, low KH, high GH (as in not even on chart high), very acidic water. Crazy thing? Fish are totally normal and happy.


My water is hard which is something I have always dealt with. Acidic water is totally new and I have NOT knowingly done anything to it to make it so. Water in tank vs. water out of tap totally different ph wise. I do use tap water in my tank. Always have.


Any ideas what would be causing cloudiness? I did have an out break of black beard algae (horrible stuff) but that was months ago and is about 88% eradicated. Ideas on issues of acidity and how to correct/rebalance?


Thank you!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 02:04 AM
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I'm guessing that you stirred up nutrients from the substrate that accumulated in the UGF without regular maintenance. This may have caused an algae bloom--the green tinted water. Look up "green water" and see if that sounds like what you have.

Has your KH always been low? When's the last time you tested your tank's pH before now, did it used to be higher? And what exactly is pH out of the tap and in the tank? What is your substrate, do you dose any fertilizer or inject CO2 (either DIY or pressurized)? How long do you leave your tank lights on? Have you recently changed anything about your tank, dosed anything new, changed lighting schedule, etc?
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, yes, those images look quite familiar! Fact that it was cloudier in the evening than the morning should have clued me in. I've never had one before but that makes perfect sense.

As far as the KH, I had a issue with it dropping last December but after a couple water changes, it stabilized. I tested the pH about a month ago and it looked normal, normal being a neutral range. pH currently in tank is 6.0 or less. I do not have a low pH tester kit, just a standard and high. Using both standard and high pH tests, I have a tap water pH of 7.6. Substrate is standard aquarium gravel. That being said, gravel is about 20yrs old. I have not used CO2 since last year, fertilizer since about February. Lights stay on for 12 hr period. Only change is that several plants died about 5 weeks ago. This is normal for me as I do not have a nutrient rich substrate, much less a substrate designed for plants. That being said, less plants eating nutrients means more nutrients available for other things which evidently in my case means algae!
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