Low KH High GH? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Low KH High GH?

I'm about 6 weeks into this hobby. Finally bought a Hardness test from API. I'm wondering if I'm doing this test wrong or if you can have a Low Carbonate Hardness while having a High General Hardness.

GH : 14
KH : 5

Meanwhile my PH is around 6.4

Does any of this make sense to someone? Should I be worried or need to adjust anything and if so, how do I go about this?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 08:14 PM
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Makes sense to me.. actually surprised your KH is that high..

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 09:56 PM
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Since you are looking GH/KH, are you trying to keep a specific shrimp or fish? Knowing what you want to do will help better answer your question about whether you need to adjust parameters.

For example, if you want to keep CRS, you could just mix like 60% RO water with 40% tap (assuming this is your tap water).

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 10:04 PM
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What do you want to keep?

Substrate, tank decorations and CO2 can all affect pH.

If you are using a buffering substrate and/or CO2 injection, this will result in lower pH.

Some tank decorations (wood, cones, leaves) can release tannins into the water which can lower the pH. Others (i.e. seiru stone) can degrade, releasing calcium and carbonates/bicarbonates into the water, causing the pH to rise.

My GH and KH is always the same out of tap and ranges from 2 to 4. The pH is usually 7.2 to 7.6 on the low pH chart.

Meanwhile, my sisters GH is 19 and KH is 10. Her pH is at least 8.2?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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I have Albino Pristella Tetras in there with 2 Mollies that are going to be relocated here soon. There are a few shrimps in there as well. Carbon Rili, Cherry, and Ghost.

The substrate is AquaSolum and Gravel blend. I have Dragon Stone and Mopani driftwood in there.
Various live plants:
- Creeping Charlie
- Cabomba Furcata
- Micranthemum 'Monte Carlo'
- Micro Sword 'Narrow Leaf'
- Crypt ?Unknown?
Adding today
- Anubias Nana Petite
- Sagittaria Subulata Dwarf

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 06:27 PM
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Aquasolum is a buffering substrate, which explains why your pH is so low...

It's recommended to use remineralized RO with buffering substrates. Using the proper remineralized RO, buffering substrates may last 1-3 years, if not longer. Using tap water, buffering substrates may last less than a year.

Planted tanks and shrimp don't always go well together, since they enjoy oxygen enriched environments. If you don't plan on going the CO2 route, you'll probably be fine.

That said, the cherry and rili shrimp you have do best in higher pH water. They can, and do, live and thrive in water at that pH, but if your shrimp aren't reproducing, you may want to consider a shrimp only tank for them.

Not only that, but cherry and rili shrimp are two different colors of one species. If they breed together, there's a chance of "wild colored" offspring, and if you don't cull them (i.e. set up a cull tank or give/sell the shrimp away), it's possible for the colony to turn wild type over time. If they don't ever produce wild type offspring, you'll be fine!
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