Water parameters help - The Planted Tank Forum
  • 2 Post By Joey Rutherford
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Water parameters help

Im in the process of setting up my first planted tank. Im just going to list every bit of possible information i can in hopes that some will have advice. My tank is 45gal (36x12x24), I have 40lbs of eco, 20lbs of ADA (makes it a little over 4" deep). Im running a fluval heater, FLuval 406, Finnex Ray2. Im in the process of transitioning from DIY CO2 to a GLA reg set up (just need to get a tank). I put in a drop checker today and am waiting to see those results. I have 3 pieces of drift wood, a few river rocks, and numerous plants (ludwigia, HC, anacharis, swords, a fern, a couple different aponogeton, anubias, etc... Pretty much every kind of plant you could want. A friend gave me a ton of trimmings from her planted tank). My tank has been set up for a couple of months now and is fully biologically cycled. I just keep adding and taking away plants and rearranging things. Ive had a little bit of algae but whenever i see it i scrub it off and spray some H2O2 on the wood or rocks that its on. I also have biofilm on the surface but was told that usually happens with new tanks and should go away after awhile if theres nothing seriously wrong.

My water straight from the tap (well water) is as follows, Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are 0. pH is 8.8, PO4 is 0, kh is 10, and gh is 2-3. I was advised to mix some RO in with my tap so I went and bought some.

My tank water is ~5gal RO and the rest is tap and it is as follows: Ammonia and nitrite are 0. Nitrate is ~5 (i dose a little ammonia every couple of days). pH is 6.4, PO4 is 0, kh is 5 and gh is 1-2.

My friend is hoping that I have the kh and gh flipped but, unless the bottles are labeled wrong, I dont. She jokingly said my tank is perfect for shrimp. Im wanting to keep tetras, a couple rams, and maybe some other random smaller fish or get a couple of angels. Still havent decided what I want to keep yet. I just dont know what kh and gh tests mean. Do i want high or low numbers? I keep seeing varying opinions about literally EVERYTHING when it comes to tanks. My goal is to have a lush planted tank, happy and healthy fish, and to not have a big tank of wasted money.

The photo I attached is from today. The water is a bit murky because I planted some new plants my friend sent me and moved some other things around. Everything that has been in my tank seems to be doing well. A few of the plants i ordered on amazon melted but they came back fine. And the center piece of my tank is the bag holding the wood down...
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Last edited by Joey Rutherford; 01-12-2017 at 11:25 PM. Reason: forgot something
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 02-28-2018, 10:52 AM
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This is thread is quite old, but I was going through some threads on water parameters.

I'm sure you figured it out, but your CO2 levels are dangerously high.


The chart would indicate CO2 of nearly 60ppm.

KH is the carbonate hardness. 3 - 6 KH is considered fine. GH is general hardness and range is 2 - 8. With too low GH, you can end up with twisted and distorted growth. Some plants do better, but they will fight for the available Mg and Ca.
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