Hardness GH/KH - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Hardness GH/KH

I decided to test the hardness levels in my tank and purchased a new API GH/KH test kit.

The GH is off the charts, it took nearly 30 drops to convert to green. The tap water here takes roughly 18, so I believe the water is hard from the source already and I had a lidless tank that evaporates a lot, leaving minerals behind which I am thinking is the reason for the high level of hardness....however I have no idea how to fix this, or what the potential dangers to my fish are.

The KH from the tank took 10 drops to change from blue to yellow. My understanding is that a higher Kh means more stable pH so I wasn't too concerned about that, but maybe I am wrong in my thinking?

I see that API sells a water softener/pillow to help remove the excess minerals. Is this something i should buy? Given how hard the water from the tap is, I think this is going to be an ongoing problem for me.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 07:24 PM
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I would try to use some RO to bring the GH down, and only top off with RO, if you top off with tap, the minerals just keep increasing. my water is kh 6-7 GH 10, so it is fairly hard, but I can grow most plants just fine. If you get an RO unit, try to mix with tap water to get the gh you want.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by notsogreenthumb View Post
I decided to test the hardness levels in my tank and purchased a new API GH/KH test kit.



The GH is off the charts, it took nearly 30 drops to convert to green. The tap water here takes roughly 18, so I believe the water is hard from the source already and I had a lidless tank that evaporates a lot, leaving minerals behind which I am thinking is the reason for the high level of hardness....however I have no idea how to fix this, or what the potential dangers to my fish are.



The KH from the tank took 10 drops to change from blue to yellow. My understanding is that a higher Kh means more stable pH so I wasn't too concerned about that, but maybe I am wrong in my thinking?



I see that API sells a water softener/pillow to help remove the excess minerals. Is this something i should buy? Given how hard the water from the tap is, I think this is going to be an ongoing problem for me.


Best thing long term would be to purchase a RO/DI unit. I really like the one that brs sells. You can get a 3 or 5 stage. Can always get the 3 and if you feel you need can add the 2 stages later. This really is your only reliable way to get the gh and kh down.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Is there anything I can do to chemically treat the tank rather than have a separate setup to treat my water?

I will have to research what an RO unit does or where it would go, I am totally ignorant to that. I live in an apartment so if they take up a lot of space it's not going to be doable as I dont have a garage or anything like that to store it in.

Also - Is there much danger to the fish in the tank due to this?

Last edited by notsogreenthumb; 05-20-2017 at 07:39 PM. Reason: forgot something
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 07:55 PM
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Hardness GH/KH

An RO unit gives you absolutely zero nutrients just pure water. So you would have 0 gh and 0 kh. So you could then do half tap water and half RO and it would then cut your gh and kh in half to give you the idea.

Depending on how much water you need would determine how much space it would take up. The unit could install under your bathroom sink to give you an idea that could then fill a bucket or tub of your choice of water depending again on how much you need at any given time.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2017, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notsogreenthumb View Post
Is there anything I can do to chemically treat the tank rather than have a separate setup to treat my water?

I will have to research what an RO unit does or where it would go, I am totally ignorant to that. I live in an apartment so if they take up a lot of space it's not going to be doable as I dont have a garage or anything like that to store it in.

Also - Is there much danger to the fish in the tank due to this?
To answer your first question, no.

RO units are pretty compact. They attach to the same type of connection a laundry machine would (definitely not garage-worthy unless you are producing on a professional aquarium scale).

No danger to the fish as long as you remineralize the water properly before adding to the tank. Probably will be quite beneficial actually; I can't think of many (or any) planted tank fish that enjoy 30 dGH.

Look up how reef hobbyists produce water for their tanks. Basically have a bucket or trash can, produce water, remineralize and heat it, and pump into your tank. Water changes are very easy.

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