Water quality SOS? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Water quality SOS?

I've just tested my GH KH levels and got very high results. Not totally sure what to do here. As in:

Using the API test kit.
GH: 12 drops (214.8ppm)
KH: 10 drops (179ppm)

Ph (co2 injection all all day - taken at mid day and drop checker is green/yellow)
Digital meter shows: 8.3
API test kit of 8+
Water from the tap is 8.8, so CO2 is indeed lowering Ph as expected.
- Higher than I remember last time I checked, so city water must be up to something new.

Tested phosphates yesterday and they were also very high ~2.75 (more blue than green). Added some Seachem phosguard last night and will retest. I have my weekly water change scheduled tonight. Plan on a 50% change out as usual.

Nitrate/Nitrite/Ammonia are all zero, which is typical for me.

Tank is 29g and stocked with 10 rummy's, 1 medium platinum angel, 3 misc. tetras and a guppy. And ~4 snails....

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Using the API test kit.
GH: 12 drops (214.8ppm)
KH: 10 drops (179ppm)

Ph (co2 injection all all day - taken at mid day and drop checker is green/yellow)
Digital meter shows: 8.3
API test kit of 8+
Water from the tap is 8.8, so CO2 is indeed lowering Ph as expected.
- Higher than I remember last time I checked, so city water must be up to something new.
dIf the above is for your tank what are the equivalent readings for your tap. Also what were your previous normal readings.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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First time testing Gh and Kh. Phosphates, it's been about a year...everything else every few months if that.

I'll test tap and see hopefully tonight.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 11:22 PM
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GH 12 KH 10 you can easily grow 90% of the plants out there. Not bad numbers at all.

And PO4 2.75 and zero NO3? I'd be worried about them being too low rather than too high.

What kind of plants are you growing that need so little?

I must be missing something. What is it you are worried about??


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayak83 View Post
I've just tested my GH KH levels and got very high results. Not totally sure what to do here. As in:

Using the API test kit.
GH: 12 drops (214.8ppm)
KH: 10 drops (179ppm)

Ph (co2 injection all all day - taken at mid day and drop checker is green/yellow)
Digital meter shows: 8.3
API test kit of 8+
Water from the tap is 8.8, so CO2 is indeed lowering Ph as expected.
- Higher than I remember last time I checked, so city water must be up to something new.

Tested phosphates yesterday and they were also very high ~2.75 (more blue than green). Added some Seachem phosguard last night and will retest. I have my weekly water change scheduled tonight. Plan on a 50% change out as usual.

Nitrate/Nitrite/Ammonia are all zero, which is typical for me.

Tank is 29g and stocked with 10 rummy's, 1 medium platinum angel, 3 misc. tetras and a guppy. And ~4 snails....

Just an FYI, my GH is typically 13, sometimes 14 from the tap - not a huge deal. As for the KH, mine is typically 7 or 8 - has been one of those 2 numbers for the last 3 years.
If you look at the last page of my build thread - the plants I have seem to be doing well.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 12:21 AM
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Unless this is a phish only tank I'm with @Greggz, where is the nitrogen???

Hardness & alkalinity at those levels are not much concern unless you are growing some specialty plants.
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Growing is not that difficult.

Last edited by Maryland Guppy; 12-03-2018 at 12:22 AM. Reason: edit
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 12:31 AM
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I try to target 3-4 ppm PO4 levels in my tank. Many of us go much higher. You didn't mention your tank PO4 levels, but if they are in the 3 ppm area you are in a sweet spot. The Phosguard is going to pull it out and leave your plants starving for PO4. Is that what you want? I hope you're dosing NO3 and other nutrients.

If your IN-TANK KH and pH readings are right, it means your CO2 is in the 1.5 ppm area. Am I missing something here? Have you calibrated those two testing aspects? The API GH / KH test kits do have expiration dates (it's on the hanging tab at the top). Could your dc be wrong (with bad/incorrect solution)?

Back to your GH and KH levels, if your tests are correct:
- What is your TDS?
- I prefer KH in the 1 dKH area and GH in the soft 3 dGH area but, as @Greggz mentioned, you can still grow plants at those higher levels.
- There is no good way to reduce it other than via dilution with RO or distilled water.
- Some water companies add sodium hydroxide to raise pH.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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I put in the phosguard because I was starting to see what looked like brown diatoms. Last time that happened (tank wasn't fully cycled and I stocked too soon) phosguard took care it of pretty quickly. I'm not seeing a huge algae growth, but some green hair on the plant leaves- the Crypt Wendtii and the Amazon Sword. And on the tank glass ESPECIALLY the evening after adding ferts in the AM, on the glass in front of the HOB filter flow especially.

I use Thrive- trying to keep it basic/simple- 1 pump every Tuesday/thursday and a 40-50% water change on Sunday's. To complicate it a bit, I just started using Thrive + (and made the false assumption I had a lower Ph). Thrive and Thrive + have worked much better than Seachem Flourish for the all-in-one ferts, but the nearly immediate algae growth after fertilizing had me thinking there's some imbalance I'm not accounting for...so here I am, throwing pickles at the window and seeing what sticks.

I'll remove the phosguard if that's going to do bad things.

Edit: Also want to note that there's a bag of Purigen in there too.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 01:54 AM
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I haven't heard of someone dosing phosguard in years. Really don't understand why you would use it or what you are trying to accomplish.

If you really want some help, you should post as many details and pictures that you can about the tank.

My initial guess is that your problems have little to do with GH & KH, and you probably need more ferts not less.

But again, no one can help you without a lot more information.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
I haven't heard of someone dosing phosguard in years. Really don't understand why you would use it or what you are trying to accomplish.

If you really want some help, you should post as many details and pictures that you can about the tank.

My initial guess is that your problems have little to do with GH & KH, and you probably need more ferts not less.

But again, no one can help you without a lot more information.

I'll test my tank water and tap water tomorrow night. I did my weekly ~50% water change tonight and want it to settle down for a day. Tomorrow is a fert day also so I'll be dosing Thrive+ in the AM before I'm off to work.

I'll also try to gather as much info as I can and put something better together. In regards to the Phosguard, I had previously great success removing brown diatoms with it. I guess I'm a little gun-shy about seeing any brown-ness and thought I'd try to get a head of it. Likely over reacting. I didn't think my test result of about 2.5-3 was "good." I knew it's not supposed to be 0 but wasn't sure on the level it should be. Again, knowing my experience with high phosphate and brown diatoms at one point, I was quick to act in thinking it needed to be reduced.

In regards to adding more ferts, I mentioned earlier that I see a decent algae bloom the evening after dosing in the AM. I would imagine adding more would be bad, and likely you're response will be that I need to ditch the Thrive+ all-in-one bottle solution and start doing ferts for real. I imagine I've got an imbalance of ferts I need to sort out. I just don't want to be swimming in test kits.

As for CO2 ppm, I go by the drop checker in my tank and know that full yellow should be pretty saturated. It's typically that way by the end of the day.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 05:01 AM
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Unless your trying to keep some expensive shrimp. Your gh and kh is fine


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
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Unless your trying to keep some expensive shrimp. Your gh and kh is fine
Nope, but I have had zero luck with cory's.

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