How to get proper GH and KH levels - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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How to get proper GH and KH levels

So I had a water softener installed in my house when I moved in. It's been great for most purposes before I got back into the aquarium trade. I've been running a planted tank for the better part of two months and I recently decided to test GH and KH because I've been wanting to add some shrimp to it. the softened water tests at around 1-2 GH and KH as I imagined since that is supposed what softeners do.

So I plumbed in a valve before the softener today so I could use the straight "hard" water in my aquariums. I ran some tests and GH and KH are 9-10 and 5-6 respectively. Obviously this isn't ideal but better than the softened water. My plan is to cut it with RO water from our RO "drinking" water unit. I figure a 50/50 mixture would give me 5 GH and 3 KH so I figure I need to bump the KH almost double maybe triple, any ideas oh how I should go about doing this?

Other possibilities I've considered would be to get another RO unit and build something to collect it and add some saltyshrimp to add GH/KH but I'm trying to go the cheaper route here, since I've already spent quite a bit just getting back into the hobby and the wife may shut me down if I go further with this. Already got yelled at for shutting off the water to add the valve today, would like to keep from getting yelled at additionally if I can avoid it.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-25-2019, 03:17 PM
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It would be a good idea to find water report analysis from local water works. It will tell you whatís in the water so you donít get some surprise. There is usually a reason why houses have water softener installations. And 3 dKH is perfect for planted aquarium.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 03:23 PM
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I completely understand the dilemma here, wife and water parameter wise. I am a bit confused as to why you are saying that you need high kh.
All water parameters are important when dealing with shrimp, but the amount of KH is species dependent. Are you planning on keeping neocaradinas?
Many people have very low kh and successfully keep shrimp. Gh however will need to be at a certain level, for shrimp to molt they need a level of GH.
So, before you get into another RO system or anything, can you explain the real desired outcome of the tank.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 04:06 PM
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What sort of shrimp are you thinking of? Cherry shrimp would be fine with your GH/KH out of the untreated tap - no need to cut with RO or muck about with it further. I'd recommend buying them locally so they are acclimatised to your local water conditions. GH10 is hard but not ridiculous.
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