Extreme water hardness an issue for any plants or shrimp? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-30-2011, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Extreme water hardness an issue for any plants or shrimp?

Hi,

I just set up a tank with miracle grow and pool filter sand in a 20 gallon long tank. I neglected to wash the sand. I thought it was clean for some reason. The tank is just holding some plants till I finish making MTS. It has light but no filter or fish. I will add water from my established tank along the way to keep the plants fed. I will also add some shrimp is the water tests okay.

Anyway after many water changes the test strip dipped says that I have extreme water hardness. The little square is golden yellow, off the charts in hardness. The kit shows that a dark orange is 350.

The strip says:

Nitrate: 40
Nitrite: 0
GH: golden yellow, off the chart
KH: somewhere between 180 and 300
PH: 7.5... was 8.4 but I just added PHdown (I know now that it is bad to use, causes algae. I followed the instructions and it jumped it down more that it said it would.)

Should I do another water change to get the PHdown out?

Is the water hardness an issue?

Can I put shrimp in?
When the water is okay I was going to add in old tank water with vacuumed up fish matter from the gravel.

Thanks so much,

Christy
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-30-2011, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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So I have since read about plants in Walstad's book and find that it depends on the plants.

I am wondering if the test strip is wrong. How could it be that far off the chart.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-31-2011, 08:49 PM
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Most will say test strips are very inaccurate but I like to use them to get a quick view of the water parameters, I think most plants will be ok in hard water but there may be some that are sensitive but it's more likely to effect your livestock and shrimp are somewhat delicate. You should ask this question at the invertabrates section.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-31-2011, 08:56 PM
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This may help https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...-breeding.html


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-31-2011, 08:59 PM
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Pitch the pH Down in the trash is my advice. Chemical drop tests after calibrating the kits to a known reference and TDS measurements can help with maintenance but try to find out what your water REALLY is then go from there. Doing an NPT can be a great tank long term so take your time and understand what you have without being in a race to get it done.

Getting in a rush leads to problems most of the time.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-31-2011, 10:11 PM
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If you have access to RO/DI, you can test a sample that is half tank water, and half RO. Then you should stay within the range of the test kit. Then double the result to get your true reading.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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That was over my head. I looked it up on the net and they are expensive kits. Is that what you mean?

Can I do something with the reverse osmosis vending machines in front of the grocery to get water?

Thanks
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 11:02 AM
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That will get you in the ballpark, which is typically close enough for our needs.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colisalalia View Post
Hi,

I just set up a tank with miracle grow and pool filter sand in a 20 gallon long tank. I neglected to wash the sand. I thought it was clean for some reason. The tank is just holding some plants till I finish making MTS. It has light but no filter or fish. I will add water from my established tank along the way to keep the plants fed. I will also add some shrimp is the water tests okay.

Anyway after many water changes the test strip dipped says that I have extreme water hardness. The little square is golden yellow, off the charts in hardness. The kit shows that a dark orange is 350.

The strip says:

Nitrate: 40
Nitrite: 0
GH: golden yellow, off the chart
KH: somewhere between 180 and 300
PH: 7.5... was 8.4 but I just added PHdown (I know now that it is bad to use, causes algae. I followed the instructions and it jumped it down more that it said it would.)

Should I do another water change to get the PHdown out?

Is the water hardness an issue?

Can I put shrimp in?
When the water is okay I was going to add in old tank water with vacuumed up fish matter from the gravel.

Thanks so much,

Christy
Worse tap water than Venice(Santa Barbara, Goleta):












Regards,
Tom Barr
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