Originally Posted by driftwoodhunter
trying this again, I had 111 views last time but no takers!
I've read that I should try to get the GH & the KH as close to equal as possible, but I don't know how to effect one and not the other, plus I don't want to raise the pH.
Any tutoring would be welcomed!
With all the comments recommending this try to find anything that provides a real reason why it's required.
Posting you have water testing at 6dGH & 3dKH I would knock holes in the ceiling jumping up and down for joy if I had those values available here for source water.
Provide foods rich in Calcium for your critters and the shell issues will stop. I have Briggs (trap doors) kept in 3-5dGH and 2dKH remineralized RO with no shell issues simply by feeding correctly.
pH concerns are basically last years reference for water quality.
Having the equipment here I've placed electronic pH controllers on low light NPT systems just to see what happens during a 24hr period (used them as simply a monitor). Lighting alone can shift tested pH by a full degree on soft water tanks. Monitoring what the pH reading was in the morning before the photoperiod and again late in the afternoon I recorded a full point shift in value. The only difference was lights on or lights off (more or less CO2 in solution).
Shifts in pH don't really effect our critters and happen in nature all the time.
Water is better understood when defined by it's mineral content, that's what the critters are living in.
Shifts in GH, KH, TDS, (changes in osmotic pressure) that's what effects our critters not a pH value or change in pH per say.
Again a tank tested pH value is the product of carbonate buffers and CO2 content in the water. Acidic or alkaline yes but testing pH as it relates to tank water ignores mineral content. Mineral content effect critters.
Forget about the pH and don't regulate your changes based on it. The americanaquarium website is a good source of valuable information. Although I will slam a bit that statement. Carbon is not a source of energy for anything. There are two sources of energy in the aquarium as far as my understanding goes: Light and Chemical reactions
A ph of 6.8 - 7 is good for just about anything. I'll go as far as saying that just feeding the snails a good amount of calcium can compensate for the acidity of the water.
One last thought, search on the forums for Diana's posts. I saw her replying to many threads like yours, it's a starting point to find out more about the water chemistry. You can look at my posts as well but I'm not that experienced.
Posting that parameters of mineral content needed to be closely matched was Diana's take on the topic and mine the inverse.
First I PM'ed a couple times asking why this was her position then we posted in thread conversations on the topic several times in answer to others members asking (as my sister of the dirt has here) I smiled drinking coffee and reading opinion this morning.
Plants need 16-17 different elements to grow.
GH measures Ca and Mg, so if the GH is roughly 3 degrees or higher there is plenty for plants.
KH measures carbonates. This is a buffer for pH. The old thinking was that you needed at least 3 dKH for a stable pH. I have stable tanks with no KH showing on my tests. (No, the test is not old)
If you can get the RO + tap blend to the GH of 6 and KH of 2, I think that should be fine for the plants, and OK for most soft water fish.
First time I've read her posting agreement on my stated position for this topic LOL always before it was mix to closely matched values
living is learning