My GH and KH, through well and softener - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-17-2008, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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My GH and KH, through well and softener

Ok, I've been into planted tanks for a while now, and many of you may have seen my ADA set-up. Ever since the beginning I've always just trusted that the water coming from my house is what I need, because I've never had any problems. I never checked the Gh or KH specifically, because my water comes from a well, that then runs through a water softener which goes to every tap in the house. So I just suspected that they'd be very low.

So today, thanks to Roybot , I was able to check my GH and KH, and would like to ask some of you to analyze it for me, and tell me how it is, as I don't know much about how it affects our tanks.

My GH is 0
And my KH is 4.5
pH is a flat 7.0

What do you guys think?


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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-17-2008, 10:58 PM
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You have super-soft water.

Thought about trying some Erios?





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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 04:14 AM
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I'm on a well also. GH and kH pretty much nonexistent. My water comes up loaded with CO2 also (apparently CO2 levels underground are considerably higher than atmospheric level) with a pH in the low 6's or high 5's. I learned the hard way to let it gas off before attempting to adjust the pH to avoid a rebound effect.

Well, at least my algae is pearling...
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 06:20 AM
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I'm on a well also. GH and kH pretty much nonexistent. My water comes up loaded with CO2 also (apparently CO2 levels underground are considerably higher than atmospheric level) with a pH in the low 6's or high 5's. I learned the hard way to let it gas off before attempting to adjust the pH to avoid a rebound effect.
Just curious- my family is considering putting a well on the family farm that's being converted into a sort of campsite (how redneck is that? ROFL)... anyways- how deep is your well?





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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 01:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CmLaracy View Post
Ok, I've been into planted tanks for a while now, and many of you may have seen my ADA set-up. Ever since the beginning I've always just trusted that the water coming from my house is what I need, because I've never had any problems. I never checked the Gh or KH specifically, because my water comes from a well, that then runs through a water softener which goes to every tap in the house. So I just suspected that they'd be very low.

So today, thanks to Roybot , I was able to check my GH and KH, and would like to ask some of you to analyze it for me, and tell me how it is, as I don't know much about how it affects our tanks.

My GH is 0
And my KH is 4.5
pH is a flat 7.0

What do you guys think?


Well "ideal" aquarium plant growth KH and GH ranges are defined as follows as per my Laguana hardness test kit.
KH: 50-120 ppm
GH: 70-150 ppm

The bigger question is how well are you plants doing and are they suffering. If you tested your GH and KH over a few months and the values remained the same, but your plants continued to do well, why s*it over it?? Having said that Tom Barr and others have found that plants tend to do better in c02 injected tanks when Seachem Equilibrium is added after every water change to keep GH levels at ideal ranges.

FWIW, I have set up tanks where GH, KH, PH, nitrate, potassium, phosphate, etc., all tested within ideal ranges but poor plant growth was still evident, so I personally don't always take those results too seriously.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 04:14 PM
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CmLaracy, if the GH and KH values were swapped I'd consider that an ideal situation.. you will be able to grow pretty much anything to its full potential.
I agree.


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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
Just curious- my family is considering putting a well on the family farm that's being converted into a sort of campsite (how redneck is that? ROFL)... anyways- how deep is your well?
I'm not really certain, since it was here when we bought the place, but it must not be terribly deep since it's a 6" drilled well. It has a submersible pump with a power supply rated for a maximum of 1 1/2 horsepower (which isn't a lot where wells are concerned), so I'm guessing not too deep. I think the higher CO2 levels are due in part to soil microbes and the fact that gas exchange is much slower underground. It can cause problems with plumbing, in fact. My bathtub gets a greenish stain, which I assume is some sort of copper compound from my pipes. It could also explain why I have poor luck with shrimp.

Well, at least my algae is pearling...
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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I just checked the water in the TANK, which originally came from the faucet, and the GH is .5 degrees, and the KH is 3.5 which is somewhat better. All my plants have always done great, and maybe adding more traces will make them do even better. I'd be curious to see if some seachem equilibrium would do any benefit.


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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 12:52 AM
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I use ground dolomitic limestone to raise both GH and kH and fine tune the kH with sodium bicarbonate. If you inject CO2 as I do, you need the added alkalinity to counteract the carbonic acid, otherwise, your pH would be somewhere down in the basement.

Well, at least my algae is pearling...
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:59 PM
 
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CO2 will reduce your pH by the same amount no matter what your KH is. To get CO2 to recommended amounts, your pH will have to drop by 1.0 to 1.4. A drop of 1.0 will give you around 15ppm, a drop of 1.4 will give you around 35ppm, this is assuming that when you test your pH prior to injecting co2, you are near atmospheric equilibrium around 2.0ppm. Increasing your KH will increase your pH, so you can start higher, and end up higher in the end; but this type of pH change does not affect the fish much, if at all. It's TDS that the fish care about - KH and GH being part of it. Increasing KH for the fish, if they are fish that like harder water, is fine. But increasing KH so that you can inject co2 and end up with a higher pH on your test kit after you inject it, is just messing with numbers and perhaps hurting the fish if they are fish that like soft water to start with.

A cheap way to increase GH (which plants do need) is to add epsom salts for magnesium and calcium chloride (pool hardness increaser, available at pool and spa shops) for calcium. Then your bases are covered as far as GH goes.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2008, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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I figured that simply dosing extra amounts of Brighty Step 1 has done the trick. It raises my GH just a little, and all twisting and curling on my Macrandra Green and Rotala sp. Green has gone away, leaving me with perfectly straight stems.

Brighty Step 1 is full of Mg, Ca, Mn, Co and such traces that will raise the GH a bit. I'm dosing about 16mL a day instead of the recommended 8mL per day.


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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 01:43 AM
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CO2 will reduce your pH by the same amount no matter what your KH is. To get CO2 to recommended amounts, your pH will have to drop by 1.0 to 1.4. A drop of 1.0 will give you around 15ppm, a drop of 1.4 will give you around 35ppm, this is assuming that when you test your pH prior to injecting co2, you are near atmospheric equilibrium around 2.0ppm. Increasing your KH will increase your pH, so you can start higher, and end up higher in the end; but this type of pH change does not affect the fish much, if at all. It's TDS that the fish care about - KH and GH being part of it. Increasing KH for the fish, if they are fish that like harder water, is fine. But increasing KH so that you can inject co2 and end up with a higher pH on your test kit after you inject it, is just messing with numbers and perhaps hurting the fish if they are fish that like soft water to start with.

A cheap way to increase GH (which plants do need) is to add epsom salts for magnesium and calcium chloride (pool hardness increaser, available at pool and spa shops) for calcium. Then your bases are covered as far as GH goes.
If you try to inject CO2 into a tank with a kH of 0, you will see wild fluctuations in the pH, since there are no buffers in the system, which can't be good for the fish.

Well, at least my algae is pearling...
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 02:53 PM
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If you try to inject CO2 into a tank with a kH of 0, you will see wild fluctuations in the pH, since there are no buffers in the system, which can't be good for the fish.
Not true. Try it yourself.


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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-27-2008, 02:23 AM
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I have tried it. I've also killed entire tanks full of fish. I'm not saying that you're way won't work under the right set of circumstances, but I don't think I'd recommend it to just anyone. Maybe my way of thinking is a bit old school, but at least I have good company

Well, at least my algae is pearling...
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-27-2008, 04:14 AM
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I have no idea what you were doing that would kill whole tanks of fish. It wasn't simply adding C02 to near zero Kh water! There was more involved then just that!

I keep Good Company too:

Low or no KH and low PH without a "crash"??


Low KH and pH crash


pH = 5.5, what now?


I've done it and I would prefer to keep doing, but tap is much more convenient with my auto-WC setups.....


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