New 125 Gal Tank KH GH PH Question(s) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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New 125 Gal Tank KH GH PH Question(s)

Hello everyone,

I have set up a tank that was given to me by a friend of mine. I have added some plants and some fish and am waiting for the tank to cycle. I have some experience with plants and fish, but it has been 10 years since I got to play in the water and I have forgotten much.

I live in south central Indiana (near Bloomington) and was always under the assumption that our water was "hard". Prior to filling the tank up, I tested the PH of the water and it shows angry red on the high scale of the API tester (maxes out at 8.8).

I was thinking I would have to buy a RO unit, but I tested the PH of the tank today and it is around 7.0 - 7.2. I decided to do some reading about GH and KH and after my testing I am unsure what is going on.

PH: 7.0-7.2
Ammonia: 0.50ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm
KH: 35.8
GH: 53.7
(All tests were done w/ API test kits)

The KH test turns yellow after 2 drops which reads 53.7 on the test kit information. That was easy to tell when the color changed; the GH test is not as easy. After 3 drops it turns from yellow to a yellow-green. It is not yellow, but it is sorta green If I add more drops it gets darker, but the change was after 3 drops.

Tap water reads high PH and identical GH/KH readings. What would cause the PH to drop so much? Is it possible that the local water company has put something in the water that is dissipating over time? Am I reading the tests correctly as the water is "soft"?

Thanks in advance for any insight!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 09:23 PM
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Welcome to TPT! We're glad to have ya!

OK your gH readings are a reflection of the total dissolved solids in the water. Over time, some TDS will simply settle out of the water column, which will lower both your gH and your pH readings. Plants and fish also tend to lower pH and gH over time, especially if there's any driftwood in the tank. Last but not least, what kind of substrate are you using? Some plant substrates can affect the water chemistry.

From the ammonia, nitrIte and nitrAte readings you posted, it looks like your tank has just begun to cycle. Cycling tanks are notoriously unstable, as the readings will change dramatically due to the chemical and biological processes that go on in cycling tanks. I'd personally wait till your cycle is over, do a 50% water change, and then wait till the next day before you test your gH, kH, and pH again.





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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-27-2008, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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I went with regular old gravel from the local fish store. I had once used peat in my old tank years ago covered by gravel.

I also am using some ODNO lighting for the plants. 2X with T8 48" bulbs (4 all together w/ 2 ballasts).

I have made a DIY CO2 setup to use yeast w/ 2 liter bottles, but I have yet to get any CO2 to make it into the diffuser
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-29-2008, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimkin View Post
Hello everyone,

I have set up a tank that was given to me by a friend of mine. I have added some plants and some fish and am waiting for the tank to cycle. I have some experience with plants and fish, but it has been 10 years since I got to play in the water and I have forgotten much.

I live in south central Indiana (near Bloomington) and was always under the assumption that our water was "hard". Prior to filling the tank up, I tested the PH of the water and it shows angry red on the high scale of the API tester (maxes out at 8.8).

I was thinking I would have to buy a RO unit, but I tested the PH of the tank today and it is around 7.0 - 7.2. I decided to do some reading about GH and KH and after my testing I am unsure what is going on.

PH: 7.0-7.2
Ammonia: 0.50ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm
KH: 35.8
GH: 53.7
(All tests were done w/ API test kits)

The KH test turns yellow after 2 drops which reads 53.7 on the test kit information. That was easy to tell when the color changed; the GH test is not as easy. After 3 drops it turns from yellow to a yellow-green. It is not yellow, but it is sorta green If I add more drops it gets darker, but the change was after 3 drops.

Tap water reads high PH and identical GH/KH readings. What would cause the PH to drop so much? Is it possible that the local water company has put something in the water that is dissipating over time? Am I reading the tests correctly as the water is "soft"?

Thanks in advance for any insight!
Nimkin - Do you know if your GH/KH measurement are in PPM or in degrees? I am suspecting PPM. If that is true, you KH would be 2 dH and the GH would be 3 dH. Both of which are a little on the low side. This water is directly from the tap and has not been filtered in any way? Are you adding CO2 to the tank now? What is your pH now?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-30-2008, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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srud - Yes that is in ppm. The KH measures 2 dh and the GH is 3-4 dh out of the tap. The PH out of the tap is at the max on my high end PH tester (8.4+). The tank measures about 7 - 7.2.

I am having some difficulty getting my DIY CO2 reactors going. They are producing CO2, but it is not bubbling in the diffuser. I suspect a leak, so I purchased some bulk head fittings and will get that set up tonight. I have ran CO2 before, but this time it took 3 tries to get it working.

I do not think the PH is being effected by the CO2 yet
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-30-2008, 10:53 PM
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GH is a measure of calcium and magnesium ions. This may change if you have something that does ion exchange in the tank, such as peat. Plants will use some of it, not much though. At any rate, I remember a post a while back about having a high pH out of the tap. I can't for the life of me remember what it was, but it turned out that there was something that was being added to the water to artificially increase pH to prevent corrosion, that did indeed dissipate in some way afterward. I would guess that this is what is happening here. Your KH is pretty well in line with your tank pH. If your KH was super high, that would explain the high pH, and then I would start wondering what type of acid was being leached into your tank to lower the pH. But in this case, the lower pH sounds like the correct one since your KH is also low. You could call your water department and ask what exactly they do add to the tap water.

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