My water is too hard help - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-27-2008, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
honor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Los Angeles California
Posts: 455
My water is too hard help

ok, so my tds is around 370ppm so that gives me a GH around 20degrees.

i did a water change with distilled water of a bout 7 gal on my 20 gal last week and the GH has stayed around there. thank goodness. before the water change my ppm was around 500+

i want to lower my gh even further cause my plants arnt really growing.

the things is, i made the mistake of having a substrate with crushed coral in it. around 2-3 lbs of it. not alot but it's also mixed in with some questionable sand substrate (might have crushed coral in it too). but it's all covered by a mixture of flourite and SMS.

my thinking is that because of the layered way i have my substrate, it's limiting the amount of calcium carbonate that's leaching into the water.(thank goodness again) i use to use the ugf but i stopped that once i realized my GH was so high. i will probaly seal it off even further with another layer of substrate. i like having alot of substrate haha.

but my question is, should i add peatmoss to my filtration system to further help lower my KH? i know to do it gradually so im asking for some advice on how i should do this. thanks guys, great forum.
honor is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-27-2008, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
honor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Los Angeles California
Posts: 455
or am i better off just doing water changes with distilled water from the water shop, i dont mind paying a dollar every week.
honor is offline  
post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-27-2008, 11:41 PM
Algae Grower
 
mark77ap's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ingersoll Ontario Canada
Posts: 51
Send a message via MSN to mark77ap
I have similar water paramaters as you.
GH 23
KH 11
Tap PH is 8

I use co2 injection, EI fertilization and 2.9 WPG of lighting and my plants grow like weeds. The only plant that does not grow fast so far is Rotala Indica. I think messing around with the water is going to be a hassle.

If the GH is caused by the crushed coral, I would change out the substrate, and leave the water alone.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
mark77ap is offline  
 
post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 12:31 AM
Planted Member
 
Avalon's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ft. Worth, TX
Posts: 223
GH isn't the problem. KH is. You should be looking at creating an acidic substrate (no crushed coral) and acidic water. While you can grow many plants in a substrate that doesn't promote acidic conditions (i.e., what you have and Seachem's Onyx), it's much more difficult. I've been there and done that. You'll need to pump CO2 into that tank like crazy.

You could help things greatly by using 100% RO water. The crushed coral will buffer the water a bit, but I think you'll find it a huge improvement. You also might find your plants will melt, so be forewarned when radically shifting the KH value of your water. Buy an RO unit on ebay (aquasafesystems I think). I have one and it works extremely well for not only my aquarium, but my coffee as well!
Avalon is offline  
post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 01:22 AM
Algae Grower
 
mark77ap's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ingersoll Ontario Canada
Posts: 51
Send a message via MSN to mark77ap
Good point, I must admit I do pump co2 in like crazy


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
mark77ap is offline  
post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-29-2008, 08:16 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
brohawk's Avatar
 
PTrader: (34/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 621
RO water won't do the trick. You need to pull out the substrate. Otherwise, you'll have softer water after a WC, but it'll just rise again w/in the next week or so b/c of the coral--and you can't seal off the coral w/ other substrate btw. At least in my experience. Anyway, using RO water for your WCs will cause constant hardness fluctuations which are very hard on your fish.
brohawk is offline  
post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-29-2008, 09:29 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
Raul-7's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Lomita, CA
Posts: 1,818
TDS is total dissolved salts, dGH only measures the amount of Ca++ and Mg++ ions present. Both measure 'hardness', but you cannot assume your dGH based on your TDS as TDS takes into account other ions.
Raul-7 is offline  
post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-30-2008, 11:31 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 169
Doing 100% RO will cause wild variations in your water chemistry, since as the RO water hits the coral, or anything else in the tank for that matter, it will start to leach like crazy. Your KH and GH will likely be flying all over the place. Not a healthy scenario for plants or fish. Better to just remove the substrate, and if you really need to decrease hardness, use a layer of peat or add peat to the filtration. I say this as someone who's tap water is nearly RO - with near 0 KH and GH. Keeping tank parameters stable when doing water changes becomes a challenge, even with just a sand substrate that leaches very little KH and GH over time, I've lost more than a few fish due to this issue. In the tank with the sand substrate I don't dare change more than 25% of the water at any given time, because adding the 0 KH water to the 3 or 4 degree KH tank, causes major fluctuations when too much water is changed.

Check out my website!


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Carissa is offline  
post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-31-2008, 12:47 AM
Pelvicachromis Lover!
 
Complexity's Avatar
 
PTrader: (34/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 5,090
You can spend a fortune on equipment, media, test kits, and replacement plants and fish -OR- you can bite the bullet and fix the actual problem: the substrate.

Sure, it'll be a big mess. It'll cost a few bucks. It'll be hard to let go of the substrate you've already bought and layered on top of the problem substrate. But that's what happens when you attempt to throw a "quick fix" over a problem instead of actually fixing the problem itself. The problem remains while the "quick fixes" are neither quick nor a fix.

The path you're on is a dead end. It's far better to have hard water that's very stable than to have any other water that bounces all over the place. Don't go there.

Stop right now and fix the actual problem. You'll be very glad you did in the long run, and so will your plants and fish.

Vicki —Rena Filstar pimp #142 (four XP4s/three XP2s/one XP1) • Eheim pimp #301 (Pro II 2128) • Victor pimp #27 (VTS-253B-320)

• 90g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' —— • 75g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red'
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

• 29g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' —-- • 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
• 5g - RCS colony —————————————————— • 2.5g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Retired
Complexity is offline  
post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-31-2008, 12:58 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
retoid's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 623
Send a message via AIM to retoid Send a message via MSN to retoid
My tap water is:
pH 7.6
kH 20

It has not hurt any of my fish or shrimp.

_____

Eheim Pimp #252
retoid is offline  
post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-31-2008, 01:11 AM
Pelvicachromis Lover!
 
Complexity's Avatar
 
PTrader: (34/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 5,090
I don't even remember what my kH is, but my pH is a very stable 8.0.

I'm currently enjoying my cardinal tetras, red cherry shrimp, lots of amano shrimp, pygmy rasboras, chain loaches, apistogrammas, a blue german ram, and much more. Not a problem here, either!

Stable water is the way to go.

Vicki —Rena Filstar pimp #142 (four XP4s/three XP2s/one XP1) • Eheim pimp #301 (Pro II 2128) • Victor pimp #27 (VTS-253B-320)

• 90g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' —— • 75g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red'
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

• 29g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' —-- • 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
• 5g - RCS colony —————————————————— • 2.5g -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Retired
Complexity is offline  
post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
honor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Los Angeles California
Posts: 455
i duno, i've been doing 25% water changes each week and i've seen my KdH drop by about 4 degrees (80ppm) each time.im starting to think i didnt have that much crushed coral to begin with. right now im at about 11kdh
honor is offline  
post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 07:01 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Blawk Hawk, CO
Posts: 159
I am on well water... liquid rock comes out of the tap... very very hard both GH and KH are well off the test strips... with drops I can measure it.... anyway point is most fish can and will adjust to whatever your water is..as long as the PH is stable... I grow most plants like crazy as well....

The moral is, why fight GH, KH, and PH... just choose plants and fish that are happy in hard water...

The coral substrate might be a problem if it causes the PH to change... if that is the case it has to come out.

46 gallon bowfront, Dalmatian Mollies, Swordtails, Otos
75 gallon Lake Malawi African Cichlids
3 gallon nano desktop with Betta at the office
robbob2112 is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome