gh/kh readings bad or good? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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gh/kh readings bad or good?

so i just got my gh/kh test kit in the mail today so i thought that i would see how you guys think my gh/kh reading are(good, bad, alright)

This is the api test kit
GH took 8drops
KH took around 2 to 3drops. I say it took around that because it was blue for the first drop secojnd drop it turned yellowish but it had a semi green look to it almost like it still had a little blue to it so i added another drop and that solved the problem turning it pure yellow.
PLz let me know what you think about my results bad or good i wont be offended in any way =)
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2014, 12:43 AM
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Whats in that water?

Tanks, Tanks, Tanks, and more Tanks. oh, and i need another Tank i got a great idea...sounds about right?

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2014, 12:56 AM
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Its hard to tell you if your parameter's are good without knowing what you are keeping. Overall a GH of 8 is fairly standard. If you are using pressurized CO2 you want to keep a KH of at least 3 so your PH doesn't crash.


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2014, 01:05 AM
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GH is at the upper end of OK for most soft water fish that have been bred in captivity for a while, reasonable for most fish that are not very picky. A bit low for hardwater fish.

KH is quite low. This is carbonates, stabilizes the pH. I have some tanks that are quite stable with very low KH, and the pH is very low, too. But if I add anything that alters the pH, it can really shift in these tanks.
A bit higher KH would probably help.

If you want to figure out if it was 2 drops or 3, you can dilute your sample:
2.5ml water to be tested
2.5ml distilled or RO water.
Then double the number of drops.
It really is not very important. Just knowing it is very low is enough.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2014, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. This is just my tap water that i was testing before hand because at the end of this month the tank should be all put together finally after 3months of hard research and ordering the right stuff for a high tech tank. JUst thought i might add that my ph is about 7.4 and after letting my water sit in a ctub for about 1day or so it goes to 6.8 with my large peace of drift wood in the tub with the water. my nitrite and nitrate lvls are 0 and my ammonia is at like 2 but after adding the excel it goes to zero so i dont think its a problem=). I will try and research more into the gh kh subject because i havent really payed attention to the matter at all.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2014, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
GH is at the upper end of OK for most soft water fish that have been bred in captivity for a while, reasonable for most fish that are not very picky. A bit low for hardwater fish.

KH is quite low. This is carbonates, stabilizes the pH. I have some tanks that are quite stable with very low KH, and the pH is very low, too. But if I add anything that alters the pH, it can really shift in these tanks.
A bit higher KH would probably help.

If you want to figure out if it was 2 drops or 3, you can dilute your sample:
2.5ml water to be tested
2.5ml distilled or RO water.
Then double the number of drops.
It really is not very important. Just knowing it is very low is enough.
What buffer do u use to make the kh rise? My ph is 7.4 out of the tap.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 01:30 AM
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What fish will you be keeping?

If you want higher pH, or more stable pH, then raise the KH with potassium bicarbonate or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).

Baking soda: 1 teaspoon per 30 gallons will raise the KH by 2 German degrees of hardness.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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i am planing on having corys otos neon tetras and ether shrimp or a proven pair of hans discus. If i end up doing shrimp i will be doing like ether blue velvet or blue dream since it will be my first time with shrimp other than the ghost shrimp. I might even end up having discus with the shrimp and just made sure there are alot of hiding spots for the shrimp to maintain a fairly good, not sure yet on that one but i have seen some people do it so i might give it a try.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 01:23 PM
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Those are all soft water (low GH) fish. Many Cories do not care much what the GH is, but they come from softer water, and the more delicate ones (Pandas, for example) seem to need it soft. Otos are mostly still wild caught from very soft waters, and Discus can go either way. Wild caught or recently bred from wild caught need soft water. Discus bred in captivity for several generations do fine with harder water. I am not sure about the shrimp, many are soft water, but research the ones you want.

If you want to do nothing, that is OK. Go with the hardier Cories (Brochis splendens will tolerate the warmest water, and handle harder water), perhaps Bristlenose Pleco instead of Otos, and captive bred Discus.

If you want perfect water (if there is any such stuff) I would mix your water with RO or Distilled about 50/50 to drop the GH to 3-4 degrees.
Then add enough potassium bicarbonate to bring the KH back up to 2-3 degrees.
Then filter the water through peat moss to add the organic acids these fish like.
This ought to bring the pH down into the mid to upper 6s. Not an absolute requirement for the fish. GH is more important than pH.
This way you can keep the more demanding Cories (research temperature ranges), Otos (Do they handle the high temps Discus need?) and wild caught Discus, or Discus bred in soft water. Probably a wider list of shrimp.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Those are all soft water (low GH) fish. Many Cories do not care much what the GH is, but they come from softer water, and the more delicate ones (Pandas, for example) seem to need it soft. Otos are mostly still wild caught from very soft waters, and Discus can go either way. Wild caught or recently bred from wild caught need soft water. Discus bred in captivity for several generations do fine with harder water. I am not sure about the shrimp, many are soft water, but research the ones you want.

If you want to do nothing, that is OK. Go with the hardier Cories (Brochis splendens will tolerate the warmest water, and handle harder water), perhaps Bristlenose Pleco instead of Otos, and captive bred Discus.

If you want perfect water (if there is any such stuff) I would mix your water with RO or Distilled about 50/50 to drop the GH to 3-4 degrees.
Then add enough potassium bicarbonate to bring the KH back up to 2-3 degrees.
Then filter the water through peat moss to add the organic acids these fish like.
This ought to bring the pH down into the mid to upper 6s. Not an absolute requirement for the fish. GH is more important than pH.
This way you can keep the more demanding Cories (research temperature ranges), Otos (Do they handle the high temps Discus need?) and wild caught Discus, or Discus bred in soft water. Probably a wider list of shrimp.
When u say it will bring the kh back up to 2-3 degrees did u mean it will go from 3 to 6, because its already at 3? Also yea i researched otos on there temps and stuff and it showed they can do fine in 80* F which is what i would have it at if it was with discus but still not sure about that yet, i might just do no discus and maintain a higher amount of shrimp. The shrimp temp said they can go up to 84* so i dont think that would be a problem ether. The cory u sugested is actually the one i was going to get ether way because i just love the color on them=). Will adding the bacing soda wouldnt that raise the ph since its at 7.4? I might end up doing distilled water instead of ro because i dont have the money for a ro system right now. Idk ill figure something out haha. I found that the otos will do fine in the gh but my kh is way to low i guess=/. Also i think i have decided that i am not doing to do discus only because i dont want the bio load in the tank. Does it matter what brand of baking soda i use or can i just use regular good oll arm and hammer?

Last edited by treyLcham; 11-10-2014 at 02:49 PM. Reason: just a little more info after thinnking more.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 01:23 AM
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1) You said the GH was 8 degrees.
My comment is that is OK for many fish, but a bit high for delicate soft water fish, and you could dilute your tap water with distilled or RO, and bring it down to about 3-4 degrees. (Optimum range for many of the more delicate soft water fish).

Diluting your tap water like this dilutes everything in it.

2) You said the KH was 2-3 degrees. That is OK, but if you dilute your tap water to get the GH down, then the KH will also be cut in half and end up about 1 or so. That is probably a bit too low for stability, so I would add carbonates to bring that back up to about 3.
Does not matter what brand of baking soda. Just do not use baking powder.

If you did none of this, just stuck with tap water you would not have to do anything. A lot of fish would do just fine. I would not try to keep fish that really demand very soft water, though.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
1) You said the GH was 8 degrees.
My comment is that is OK for many fish, but a bit high for delicate soft water fish, and you could dilute your tap water with distilled or RO, and bring it down to about 3-4 degrees. (Optimum range for many of the more delicate soft water fish).

Diluting your tap water like this dilutes everything in it.

2) You said the KH was 2-3 degrees. That is OK, but if you dilute your tap water to get the GH down, then the KH will also be cut in half and end up about 1 or so. That is probably a bit too low for stability, so I would add carbonates to bring that back up to about 3.
Does not matter what brand of baking soda. Just do not use baking powder.

If you did none of this, just stuck with tap water you would not have to do anything. A lot of fish would do just fine. I would not try to keep fish that really demand very soft water, though.
O alright yea that made more sense to me that time sorry about that =) Great to know i will def do my research on each and every little critter i put in my little ecosystem=) Thanks for your time and patience with me LOL.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 06:45 PM
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My kH is 8 degrees as well and never had any problems.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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My kH is 8 degrees as well and never had any problems.
My GH is 8 my kh is 2.5=) but i say its 3 because they say that 3kh is typically ph of 7.2-7.4 and mine is 7.4 so i go with 3 over 2.5kh. I think i might use aqua vitro carbonate but at the same time i might just go with the baking soda because i would feel allot safer with a kh of 4to5. At this point im not really worrying my self about the gh because its at 8 which is considered the upper end of soft.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 09:58 PM
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You can also buy powders specifically produced to raise aquarium KH levels - similar to baking soda, but they claim to be better, aren't expensive...
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