Does KH and GH have any effects on plants? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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Does KH and GH have any effects on plants?

All my tanks have really high GH and KH
KH:300ppm
GH:160 ppm
pH 7.4

Is this good or bad?

I mean I have been lookin at everyone else's water parameters and their GH and KH arn't that high. Are they using a different measurement, dH? Their KH is for example 8
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 03:55 AM
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You are giving ppm while most people give out measurements in degrees dKH dGH. To convert either divide (in your case) or multiply by 17.9 I believe.

Most plants and fish can survive in a fair range of KH and GH give proper time to acclimate. There are some plant that require softer water and in general if you were to want an extreme for either soft water (low kh/gh) or hard water (high kh/gh) soft water would give you the most options for plant species. So there is no good or bad. It depends on what fish and plants you want.

IMO your KH seems high which leads me to wonder if you have high phosphates.

There are also ways to lower both if you want to.


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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plakat View Post
You are giving ppm while most people give out measurements in degrees dKH dGH. To convert either divide (in your case) or multiply by 17.9 I believe.

Most plants and fish can survive in a fair range of KH and GH give proper time to acclimate. There are some plant that require softer water and in general if you were to want an extreme for either soft water (low kh/gh) or hard water (high kh/gh) soft water would give you the most options for plant species. So there is no good or bad. It depends on what fish and plants you want.

IMO your KH seems high which leads me to wonder if you have high phosphates.

There are also ways to lower both if you want to.
Any negative effects of high phosphate?
Wouldn't my plants (christmas moss) take it in?
I looked at the plant profiles and didn't seem to find the KH/GH range for my plants
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 04:36 AM
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There's something wrong with your measurements; kH can't be higher than gH, since kH is PART of gH...

I think you need to get those readings verified. What kind of test were you using, and did you check the expiration date?





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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
There's something wrong with your measurements; kH can't be higher than gH, since kH is PART of gH...
GH and KH are totally separate and independent. GH is general hardness, a measurement of calcium and magnesium. KH is carbonate hardness, the one that impacts pH.

Quote:
Originally Posted by plakat
IMO your KH seems high which leads me to wonder if you have high phosphates.
KH has no connection to phosphates, unless the implication is that phosphoric acid is being added to lower the pH to 7.6 when it would otherwise be higher given the KH.

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Is this good or bad?
I recommend that you don't worry about it. While there are some plants that are especially finicky, the vast majority won't care.

I have a suspicion that you might be using those cheap test strips because you've given KH & GH in ppm instead of degrees, if you are I recommend putting $10 toward the Nutrafin GH/KH test.

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Last edited by imeridian; 01-05-2009 at 07:49 PM. Reason: named the wrong test kit
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 05:08 AM
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Since kH in a tank is usually calcium carbonate, yes, kH is usually part of what is measured by gH.





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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 05:10 AM
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I had high phosphates for a while and I didn't notice any ill effects. Some people will say it causes others say it doesn't do anything.

Plants will use it provided other nutrients are also available. If they aren't then your plants aren't able to use it. Mosses in general are usually pretty light feeders so I don't think it will make a large impact.

My water is really soft so I generally don't have to deal with higher kh/gh, but think your water is acceptable for most things besides some of the more sensitive soft water plants and fish.

Was there anything specific you wanted to grow?


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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by imeridian View Post
KH has no connection to phosphates, unless the implication is that phosphoric acid is being added to lower the pH to 7.6 when it would otherwise be higher given the KH.
I thought high phosphates can throw off a KH test giving a higher reading. Maybe I am thinking of something else though.


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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 05:17 AM
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No, Laura Lee, that's not correct.

Again, GH & KH are separate measurements.

The GH test doesn't measure carbonates, it measures Ca and Mg (only).

"Usually" doesn't count, this is science.

It is entirely possible to have a KH higher than GH.

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 05:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plakat View Post
I thought high phosphates can throw off a KH test giving a higher reading. Maybe I am thinking of something else though.
Phosphoric acid can effect the pH test and give completely erroneous readings if you try to use the ph/KH relationship to determine CO2.

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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 05:23 AM
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Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_water:

Hard water is the type of water that has high mineral content (in contrast with soft water). Hard water minerals primarily consist of calcium (Ca2+), and magnesium (Mg2+) metal cations, and sometimes other dissolved compounds such as bicarbonates and sulfates. Calcium usually enters the water as either calcium carbonate (CaCO3), in the form of limestone and chalk, or calcium sulfate (CaSO4), in the form of other mineral deposits. The predominant source of magnesium is dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2). Hard water is generally not harmful.
The simplest way to determine the hardness of water is the lather/froth test: soap or toothpaste, when agitated, lathers easily in soft water but not in hard water. More exact measurements of hardness can be obtained through a wet titration. The total water 'hardness' (including both Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions) is read as parts per million or weight/volume (mg/L) of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the water. Although water hardness usually only measures the total concentrations of calcium and magnesium (the two most prevalent, divalent metal ions), iron, aluminium, and manganese may also be present at elevated levels in some geographical locations.





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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 05:28 AM
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That doesn't prove your point at all, btw, there are carbonates measured in the KH test other than CaCO3. Your 'KH can't be more than GH because KH is part of GH' statement is totally and unequivocally incorrect; the horse is dead, quit beating it.

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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 05:46 AM
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I like beating dead horses, and where else is your calcium coming from?





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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
I like beating dead horses, and where else is your calcium coming from?
I don't. Do you mean, where else do the carbonates come from other than CaCO3? Remember, an aquarium is not a natural system, there are carbonate sources other than CaCO3 such as NaHCO3. Otherwise, CaSO4 will supply calcium without increasing KH, so will CaCl.

So, one last time...

KH can be greater than GH.

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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 06:13 AM
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My point still remains that 1) it's extremely unusual and 2) those test results should be verified.





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