Please Help! GH too high - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Pittsburg, Ca
Posts: 11
Please Help! GH too high

Hello,
I have a 40 Gallon planted tank (short breeder tank)that I started about 6-7 month ago. I bought the tank used with Eheim professional filter(wet/dry). The tank used to be set up for salt water so I ended up buying all new substrate for the filter and actually ended up getting a new tank since it had so many scratches. I started with Fluval stratum substrate. I also wanted to do a sand pathway in the middle so I put in some yellow sand that the fish store recommended(not crushed coral) Also some rocks and ADA style drift wood. I ran the tank with some fish for a few months then started adding plants. I noticed that the plants were not doing so well. Not growing and even some of them started dying. I thought maybe not enough light.
I have the Current LED satellite and a single sun-glo bulb. The fish store said its plenty for a short breeder tank. I ended up adding CO2(tank) Still no luck.
My PH was good no nitrites, But when I tested my GH it was through the roof. About 10 drops (179). I wasn't sure why it was so high I only use distilled water, so I took out majority of the sand(90% of it) thought maybe that was the problem. Sure enough a week later I tested it again and still high. The fish store didn't know what was wrong so they recommended a water softener (Fluval peat granules) and that didn't work. I can't figure out whats causing the GH to be so high. Any help is appreciated.
asthma76 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 04:07 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
benealing's Avatar
 
PTrader: (18/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Carmel, Indiana
Posts: 602
Where are you getting the distilled water from? My tank has a GH that has been at 10 for awhile and it does not bother the plants at all. What are you seeing in the plants?
benealing is offline  
post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Pittsburg, Ca
Posts: 11
Arrowhead from grocery store. I tested it before i Put it in the tank and it was zero. I thought 10 was too high?
asthma76 is offline  
 
post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 04:22 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
Test each of the things in the tank.
Put a handful or two of the sand in a jar of the same water you are using in the tank and let it sit at least overnight, perhaps longer. If it is the sand, leaving some in the tank may still be causing problems.
Test anything else the same way: Rocks, other decor.

List EVERYTHING you are adding to the tank:
Fertilizer
Water conditioner
Minerals
... everything!

The GH is more important to the fish than to the plants. There are a few plants that really do demand soft water (low GH) but they are not so commonly sold in stores, usually available through trading among hobbyists.
What fish are you keeping?
Diana is offline  
post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 04:26 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
benealing's Avatar
 
PTrader: (18/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Carmel, Indiana
Posts: 602
Unless they are very specific/sensitive plants, I don't think a high gH is responsible for your deaths. What did the plants look like when they were dying? Are you fertilizing the tank? As far as why the gH is high, what type of rocks did you put in the tank?

Follow Diana's advice, she is WAY more knowledgeable than I am!

Last edited by benealing; 03-28-2015 at 04:27 PM. Reason: Diana guru
benealing is offline  
post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Pittsburg, Ca
Posts: 11
Im not sure the name of the rock. I just took some sand out and rinsed it 3 times with distilled water then left some in the jar. gonna test it tomorrow. here are some pics

Bump:

Bump: The java moss on the wood didn't do too well. ( the ones on the top left rock are new) Also none of my ground covers did well( gloss,baby tears large baby tears.The staurogyne repens didn't do well at first but now...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2641.jpg
Views:	43
Size:	159.2 KB
ID:	452481  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2642.jpg
Views:	23
Size:	140.8 KB
ID:	452489  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2645.jpg
Views:	34
Size:	149.9 KB
ID:	452497  

asthma76 is offline  
post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Pittsburg, Ca
Posts: 11
I'm not adding any more minerals or fertilizers. I thought the substrate was enough? The plants were not growing and leaves got brown and finally died.
asthma76 is offline  
post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 05:32 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
benealing's Avatar
 
PTrader: (18/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Carmel, Indiana
Posts: 602
When you say "any more minerals or fertilizers" are you saying that you had added them to this tank at one time? If so, what were you using?
benealing is offline  
post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Pittsburg, Ca
Posts: 11
The fish store said that all I needed is the Fluval substrate. no need to add more fertilizer. As far as minerals since the Gh is so high I didn't want to add minerals
asthma76 is offline  
post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 06:02 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
benealing's Avatar
 
PTrader: (18/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Carmel, Indiana
Posts: 602
If you are only adding fish food to the tank and nothing else, then it has to be something in your tank. I am not aware of fluval stratum increasing gH so to me it is either the sand or the rocks that are dissolving calcium into your water.

Follow Diana's advice. You could also take out one of the rocks and place several drops of vinegar or muriatic acid on the rock and see if it bubbles. If it does, it contains calcium and is likely contributing to, if not solely responsible for, your rising gH.
benealing is offline  
post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 06:12 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
Yes, test the rock.
It looks like a neutral sort of rock that I get around here, that is usually dark colored from red through browns to black. The ones I get are volcanic in origin.
But it could also be a limestone based rock (these also have holes like the volcanic bubbles) that is dark looking in these pics because of diatoms or other growths.

Do you have a bit of the same rock that is not in the tank? Otherwise test the actual rock in the tank as suggested by benealing- remove from tank, scrub an area first, then use vinegar or other acid to test it.
Diana is offline  
post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Pittsburg, Ca
Posts: 11
Tested the rock. Washed it with distilled water then poured some distilled white vinegar on it and nothing.. Now Im just gonna wait to test the sand.
asthma76 is offline  
post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Pittsburg, Ca
Posts: 11
Just tested the sand and nothing!
asthma76 is offline  
post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 05:46 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
Coralbandit's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Saratoga,NY USA
Posts: 1,431
If you want a more accurate test you should set a piece of rock in a container of water (known to be 0 gh) and see where it gets you in a week or so.
Just a 1 gallon bowl/bucket and you can test daily to see rise.
You could even try different things all at once in different containers.
Gh doesn't just arrive.

AKA; RAMBANDIT
WHERE'S YOUR RAMS MAN?

Pictures of some of my fish;
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Fish for sale
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Coralbandit is offline  
post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2015, 05:14 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
I think that is the same sort of volcanic rock that I have in my tanks. I am just a few miles from Pittsburg, and the masonry/rock/landscape stores pretty much all have that same rock.

Now the sand... not sure about it. 'Yellow' does not usually describe a limestone based sand (usually white), but maybe.

Recap:
GH tests high in the tank. 10 degrees. (10 drops with API tests, or well into the brown on most dip stick tests- I do not have a bottle to look at)
Using Arrowhead Distilled Water, GH test shows 0 (it should- distilled has no minerals)
Sand and rock in tank seem to be neutral.
Not adding anything like GH booster, Epsom salt or any other source of minerals.

Something wrong with the tests?
When API GH test fails it usually does not change color.
Double check the instructions, and be sure you are seeing the color change at the right moment. It can be hard to detect, especially in poor light or with some colored stuff in the background, refracting through the test tube.
Diana 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