General Hardness - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2015, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
childofiam@att.net's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 47
General Hardness

I use RO H2O and have a consistent KH of 7 and my GH runs 11.
How do I lower my GH without effecting my KH

75 Gal High Tech Planted tank, 37 gal Low Tech
Planted tank
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2015, 04:04 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Westchester County, NY USA
Posts: 304
RO water has zero KH and GH, so you are adding both to it somehow. If you always fill the tank with pure RO water only and still getting such KH and GH then it means that something in your tank (most probably substrate) is responsible, so you just need to identify and remove the source from the tank.
Oso Polar is offline  
post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2015, 12:47 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
Test the RO water. Is it pretty close to 0 for everything you have a test for? An old or faulty membrane might allow something through, so replacing the membrane would be a step in the right direction.

If the RO unit is OK, then find out where the GH and KH are coming from.
If they are separate sources, then remove that source.
If they are coming from the same material (Coral sand, limestone rocks, any of several other things) then you will have to remove that, then correct each GH and KH back to what you want.

To find out where these minerals are coming from put a sample of everything from the tank into separate jars or glasses with RO water. Include a test jar for each of any fertilizers that you are using, especially Epsom salt, trace minerals, or anything that claims it adds calcium or magnesium.
Test at 24 hours and 48 hours. GH, KH, TDS, pH.

Once you remove the culprit, see where the water stabilizes (there might be more than one thing contributing to the problem). Hopefully, with the major problem solved, the water will be a lot softer. If you need to raise either or both GH and KH:

GH booster to raise the GH.

Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) or potassium bicarbonate to raise KH.
Diana is offline  
 
post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
childofiam@att.net's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 47
RO H2O test are good, KH=1 GH=3
I added organic sea salt to the tank at a level of .8 about a month ago, could this be my problem?

I retested the salt level and it had increased to 1.1, I must have added to much. I have done a 30% H2O change and now my KH=5 and GH=8 and salt is .8

75 Gal High Tech Planted tank, 37 gal Low Tech
Planted tank

Last edited by [email protected]; 06-19-2015 at 03:09 PM. Reason: Salt level too high
post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
childofiam@att.net's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 47
I use Equilibrium to remineralize the RO H20, but I haven't added any for two months.

75 Gal High Tech Planted tank, 37 gal Low Tech
Planted tank
post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 03:23 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 2,339
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
RO H2O test are good, KH=1 GH=3
GH of 3 degrees is unbelievably high for RO... You might want to investigate what's going on.

RO water should be close to 0 ppm of total dissolved solids (TDS). Some say up to 5ppm is OK, others say up to 10ppm, depending on who you talk to.

3 degrees of GH 53.4 ppm, just by itself, and not counting any other non-calcium/magnesium solids.

That's not right for RO water.

New to planted tanks, avid gardener/tinkerer.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Fluval C4 + Quietflow 30, Finnex Planted+ with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, low-tech.
10 gallon secondary tank with Finnex stingray with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, AC20, low tech
mattinmd is offline  
post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
childofiam@att.net's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
GH of 3 degrees is unbelievably high for RO... You might want to investigate what's going on.

RO water should be close to 0 ppm of total dissolved solids (TDS). Some say up to 5ppm is OK, others say up to 10ppm, depending on who you talk to.

3 degrees of GH 53.4 ppm, just by itself, and not counting any other non-calcium/magnesium solids.

That's not right for RO water.
I get my RO from a local water company. I will talk to them to find out what is going on.

75 Gal High Tech Planted tank, 37 gal Low Tech
Planted tank
post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2015, 04:27 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 2,339
The water company might be ROing it, then adding minerals back in for taste, particularly if the water is intended for drinking.

New to planted tanks, avid gardener/tinkerer.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Fluval C4 + Quietflow 30, Finnex Planted+ with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, low-tech.
10 gallon secondary tank with Finnex stingray with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, AC20, low tech
mattinmd is offline  
post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-20-2015, 12:35 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
Quote:
I added organic sea salt to the tank at a level of .8 about a month ago, could this be my problem?
.8 whats?

Could be. Sea salt may have other minerals in it.
Why are you adding salt (of any kind)? Is this a brackish water tank?
Diana is offline  
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-20-2015, 02:23 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Westfield, IN
Posts: 1,746
Even if you're buying sorta-RO water that has stuff in it, it's starting at GH = 3, which is fairly soft. Something you're doing is quadrupling the hardness and skyrocketing dissolved carbonates, and the fact that the GH and KH went up by roughly the same amount implies that it is a dissolved carbonate mineral of some sort.

Do you have shells, coral sand, coral decorations, any carbonate rocks (limestone, marble, caribsea midnight black substrate), or concrete decorations? If so, they're dissolving and increasing both GH and KH.
jasonpatterson is offline  
post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-20-2015, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
childofiam@att.net's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 47
I do believe I have found the problem.... Large Snail Shells. I had a bunch of snails die about 3 - 4 weeks ago and didn't remove any of the shells. I am doing another 30% H2O change which should bring me down to what it was before the death of my snails.
By the way, the snails died of old age...

Bump: I will keep you all posted on progress.

75 Gal High Tech Planted tank, 37 gal Low Tech
Planted tank
post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2015, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
childofiam@att.net's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 47
Update

I removed the snail shells last week and my KH & GH have stabilized. In the process of solving my GH problem I found one of the granite/quarts rocks had a vein of iron leaching out into the water. All problems are solved at this time. Thanks everyone for your help....

75 Gal High Tech Planted tank, 37 gal Low Tech
Planted tank
post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
childofiam@att.net's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 47
Thank You

After removing the snail shells and other rocks my GH has lowered and stabilized at 6 dkh.
Thank you all for the help!

75 Gal High Tech Planted tank, 37 gal Low Tech
Planted tank
post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015, 03:29 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 2,339
Glad to hear it is all getting under control...

New to planted tanks, avid gardener/tinkerer.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Fluval C4 + Quietflow 30, Finnex Planted+ with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, low-tech.
10 gallon secondary tank with Finnex stingray with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, AC20, low tech
mattinmd 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