Not sure how to read these numbers... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-07-2009, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Not sure how to read these numbers...

I am just starting out in this whole planted tank hobby and just picked up a API GH & KH test. I took readings from my tap and my tank and here are the results.

Tank
----------------------
GH KH
28 13

Tap
----------------------
GH KH
27 15

PH is right around 8.0. I have the Hagen PH Wide Test which uses a color chart and to tell the truth its kinda hard to read.

My mother inlaw does water testing on the well and said its high because
of calcium or lime not iron so I am not sure if that is good or bad.

90 Gallon tall with 29 gallon sump filled to about 25 gallons at all time.
Temp 81 Degrees.
Using Flourish Ecel per directions and supplement per directions.
Using Flourite 3" for substrate and nothing else.
One large section of drift wood purchase from the pet store.
And lots of plants!
4 T5HO 48". 2 white bulbs 2 blue to take away yellow coloring.

I have looked at some chats however I am very confused. First i am not sure how to get my CO2 reading from this.
Is it good?
Bad?
Not enough?
Need more?

Very confused as you can see :-)

Also if these numbers are not in line what can I do to fix them?
Also besides plants my goal is to have Discus fish once the tank has been running for some time. Currently it has been running for 6 months.

Thanks for all the help.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-07-2009, 03:55 PM
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The API test kits give you degrees of hardness, one degree for each drop of test reagent it takes to change the color. So, you have hard water, with 15 dKH and 28 dGH. The KH measures alkalinity, which is assumed to be from carbonates, and the GH measures the amount of calcium and magnesium, primarily, in the water. Your tank water is slightly lower in KH than the tap water, either from measurement error, or possibly because some plants in the tank are using the KH for a source of carbon.

Neither of those tests tells you anything about the iron in the water.

You do have high light intensity, which means you need to be using pressurized CO2, and a good fertilizing program.

You don't need to do anything about the hard water unless you are trying to grow some of the few plants that require softer water to grow, or are trying to breed some fish which also require softer water to breed. I think it would be a good idea to wait on the discus until you feel that you are comfortable with fertilizing, water change needs, growing plants and not algae, etc.

Hoppy
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-07-2009, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the information. Yeah I am in no hurry for the discus but I just wanted to point out that is the end result I would like in doing the tank. Right now there is just a bunch of neon tetras in there. I am doing DIY CO2 in there now. 3 2-Liters all tied together going to my intake pump in the sump which is chopping the bubbles and sending it back to the tank. The plants I can tell are loving it. I was using a bell however feeding it right to the pump seems to be getting a better response from the plants. So you think I am good with what you see here for a panted tank right now?

Thanks!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-07-2009, 05:30 PM
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I have not owned discus myself, but I'm under the impression that they need VERY soft water (2ish GH and 2ish KH). Someone correct me if I'm wrong, can they even survive in water that hard?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-07-2009, 05:47 PM
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Discus would be a bad choice for this sort of tap water. Even Neon tetras will probably not be entirely happy.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-07-2009, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah seems to be mixed answers out there on if Discus like this type of water or not. 50% say yes they will be fine and 50% say no. it sounds like it depends on if they are raised this way when born.

As for the tetras.... I have 30 in the tank and have not lost a single one since putting them in so they do in fact seem to like it.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-07-2009, 09:06 PM
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Happiness = having babies.

But you are right, fish are very adaptable, so it might work even for Discus. It probably depends on other factors too, hardness is just one basic one.

I have fairly hard water (10dkH) and kept softish water fish that were not happy (Blue Rams) and others that did great (Pencil Fish, Gouramis). In future, I'll try to get fish that are not from soft water regions, luckily there are many of them.


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