Leave water alone and inject Co2.
Need to get PH down.
Injecting Co2 will lower PH.
I'm not buying CO2 setups for all my tanks, and certainly not my goldfish pond. :P
Temps are too high.
Get a fan blowing across tank top. Will drop temps to under 80 easy.
The tanks are in an insulated garage. When it peaks at 100 degrees outside, the tanks peak at 85, and that's with a high CFM computer fan running on the same timer as the lights. I just got upgrade lights from AHS today. Hopefully having the ballasts outside the hood (once I get them installed) will lower the temp a few degrees, but I doubt it.
Dip sticks are useless testing. IMO
Get a GOOD liquid drop test kit and retest.
Only the single Petco test was with dipsticks. I only used it to confirm roughly the same numbers I was getting with my Tetra liquid drop test kit.
Doubting you really have KH of 16, Texas KH seems to run about 8-10 everywhere.
I'm pretty sure most cities get their water from lakes/rivers. I, however, don't actually live in the city. A very small town provides my water, and I believe it comes from wells. This means the water is pulled directly from the Limestone
. Limestone is composed mostly of Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3). KH specifically measures Calcium Carbonate. Thus it makes sense to me that the value is high in my water, and also higher than water sourced from rivers/lakes where the water isn't being forced through this rock.
I also happen to have the 2008 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report right here, although the pertinent tests were all run in 2006:
2006 Bicarbonate = 460 ppm
2006 pH = 8.1
2006 Total Alkalinity as CaCO3 = 377 ppm (according to this converter
17.9 ppm = 1 KH, that's a KH of 21, even higher than the 16 I'm seeing)
Every really good fish store or aquarium service company I have asked
says to not start jacking with your water. Work with what you have or
you'll be in a never ending back and forth chase trying adjust water parameters.
Just run water thru good carbon filter and inject Co2 bring down and stabilize PH.
This is probably sound advice, except I'm not up for the cost and maintenance involved with CO2, and I'm worried that with a pH of 8.5+ I'm going to have some fairly unhappy fish and shrimp. I'd like them to thrive, not just survive.
I'm curious about how the water gets such a high KH without also getting a high GH. Is it the water supply company adding something to raise the KH/pH? I think that is the most extreme case I have read about.
After reading everything I could find on this in the last couple weeks, here's the only reasoning I cone come up with on this.
I think my water is sourced from wells. Thus, the water is sucked right through the Limestone
, dissolving it. Limestone = Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3), and carbonates and bicarbonates are what KH tests measure, thus explaining the high value. The GH measures calcium and magnesium salts. This is not the same as KH and there doesn't seem to be any interdependance between them. So my water just happens to be soft.
It's not much, but it's all I've got so far.
Now my brain hurts.