GH and KH - what to aim for - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 05:03 AM Thread Starter
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GH and KH - what to aim for

Hey all, I have never tested for GH and KH in my aquarium, but I do know that the water in my area is basically liquid rock. I have an API GH/KH test kit on the way and I have a feeling I will be adding quite a few drops to my test vials. I am wondering if you guys could give me some insight as to what GH/KH range I should shoot for because I plan on using RO/DI water for water changes now to adjust my tank to a more neutral range. I will list the plants I currently have, and a few I intend on getting to see if that may help.
Currently I have:
- HC
- Rotala Rotundifolia
- Rotala Nanjenshan
- Blyxa Japonica
- Rotala Wallichii (suffering, from what I assume is very very hard water and I have read it prefers something a bit softer)
- Dwarf Hairgrass
- Pogosteom Erectum

I intend to get some tonina fluviatilis, not much, but I love the looks of the ones Coralite has for sale over at APC. On the plant profile here at TPT it lists a KH of 4 and GH of 5.... Since I have limited knowledge of GH/ that really really soft, or just moderately soft? How would my other plants respond to a GH/KH in this range?

Thanks for any help!
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 04:06 PM
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It is much easier in the long run to use tap water without trying to adjust the hardness. Unless you plan to breed certain fish which only breed in soft water, the fish can adjust to almost any tap water. A few plants do need softer water to do well, but there are so many choices of plants available it makes much more sense to choose plants that can live in your water, than to continually try to adjust your water hardness to fit specific plants.

Remember, big water changes made every week or two are good for both the fish and the plants. When you have to adjust the hardness of the water you use for water changes, that quickly becomes a tedious job, especially when you consider that most chemicals used to add calcium are hard to dissolve in water. But, many people do just that.

4 dKH is moderately soft, and 5 dGH is about what you would want to ensure that you have enough of both magnesium and calcium for the plants, assuming that you are using a GH builder to get to that hardness. There are no specific recommended levels of either KH or GH than I know of.

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