noob question about gh/kh readings - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 03:44 AM Thread Starter
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noob question about gh/kh readings

Hi guys, thanks for looking. I just got a API gh/kh kit. My tank water read KH=4 drops and GH = 16 drops!!! So i did a search and read that the api kits have some flaws and to check the dates, which mine are 2007. So i decided to test my tap water, gh=6 ph=8.2 (thats a direct read, not with letting it sit over night). I didnt check my taps kh because that seemed to be working fine. So i retested my tank water just to double check. gh was 16 drops.

My tank setup is 20 gallons, ph is a steady 6.2-6.3. I have a diy co2 kit utilizing the hagan elite mini filter. Have two amazon swords and giant elodea as plants(for now) and one blue diamond discus(about the size of a dime, will be culled in the future) in tank and about 2 bags of eco complete with a small whisper hang on filter. I have dosed Flourish trace elements, excel, and regular flourish.

Now I did a little reading on GH and it tests calcium and magnesium dissolved in water. So i looked at my ferts and flourish adds these elements to the water. So would that be the reason as to why my tank water is higher than my tap? Should i stop dosing the flourish since my tap water is gh=6 naturally? Im doing a water change to lower it a bit.

thanks for the help


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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 04:39 AM
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I have heard over and over by these guys that you should not fight your water. but to keep everything in the tank constant, some plants might not do good but the fish will get used to it.

That GH does not seem to bad.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-18-2009, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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yea I have not done really anything to fight it off since my plants and fish seem happy. I was just wondering if it is a problem since most sources say to have a decently lower GH reading, especially for cardinals, discus and pencils etc. I have done my weekly water change and the GH is down to 11 drops now and KH remains at 3. Im still dosing my liquid fertilizers as usual. So if it isn't broke, don't fix it I guess lol. Thanks for the reply


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-18-2009, 10:02 PM
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Why not just calibrate your GH test kit with some epsom salts and a little RO/DI H2O? 251.16mg in 1L of water will give 1GH, so 4g/L should test out at 16GH.

You can double the quantity of water and drops for .5 degree accuracy I believe.

The math is as follows:
MgSO4.7H2O = 24.30506/222.17039 g/mol Mg

222.17039/24.30506*17.86*(40/26) = 251.164108mg/L

251.164108*16 = 4018.625728

-Philosophos
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-18-2009, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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ok I'm terrible at math. So tell me if I'm understanding you. I put 251.16mg(.25g) of epsom salt into 1 liter of distilled water and then use that water(5 ml) for my test kit. It should take one drop? Then 2 drops for a 2 liter with 2x the amount(.5g) of epsom salt? I may try this just to make sure. Would distilled water from the grocery store work? They sell that in gallon jugs for a dollar or two i believe.

not to mention I don't have a gram/milligram scale. Some of my old highschool buddies might though lol.


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-19-2009, 02:05 AM
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Yup, that's exactly what I'm saying; .25g in 1L should be 1 drop. With most kits I get an awkward color inbetween when I'm precise about things.

The 1 gal distilled jugs are exactly what I use for all of my fert mixing and calibration solutions.

I know what you mean about the scale; I got mine used and it came with a certain funny smell to it.

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