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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so after a failed attempt of doing the API drops for GH (i got to over 35 drops with no color change) i gave up and bought the strips at least for SOME idea. (the kh drops i got to 5 and it changed)

maybe i'm a moron, or i was doing it wrong? anyways. help me read this? at the moment i'm keeping red cherry shrimp and bee shrimp with minimal deaths (i think i keep squishing a few when i put new plants in lol) but i do see cracks in the shells, saw one molt in front of me and i swear i saw a crack, but i can't locate him to see for sure...


i did go ahead and assume i have extreme hard water since my ph was testing at 8.2 with my API drops... i started adding r/o water over the past few days and yesterday when i added a half gallon fairly fast, i had two deaths, but i also added a few new plants at the same time. maybe shock or squished who knows. no deaths today and it looks on the test strip that the ph came down a bit.

 

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GH might indeed be quite high. The API GH test is one of the first to fail because of old age, but that deep indigo color on your test strip confirms that the GH is quite high. KH test strip result looks a bit lower than the 5 degrees that you tested with the API kit, but probably near enough.

Here is a way to make the GH test work with the reagents:
Put only half aquarium water in the test tube (2.5 ml instead of 5) and top it off with distilled or RO water (total of 5 ml).
Then double the test result. (If it takes 10 drops to change color then the GH is 20 degrees.
You might be able to cut that again, use perhaps 1.25 ml aquarium water, then top it off with RO or distilled, then multiply the result by 4.

When altering the mineral levels in the tank, especially lowering them, I try not to drop them by more than 10% at any one time.
So, if the GH is 40 degrees then drop it by no more than 4 degrees, so it would still test really high. A few days later drop it again. Keep doing that, perhaps twice a week. Gradually the mineral level will drop and the livestock can acclimate.
I know this is safe for the fish. Probably just fine for the shrimp, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
GH might indeed be quite high. The API GH test is one of the first to fail because of old age, but that deep indigo color on your test strip confirms that the GH is quite high. KH test strip result looks a bit lower than the 5 degrees that you tested with the API kit, but probably near enough.

Here is a way to make the GH test work with the reagents:
Put only half aquarium water in the test tube (2.5 ml instead of 5) and top it off with distilled or RO water (total of 5 ml).
Then double the test result. (If it takes 10 drops to change color then the GH is 20 degrees.
You might be able to cut that again, use perhaps 1.25 ml aquarium water, then top it off with RO or distilled, then multiply the result by 4.

When altering the mineral levels in the tank, especially lowering them, I try not to drop them by more than 10% at any one time.
So, if the GH is 40 degrees then drop it by no more than 4 degrees, so it would still test really high. A few days later drop it again. Keep doing that, perhaps twice a week. Gradually the mineral level will drop and the livestock can acclimate.
I know this is safe for the fish. Probably just fine for the shrimp, too.
ah yes, that was my plan. thank you for the advice. that probably explains why i killed a few when i dumped a bunch of r/o in. hahah
 
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