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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have the API liquid test kits for both GH and KH, but after I tested my water I ended up with more questions than answers. My current GH is 20 degrees/358 ppm and my current KH is 9 degrees/161 ppm. Both of these seem high to me, but I am not 100% sure what these number mean and how they work. Is this within what would be considered an acceptable range? If it is not, then how do I go about changing these values? Thanks!
 

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If you have kept fish for more than a month and they are still swimming it's an acceptable range. I consider that hard water for what I choose to do but many enjoy owning very nice tanks within that range.

Anything you do to soften the water is going to require effort, slightly more than basic knowledge AND money. If you currently have species you enjoy keeping don't mess with it. The old if it ain't broke don't fix it applies. Working with what you have is ALWAYS best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you have kept fish for more than a month and they are still swimming it's an acceptable range. I consider that hard water for what I choose to do but many enjoy owning very nice tanks within that range.

Anything you do to soften the water is going to require effort, slightly more than basic knowledge AND money. If you currently have species you enjoy keeping don't mess with it. The old if it ain't broke don't fix it applies. Working with what you have is ALWAYS best.
Thanks for your reply. The fish I have are all considered to be soft-water fish, but they have been doing great for quite some time so I guess I will not worry about it. Like yourself, I live in FL where tap water seems to come in one variety: hard. I recently began a shrimp breeding project, and got a handful of new test kits and equipment for that reason. I have been testing all of my tanks to see what my parameters were, and like I said I ended up with more questions. I really don't want to change my water parameters unless what I have is blatantly unhealthy for my livestock. Is there a target range for GH and KH? Also, are there ranges that are just not acceptable? Thanks!
 

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For breeding shrimp you generally want softer water, but it varies with species. Some, like the neocaridina species (cherry, yellow, etc), are pretty forgiving of water conditions. Others, like the various bee shrimp (CRS, tigers, etc,) are far less so. You will be able to keep the shrimp alive, but they won't reproduce well at all. As an example, I have been keeping cherry shrimp in water with a GH of 1.5 and a KH of 15 for a couple of years and they reproduce insanely fast. I tried keeping 20 bumblebee shrimp (a forgiving bee shrimp) in the same water and in that year I saw one berried shrimp who dropped her eggs after a day.

If you google your desired shrimp's name plus "water parameters" you'll almost surely hit on several sites that give more specific info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For breeding shrimp you generally want softer water, but it varies with species. Some, like the neocaridina species (cherry, yellow, etc), are pretty forgiving of water conditions. Others, like the various bee shrimp (CRS, tigers, etc,) are far less so. You will be able to keep the shrimp alive, but they won't reproduce well at all. As an example, I have been keeping cherry shrimp in water with a GH of 1.5 and a KH of 15 for a couple of years and they reproduce insanely fast. I tried keeping 20 bumblebee shrimp (a forgiving bee shrimp) in the same water and in that year I saw one berried shrimp who dropped her eggs after a day.

If you google your desired shrimp's name plus "water parameters" you'll almost surely hit on several sites that give more specific info.
With my water parameters that I listed in my original post, what should I do to get my water within the limits so I can breed Tiger Shrimps? I have successfully bred Cherry Shrimps in my current water conditions, but would like to move on to some Caridina species. (I started with the Cherries knowing that they would be quite a bit easier to breed and more tolerant of my liquid limestone water...) Thanks!
 

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well actually there are alot of things that can help you to lower your GH....

1st Substrate. like ada soil/ fluval stratum will bring down your GH
2nd Peat. the chopped brown wood pieces will soften your water.
3rd Reverse Osmosis water / Drinking water. Alot of people use this... I my-self use the 25cents/gallon water vending machine out in the streets.
4th Indial Almond Leaf / Catappa Leaf. (preferably) will induce your shrimp to breed because they feel like its more natural.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
well actually there are alot of things that can help you to lower your GH....

1st Substrate. like ada soil/ fluval stratum will bring down your GH
2nd Peat. the chopped brown wood pieces will soften your water.
3rd Reverse Osmosis water / Drinking water. Alot of people use this... I my-self use the 25cents/gallon water vending machine out in the streets.
4th Indial Almond Leaf / Catappa Leaf. (preferably) will induce your shrimp to breed because they feel like its more natural.
Thanks for the great ideas. I think I may try using the bottled/vending water for my water changes so that I can slowly change it over time. I am not sure if a GH change will shock my fishes if it is too drastic. Any idea on how to lower my KH?
 

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SCAPEr
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Thanks for the great ideas. I think I may try using the bottled/vending water for my water changes so that I can slowly change it over time. I am not sure if a GH change will shock my fishes if it is too drastic. Any idea on how to lower my KH?

I think... I "think" KH is like almost the same as GH....
so if you have high GH.. U also might have high KH...

What I do is use my 5 in 1 test strips and test my drinking water (5 Gallon Jug from the vending machine) and tested 0 nitrate, nitrite, KH, and GH. ph is 6.5

I like this method because its cheap, 25c/gallon. unlike my lfs RO water is 49c each.


but from my experience GH and KH will gradually increase over time (1week) in your tank because of food, fertz, decomposed leaf, etc. So water change is desired to keep your GH KH low.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think... I "think" KH is like almost the same as GH....
so if you have high GH.. U also might have high KH...

What I do is use my 5 in 1 test strips and test my drinking water (5 Gallon Jug from the vending machine) and tested 0 nitrate, nitrite, KH, and GH. ph is 6.5

I like this method because its cheap, 25c/gallon. unlike my lfs RO water is 49c each.


but from my experience GH and KH will gradually increase over time (1week) in your tank because of food, fertz, decomposed leaf, etc. So water change is desired to keep your GH KH low.
Thanks a lot for the advice.
 

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We have the same water (go figure)- and Tiger and Cherry shrimp go bonkers in my tanks. I just make sure to drip-acclimate all my livestock, and buy locally when possible so that I get stock that are alreay acclimated to our water.

You might need to use RO water if you decide to try some CRS, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We have the same water (go figure)- and Tiger and Cherry shrimp go bonkers in my tanks. I just make sure to drip-acclimate all my livestock, and buy locally when possible so that I get stock that are alreay acclimated to our water.

You might need to use RO water if you decide to try some CRS, though.
Yeah, the water in our part of the world is great for African Cichlids but not really optimum for much else. I currently have a Cherry Shrimp colony, which is doing great here but I got my original stock from Boardroom Aquatics and I am not sure if Rich uses RO water in his tanks. I know he has the RO system on premises, I just need to ask him next time I am in the store. I am ordering some CRS tomorrow, so I think that before I order I will do a 50% water change with some RO to lessen the TDS in the 20g I will be using for my CRS tank. I am also looking to get some Tiger Shrimps, preferably locally. Can you suggest a place where I can get some? They have been on the Boardroom special order list for some time now, so I think I may need to try another source. Thanks for your response!
 

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My LFS sells RO water cheap, both fresh water and premixed saltwater, so people show up with new 5 gallon buckets with lids and use it in their tanks, check around in your area.

I would say what one of the first posters mentioned, if it aint broke don't fix it. I would try new species of shrimp slowly in small amounts to see how they do, that way your not throwing money down the drain.

Also Eheim sell peat for use in canister filters and with most natural softning your water will get a light tea coloring, but almond leaves are sold in the SnS by Mzjinkzd.

I live by the Chesapeake Bay and it seem us coastline folks have the most problems, my water is hard like yours but the worst for me is constant out breaks of diatoms, something about being near salt water and silicates. We have a whole house softner and it brings my gH down to 3 or so and the kH doesn't get effected much it's 5 to 7, I tried running an extra cycle this week and came up with a gH of zero out of the tap but it won't last long. But some how I still seem to build silicates slowly and every 2 or 3 months I will have a diatom out break so I've deceided to go RO/DI here soon with a holding tank in my garage. Do you have any problems like this?
 
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