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Hi all,

I got a Fluval G6 filter yesterday, which is pretty sweet so far. Lots of cool bells and whistles and seems like it will be quite easy to maintain.

Something it features is a conductivity meter. This is a value I've never given thought to before. While it isn't yet fully calibrated (or whatever), my reading right now is a little over 700 uS/cm, post-water change (was 800+ prior). Is this high? My tank is heavily planted, pressurized CO2, dry dosed ferts, and I have to add sodium bicarbonate and a Ca/Mg mix with my monthly water change because the water here is very soft.

All my fish are healthy and active, and I've had no loses other than a couple of Otos since I started the tank back in June. Should I be worried about conductivity very much? My weekly water tests are very stable, with no ammonia or nitrites, and nitrate typically reads 20ppm or less. pH stays stable at 7.0 and I keep the CO2 around 25-30ppm.

Just wondering if I should pursue trying to lessening the conductivity or not, and if higher readings will adversely effect my fish and plants.

Thanks,

David
 

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Congrats on the filter. They are great canisters.

I don't really understand conductivity, so I don't pay any attention to the value...however, once it stabilizes, I do look for a change. When I get the conductivity alert, I know something is up so I look deeper. It has only happened a couple of times, but I usually assume its time for a large water change and to it right away. How necessary, I dont know, but sudden change is rarely a good thing.
 

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Conductivity is the accurate method of measuring what is in your water. Also referred to as EC (electrical conductivity), when you measure in uS (milliSiemens) you are taking the base measurement of what can then be converted to TDS. TDS measurements are typically noted as ppm (parts per million). Most TDS tests in the US use a .5 conversion rate from uS so an EC of 700 uS would effectively be 350 ppm. Some TDS tests use a conversion rate of .64 and by those tests your TDS would be 448 ppm.
What does this mean for your fish and plants? Probably nothing. That is a perfectly acceptable range for many fish and most plants. Given that you haven't had any problems so far I would not be concerned.
 

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Fluval G's website has lots of stuff on the conductivity and why it's important. Basically what I got from it is that the higher the conductivity, the more "stuff" in the water and so you want it lower.

With that said, I've had the Fluval G3 for over a year now and I don't even pay attention to it anymore. It seems accurate after a complete cleaning of the filter, but over weeks/months (of regular cleaning of the mechanical part but not of the entire canister) the conductivity rating just starts to sky rocket. I do 2 water changes a week and back when the filter was brand new, it would give me conductivity of 100 or so; but now that filter is a few months since a complete tear down cleaning, it's reading over 300. Likewise, I had my Fluval G3 on my small 10 gallon tank initially (it's now on my 25 gallon cube) and I reduced the flow and the conduc rating read over 1000! My CRS were breeding fine so I started to not put any stock into what it said.

So at the end of the day, I just trust that my fish are healthy and active and my plants are growing over the conductivity rating. I do use it to see what temperature the water is at so the LCD is still useful on the G filters for me.
 
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