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How to lower GH/ tank issues

14423 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  klawfran3
Hi there,
I recently set up what I wanted to be a planted 20 g blackwater riparium. I took a PH, GH, and KH test. Ph is 7.4 (I'll be lowering that with catappa leaves and detritus) which I know is a little high, but the KH is 2 and the GH is 12! my city tap water is GH 9 so I know my tank is probably raising it (using sand and rocks, those are definitely a factor) but even still the GH is way too high for the tank. I'm planning on adding neons to it. How do I go about lowering it? I know RO and distilled are the ways most use but I don't really have access to that for cheap at all. I heard the API water softening pillows would do this? I can top off the tank evaporation with distilled water since that's not too expensive (and will help reduce the amount of waterchanges since the GH won't raise as quick) but a full waterchange/ whole tank full of distilled will be a good bit of money for me. Would the almond leaves I'm putting in reduce the GH too? I'm frustrated because the GH is so unbelievebly high and I can't find much to solve my problem.


Also off topic but the water is cloudy even though it's been set up a few days which is making me a bit uncomfortable too, since usually anything in it that is floating should have settled by now. I am not dosing ammonia or anything and have added a whole mature filter sponge to it so I know it's not in the middle of a cycle. Waterchanges don't seem to help with it either which is annoying as hell.
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Do you know what type of rocks are in there?


If you use inert rocks, they will not change the GH of the tank. If you are using rocks that do degrade because they are made of calcium/limestone, then that will raise the GH.


Remove whatever is causing the rise in GH, and then doing a large water change (if no tank inhabitants) would help bring the GH back down.


The cloudy water could be a bacterial bloom. Just leave it be, no water changes. It should take care of itself given a bit of time.
 

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Many grocery stores and some pharmacies do sell RO water for 28-50 cens a gallon. Bring your own containers or buy them there. (if they sell empty containers separately) I use 5 gallon buckets myself and spend $3 for 10 gallons of water. Some people like to use the 5 gallon upright water coolers instead, as they have a spout to draw water out of the container.


I'm not familiar with Koke stone, but doing a quick search, I see that it's basically volcanic rock and should be inert. Someone did report that their stones were not inert however, so maybe they have false koke stones? Which I would not be surprised if someone is selling a different type of stone as something it's not.


Can you take any of it out and test it with vinegar?



If it is indeed the rocks, and you don't remove them, then you may always have a problem with high GH in the tank. Even doing water changes will cause fluctuations in the parameters, which would be stressful for the inhabitants. Even if you were to use straight RO water, that GH will still climb.
 
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