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Results 1 to 10 of 21
  1. Question Is my tank water soft or hard? Water chemistry beginner very confused- lol


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi

    I have been learning about water chemistry and I plan to introduce a German Blue Ram in the future. With these cichlids, water chemistry, especially the softness of the water is very important.

    My water levels are still steady, and I do understand things like Nitrates, Nitrites and pH as well as Ammonia.
    The master test kit i have tests those four as well as KH and GH.

    When it comes to the KH and the GH, I understand that these are measurements of the hardness of water. I have read what each measures in the water- Carbonate i believe and the other I cannot remember at the moment (apologies).

    The thing is that I don't understand what these two measurements mean in the way that they affect my tank water.
    There is also something called dH that is mentioned more often in articles on this site than KH or GH. (at least the ones i am reading.) How do I calculate that? Do i need a separate test kit for that? I need the dH levels to try and decide what to do next with my tank to prepare it.

    In the tank I am speaking of- It's a 29 (30) gallon tank. It is planted (live plants) and has pool filter sand as substrate.
    My water levels are:

    pH: 6.5
    ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 0 (I just did a complete substrate change so the tank needs to cycle fully again)
    Nitrates: 20
    KH: 40
    GH: 30

    In the tank are:
    (sadly there have been some losses since i needed to do the drastic substrate change)

    -6 Pygmy Rainbowfish
    -7 Cardinal Tetras
    -7 otocats
    -7 Panda Corydoras
    -1 3-4" catfish of unknown type

    Water changes weekly, a Fluval 206 canister filter that is well maintained.

    Any help and advice would be great and constructive criticism is always welcome too.
    Who Rescued Who?

    Don't shop; Adopt!
    --FISH ARE FRIENDS NOT FOOD--

  2. #2

    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Misse View Post
    pH: 6.5
    ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 0 (I just did a complete substrate change so the tank needs to cycle fully again)
    While I can't help you with the pH issue, I will tell you that the substrate doesn't have much to do with whether your tank is cycled - the majority of the bacteria you need are in your filter (not in the substrate) and are kept fed by the ammonia produced by your fish.

    People change substrate all the time with no effect on their cycled tank - it's when you add fish that you need to keep an eye on your parameters due to the added ammonia from the new additions.
    46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
    5 gal QT
    Remember: Our job is to take care of the water our fish live in

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi
    Ok Thank you-
    I kept all the filter media the same so i should be ok then- I am still testing every other day or every 3 days at the moment as i just added a couple of fish.
    I didn't realize i had a pH issue- the fish all seem well atm-
    I just really don't understand KH, GH and dH do these influence the pH?
    Who Rescued Who?

    Don't shop; Adopt!
    --FISH ARE FRIENDS NOT FOOD--

  4. Default


    4 Not allowed!
    Ok... I'm going to take a stab at it.

    Gh (general hardness), Dh (German Degrees of hardness) and (dGh) degrees of general hardness are all the same thing = the mineral hardness (dissolved minerals) of your water. Different fish prefer different levels of dissolved minerals that match what they need for their biological processes.

    Kh (Carbonate Hardness - the German spelling starts with a "k") or Alkalinity, is your water's ability to neutralize acid. This is the one that affects Ph the most because it acts as a buffer. The higher the Kh the more difficult it is to adjust Ph.

    A Note: this is why chemical Ph adjusters are so bad. They temporarily dip the Ph without changing the Kh putting your fish on a Ph roller coaster, which is more dangerous than a stable, but too high or too low a Ph level.

    Most of the advice I have received is to pick fish that like your inherent hardness / ph level rather than trying to fight your water. Or to get an RO (Reverse Osmosis) machine that makes water completely neutral and then mix it in with your normal tap water to get consistent optimal levels for the fish you want.

    So... did that makes sense?
    Last edited by Shepherdsong; 12-02-2013 at 08:39 PM.
    It just so happens your fish here is only - mostly - dead...

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi again

    Thanks for tackling that question. I didn't realize how big a question it was- i've been trying to find answers on the internet all day, and i think i have an idea. Your explanation clarifies things a bit more. :)

    The reason I need to know about the water hardness of this particular tank is that I would like to add a "centerpiece fish" and a German Blue Ram was suggested. As I understand this- German Blue Rams are very sensitive to water chemistry and require soft water.

    My GH is 30, which (if i'm correct) means my water is quite hard (?) This is my question really- what does a GH of 30 with a KH of 40 mean? Is that very hard? I'm not sure where on the scale of hardness this particular tank rests.

    Does this mean i need to choose another fish, or are my levels ok for this fish?

    I have no one else to ask- I have no aquarist friends.
    Great thanks to anyone who can advise me on this.
    Who Rescued Who?

    Don't shop; Adopt!
    --FISH ARE FRIENDS NOT FOOD--

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm no expert on TDS readings but that sounds like you have pretty hard water so I'd reckon that's unsuitable for German Blue Rams, unless you can find any that have been bred locally in tap water. I'd be surprised if your cardinals thrive at that hardness too.

    I'd say, lose the GBR idea and consider a Kribensis instead if you're set on a dwarf cichlid - they do inhabit more varied waters in the wild that can range from soft to hard (so I've read).
    "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." Carl Sagan
    ~ My 350 Litre Tank Journal ~
    ~ My 30 Litre Tank Journal ~

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Elgin, Illinois USA
    Posts
    3,246

    Awards Showcase

    Happy New Year - jeffs99dime Thank you for the birthday wishes. - mommy1 just because. - 1Sarah Happy Drink Like a Viking Friday! - KevinVA Happy Easter! - Slaphppy7 
    My turn to buy - fishmommie It's EOTW Beer Time, so here's a Cafe Latte that looks like champagne in a bucket! - KevinVA Congrats on the cycles! - Slaphppy7 Thanks for the Rep and the gift :) - steeler58 Using up my winnings on my friends! - Compass 
    T.G.I.F.! - Slaphppy7 Thx4 - pRED For your new tetra's :) - steeler58 pizza for all.  I finished my book today!!! - fishmommie Good job on your amazing tanks! - SeaLady 
    thank you for all the helpful information - showmebutterfly new fish! - RiversGirl I like your signature - aquariumlover10 Happy AC anniversary - SeaLady Happy 2 Year Anniversary! - Slaphppy7 
    Cesarean Sections - Headaches - Hospice Care - Multiple Myeloma - gronlaura 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Shepherdsong View Post
    Ok... I'm going to take a stab at it.

    Gh (general hardness), Dh (German Degrees of hardness) and (dGh) degrees of general hardness are all the same thing = the mineral hardness (dissolved minerals) of your water. Different fish prefer different levels of dissolved minerals that match what they need for their biological processes.

    Kh (Carbonate Hardness - the German spelling starts with a "k") or Alkalinity, is your water's ability to neutralize acid. This is the one that affects Ph the most because it acts as a buffer. The higher the Kh the more difficult it is to adjust Ph.

    A Note: this is why chemical Ph adjusters are so bad. They temporarily dip the Ph without changing the Kh putting your fish on a Ph roller coaster, which is more dangerous than a stable, but too high or too low a Ph level.

    Most of the advice I have received is to pick fish that like your inherent hardness / ph level rather than trying to fight your water. Or to get an RO (Reverse Osmosis) machine that makes water completely neutral and then mix it in with your normal tap water to get consistent optimal levels for the fish you want.

    So... did that makes sense?
    Excellent explanation.
    My 75 gal Journal & My Dual 29 gal Journal
    My 75 gal - Gold Pristella Tetras, Scissortail Rasboras, Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish, Longfin Leopard & Zebra Danios, Bristlenose Pleco
    My Dual 29 gals - Left Tank - Diamond Tetras. Right Tank - Amano Shrimp

    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass....it's about learning to dance in the rain"

  8. #8

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Actually - I thought I'd check what I just posted above and am finding a lot of conflicting info. I'm wrong.

    See, told you I was no expert
    "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." Carl Sagan
    ~ My 350 Litre Tank Journal ~
    ~ My 30 Litre Tank Journal ~

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Elgin, Illinois USA
    Posts
    3,246

    Awards Showcase

    Happy New Year - jeffs99dime Thank you for the birthday wishes. - mommy1 just because. - 1Sarah Happy Drink Like a Viking Friday! - KevinVA Happy Easter! - Slaphppy7 
    My turn to buy - fishmommie It's EOTW Beer Time, so here's a Cafe Latte that looks like champagne in a bucket! - KevinVA Congrats on the cycles! - Slaphppy7 Thanks for the Rep and the gift :) - steeler58 Using up my winnings on my friends! - Compass 
    T.G.I.F.! - Slaphppy7 Thx4 - pRED For your new tetra's :) - steeler58 pizza for all.  I finished my book today!!! - fishmommie Good job on your amazing tanks! - SeaLady 
    thank you for all the helpful information - showmebutterfly new fish! - RiversGirl I like your signature - aquariumlover10 Happy AC anniversary - SeaLady Happy 2 Year Anniversary! - Slaphppy7 
    Cesarean Sections - Headaches - Hospice Care - Multiple Myeloma - gronlaura 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Misse View Post
    Hi again

    Thanks for tackling that question. I didn't realize how big a question it was- i've been trying to find answers on the internet all day, and i think i have an idea. Your explanation clarifies things a bit more. :)

    The reason I need to know about the water hardness of this particular tank is that I would like to add a "centerpiece fish" and a German Blue Ram was suggested. As I understand this- German Blue Rams are very sensitive to water chemistry and require soft water.

    My GH is 30, which (if i'm correct) means my water is quite hard (?) This is my question really- what does a GH of 30 with a KH of 40 mean? Is that very hard? I'm not sure where on the scale of hardness this particular tank rests.

    Does this mean i need to choose another fish, or are my levels ok for this fish?

    I have no one else to ask- I have no aquarist friends.
    Great thanks to anyone who can advise me on this.
    How did you test your GH & KH?
    My 75 gal Journal & My Dual 29 gal Journal
    My 75 gal - Gold Pristella Tetras, Scissortail Rasboras, Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish, Longfin Leopard & Zebra Danios, Bristlenose Pleco
    My Dual 29 gals - Left Tank - Diamond Tetras. Right Tank - Amano Shrimp

    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass....it's about learning to dance in the rain"

  10. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I tested it with test strips.
    Should i be using another method?

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