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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Default GH, KH, and pH confusion

    0 Not allowed!
    I'd like to pose a what-if question about water chemistry. I've been all over
    the interwebs and found a lot of discussion that starts with "how can I change
    my pH," and ends with "well, you'll just have to get your GH (and maybe
    you KH) down by using 50/50 tap to RO water for each water change..."
    or something very similar.

    I have a very high pH, around 8.2 to 8.4 tap water and I know here in the
    Dallas/Fort Worth area we have high dissolved minerals (calcium and potasium,
    I think). So, the pH is an actual measured reading, and assuming my GH is
    high. (This I don't know as fact, but let's assume it's too high to make it easy
    to lower the pH long-term.)

    This concerns me because I believe it will make it very hard to keep
    the fish I want to keep in healthy, vibrant condition. I don't want cichlids as
    a first choice, was looking to have large number of schooling fish, some
    corys, and rainbows, all of which like somewhat soft/neutral to acidic water.

    I don't want to lug 10-15 gallons of RO water per week around, and I don't
    want to buy an RO unit when I have to replace the membrane every so often.
    So, to cut to the chase: Is there something that will remove the dissolved
    minerals, thereby making it a little easier to then lower the pH in a way that
    keeps it consistant.

    I've seen many discussions about using driftwood, almond leaves, peat moss,
    etc. and would try that. But those things will likely only improve the parameters
    slightly. I certainly don't want to use pH down, or something like that because
    I would still have a high GH and the water pH would then move back to where it
    was, as I understand it, making the problem worse.

    Maybe I'm making some false assumptions here, as I've only spent a few hours
    researching this topic. But it seems that is the only hope I have of at least
    getting my water parameters in the same ballpark of where the fish can be at
    their best, with the healthy colors they should have, and the longer lives
    they should live.

    This might be more of a chemist's question. There must be some substance that
    can precipitate out calcium/potasium which then leaves water with less hardness
    behind. Or is there something that just lowers GH (and/or KH)?

    I have a 135 gallon aquarium measuring 48" x 24" x 27" high. It is sitting empty
    because I am still trying to aquire some of the other equipment. My goal is to
    have a planted tank with tropical fish in the range 70-80 deg F.

    Very much would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Ontario, Canada

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    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Thanks for the birthday wishes - mommy1   and gift - mommy1   Thanks for the rep - Cliff   Thanks for the rep, have a cool one on me, Cheers - Cliff   Thanks and a new fish for the tank - glarior   
    Troop and Military Support - Amber Alert - Bladder Cancer - Endometriosis - Equality - Liver Cancer - Liver Disease - Missing Children - POW/MIA - Spina Bifida - Suicide - Strider199   


    0 Not allowed!
    A stable pH is alot better then one you change during water changes. 8.2-8.4 pH isn't that bad. Mine is running around 8.2pH from my tap which is also what my local fish stores have. Which means, the stock I am buying are accustomed to the pH I have at home.
    Chances are that your local lfs will have the same pH as you have. Most fish these days dont come from the Amazon any more because they are locally bred or bred in speciality farms which probably dont have a 7.2 pH.

    Check your local dealers pH so you have the peace of mind that your pH wont handicap your stocking choice.
    Warning; Bulldog Pleco guarding my Sons tank now..

    Please remember; every keystroke has a consequence.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Red Deer, AB, Canada

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    You need gifts!!  Happy New Year! :) - Ellen4God   Thanks for the heads up on tank size - Intentional or not  :-P - 850R   


    0 Not allowed!
    Agree with Strider. Stable pH is far better than trying to get it perfect.

    As dbosman says... (or said)

    Quote Originally Posted by dbosman
    you can acclimate your fish once, or you can also do it forever.
    Da name's Paul. Not Dave. ROFL

    Learn to give and take. That's how things should always work.

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