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GH and KH levels
Posted by: Adellie2 ()
Date: January 25, 2009 09:19AM

Hi there - the fish in my tank seem to be doing ok (some jewels, yellow labs, a kenyii and elongatus mpanga along with botias and a pleco) - however my GH levels are pretty low. My KH levels are ok for cichlids I think 200 or so). Should I be fiddling around with this or just leave as is?

Thanks!

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Re: GH and KH levels
Posted by: Barb Okla ()
Date: January 25, 2009 12:00PM

what is the reading on the GH?? this needs to be higher than the KH to keep your pH stable.. IF the GH is just slightly higher than the KH then leave it alone.

IT is best to not mess with your water hardness if U don't have too.

YOUR weekly tank cleaning and by weekly filter cleanings along with a good water changes of 25-30% of your tanks gallons/liters, should keep this in balance..

IF U are doing anything less, then U really need to do more and see where the hardness settles too. Retest the water after one hour of a water change and see where it is..

TEST the tap water too, U may need a buffer if the KH is higher than the GH..

It is more than a container with fish!!
I HAD 12 tanks running!! but moved so only 4 going strong!!



My site: Great information for your fish keeping:

[aquatichobby.proboards.com]

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Re: GH and KH levels
Posted by: Adellie2 ()
Date: January 25, 2009 01:54PM

Hi Barb,
Thanks for responding so quickly. Right now the readings in the tank are:

- temp: about 80 degrees
- pH is between 7.8 and 8.0 (it was around 8.2 but I had a piece of driftwood in for a couple of days that I have now removed, I think this might have lowered it)
- Nitrates are at 5 ppm
- Nitrites are at 0 ppm
- KH is between 179-197
- GH is between 107-125

I do a water change of about 20% every week and do 2 of 4 filter pads every week or so (so the filter pads last 2 weeks but they are alternated, 2 are pads that I just rinse one week and replace the next, 2 are baskets that I do the same - rinse one week and change out with new carbon the next)

Your thoughts are appreciated!

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Re: GH and KH levels
Posted by: Barb Okla ()
Date: January 25, 2009 04:01PM

Did u test the tap water?? U need to know if this is out of the tap too on GH/KH. IF not and it is the same or close to this, then U might benifit from a buffer or at least some kind of other to bring up your GH and leave the rest alone..

Your filter maintenace seems fine. Your nitrates are great..

HOW big is this tank??

how much is 20% to U?? Say it is a 55gal tank.. figure out your % like this:

55 x .20= 11 gal.. Closer to 10 gal, so do 10gal..
55 x .25= 13.75 gal. Closer to 15 so do 15..
55 x .30= 16.5 gal.. Closer to 15, easier to measure dechlor/salt..

On my tanks I do the 25 to 30% as they are so close to each other this delutes down any unseen problem in the tank....

IF U are not doing at least the 30% to your tank gallons, then U might want to do so..

BUT if you see a pH drop say from 7.8 to 7.6 in a weeks time, then U need to see what is causing the problem.. most times it is something U placed in the tank..

Wood if not a lot or a thick piece wil not change your hardness that fast in a weeks time.. Your water changes wil alter the slightest change as it delutes them down.. Tannins mostly from the wood.. But see if the pH climbs some more after a week with out it in..

One thing I have learned in my years with my tanks, is the GH/KH, nitrates, and my pH from weekly to by-weekly, change slightly but not enough to hurt them.. This is a slow increase OR decrease so the fish ajust with it.. When U do your tank and vac, do the filter and add in new water, this all changes and goes back to normal levels IF U change out enough water..

Some of my tanks go 2 weeks now as they only have 10 or less Juvies so I can let them go longer. I do however, vac and give them a 5-10 gal water change on the start of week two..

I always check my pH before a water change on my tanks that go 2 weeks. This tells me about how the tank has done from the last tank cleaning.. GH/KH is not tested as that pH wil tell me if it changed or not. Most times this does not change depending on WHAT U have in your tank.. Wood to crushed coral substrate..
My pH stays at 8.0 to 8.2. IF this changed any, I would test my tap right away.
I have no wood now in any of my tanks to alter my pH or over stocked (ammonia) so my hardness should not change..

It is more than a container with fish!!
I HAD 12 tanks running!! but moved so only 4 going strong!!



My site: Great information for your fish keeping:

[aquatichobby.proboards.com]

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Re: GH and KH levels
Posted by: Adellie2 ()
Date: January 25, 2009 04:31PM

Forgot to give tap water readings: GH and KH are the same as the tank, pH is around 8.2

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Re: GH and KH levels
Posted by: Adellie2 ()
Date: January 25, 2009 06:07PM

Thanks again Barb - I will try to keep all of this info in mind. The piece of driftwood I placed in the tank was HUGE and had a bunch of tannins in it...newby mistake on my part - it is now soaking in a big bin in a bathtub and will stay there for a few weeks at least (I was going to cut a small piece off but not sure if I will end up using it at all)

I do have a 55 gallon tank, and end up doing about 11-12 gallons a week (my bucket is in litres as I am in Canada and it's 15 litres, I usually take out about 3 buckets' worth)

Since the tap water also shows the same GH/KH readings (but pH is different) I guess I should look at getting some kind of buffer...

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Re: GH and KH levels
Posted by: Barb Okla ()
Date: January 25, 2009 06:48PM

Are U sure U got the GH/KH right?? would be great if U confussed them but as the pH seems OK, wait a week and see what happens...

IF the pH does not go down more within ONE WEEK, as in from 7.8 to 7.6, U can get a malawi buffer to help boost it and keep the pH higher..

ALSO:

Crushed coral in the filter in a media bag OR in your container wil also help U out here to get the GH higher. this way the shells break down faster as water rushes over them increasing the hardness naturally.. BUT monitor this every other day and see how it does and ajust the amount in the container.
Crushed coral as substrate is fine but it does not break down as it will in the filter..

Read here on pH/water hardness and what they do:
[www.automatedaquariums.com]

I hope this helps U.. Barb

It is more than a container with fish!!
I HAD 12 tanks running!! but moved so only 4 going strong!!



My site: Great information for your fish keeping:

[aquatichobby.proboards.com]

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Re: GH and KH levels
Posted by: Adellie2 ()
Date: January 30, 2009 09:46PM

Hi there - just an update. I got a buffer that is apparently a fairly new product from API - marketed as "African Mineral Salts - AFrican Cichlid" - added some during my last water change yesterday. My levels are now reading about 220 KH and 200 GH, pH is back to 8.2. The only casualty was that my pleco didn't seem to like the changing conditions and went belly-up sometime overnight. All the other fish seem fine. Not sure if there a bristenose pleco would be ok in those water conditions? Must be because other posts on this site suggest bristenoses do well with the cichlids.

Thanks again for your help.

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Re: GH and KH levels
Posted by: Barb Okla ()
Date: January 31, 2009 01:34AM

The problem with plecos is they do not like a lot of salt. and that buffer has a lot.. So they die fast.. could be other, but more likely its the salt..

Your pH might come down before the next water change but not enought to hurt them. test the pH again after one week and see where it is. IF it is stable, then great. Mine comes down some, but it wil go back with a water change..

Seems to be going good. I would however, not get plecos for the tank. .they wil just die if not from the salts, then the cichlids picking them to death..
UP to U thou..

It is more than a container with fish!!
I HAD 12 tanks running!! but moved so only 4 going strong!!



My site: Great information for your fish keeping:

[aquatichobby.proboards.com]

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Re: GH and KH levels
Posted by: Adellie2 ()
Date: January 31, 2009 03:13PM

Great - I will probably just wait and see about the pleco. The tank is pretty clean so isn't in dire need of an algae eater.

Thanks again! As always, your comments are very helpful.

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Re: GH and KH levels
Posted by: ceemoney ()
Date: July 09, 2013 07:45AM

Adellie2 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Great - I will probably just wait and see about
> the pleco. The tank is pretty clean so isn't in
> dire need of an algae eater.
>
> Thanks again! As always, your comments are very
> helpful.

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Re: GH and KH levels
Posted by: ceemoney ()
Date: July 09, 2013 07:47AM

my gh is 180 ph8.5 pleco dong fine i dont know why people plecoes are dying my seem just fine in tank with several large chilids none bother him in fact he bothers them!lol!

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