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Old 12-10-2019, 04:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: GH and KH issues

You definitely have very hard water with TDS 700-1000.
I looked up Montana and looks like you're sitting on top of shale, could be CaCO3.
Most aquatic plants usually do a lot better in softer water. Try anubias, java fern, and Vallisneria in hard water.

GH only measure Ca & Mg... There are lots of minerals that a GH kit can't measure.
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Old 12-11-2019, 07:50 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: GH and KH issues

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Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
You definitely have very hard water with TDS 700-1000.
I looked up Montana and looks like you're sitting on top of shale, could be CaCO3.
Most aquatic plants usually do a lot better in softer water. Try anubias, java fern, and Vallisneria in hard water.

GH only measure Ca & Mg... There are lots of minerals that a GH kit can't measure.
Thank you. Other people have told me I have soft water so I was very confused what fish I should be looking for. So I should stay away from the tetras that don't do well in hard water, correct? Livebearers would do well, etc.
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Old 12-11-2019, 08:04 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: GH and KH issues

Yeah, livebearers should love your water.
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:30 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: GH and KH issues

To a chemist, water hardness is a measure of divalent cations (Ca+2, Mg+2, Fe+2, etc). That's what a GH test kit measures. Apparently you have water with a high total mineral content, but low amounts of the +2 ions that contribute to hardness. People with less understanding of chemistry might refer to any water with high mineral content as "hard". You can add heaps of sodium, potassium, chloride, sulfate, bicarbonate, etc into water and it won't change the GH hardness.

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Thank you. Other people have told me I have soft water so I was very confused what fish I should be looking for. So I should stay away from the tetras that don't do well in hard water, correct? Livebearers would do well, etc.
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:38 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: GH and KH issues

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Yeah, livebearers should love your water.
I might just use town water for my tank. The TDS is only 200 there, GH of 0, KH of 7.
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:48 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: GH and KH issues

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To a chemist, water hardness is a measure of divalent cations (Ca+2, Mg+2, Fe+2, etc). That's what a GH test kit measures. Apparently you have water with a high total mineral content, but low amounts of the +2 ions that contribute to hardness. People with less understanding of chemistry might refer to any water with high mineral content as "hard". You can add heaps of sodium, potassium, chloride, sulfate, bicarbonate, etc into water and it won't change the GH hardness.
So you would say I have soft water?

Thank you!
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Old 12-13-2019, 07:03 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: GH and KH issues

Yes: Soft, but a bit salty.
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Old 12-30-2019, 08:22 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: GH and KH issues

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Yes: Soft, but a bit salty.
Thanks! So KH doesn't matter much for fish as far as osmoregulation...it's the GH that matters?
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Old 12-31-2019, 11:21 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: GH and KH issues

The GH ions (Ca & Mg), KH ions (HCO3), and several other salt ions (Na, K, Cl, ...) are all important for osmoregulation. Some fish and inverts have very efficient uptake mechanisms and can pull what they need out of very dilute solutions (blackwater species), or get what they need from food. Other species adapted to mineral-rich waters have less efficient ion uptake and need higher concentrations in their water to get what they need, and to prevent excess water uptake (bloating).
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:58 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: GH and KH issues

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I've never heard of water like that: 1-2 dGH and >30 dKH. Usually GH and KH are reasonably close, because limestone (the usual natural source) provides both GH and KH in roughly equal amounts. Where are you? What is you local geology?
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