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Old 12-04-2019, 07:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile GH and KH issues

Hello!

My well water (untreated) has a KH of 38 and a GH of around 1-2. I've done the African cichlid thing and while they breed and love it, I'd really like to make this a community tank. My pH is around 8.5 and it's a 65 gallon tank.

Looking for stocking suggestions. My original plan was for apistos, guppies, platys, emperor tetras, harlequin rasboras, panda cories....but now I don't even know what to think. Do I have soft water with a high buffering capacity that will keep the pH constant?

Also looking for plant stocking suggestions for low tech, no CO2 tanks (don't mind adding Flourish or root tabs). This is the light I bought: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
From my research I have java fern, java moss, pennywort, Christmas moss, some of the ludwigias, bacopa, hygrophilia...anything to add or delete from those? I'm going for more of a hardscape but would like a few plants. I don't have anything fancy for a substrate..just black coal slag.

Thanks for the help!

Last edited by Dart27; 12-04-2019 at 09:09 AM..
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: GH and KH issues

Are you planning to keep African cichlid in the community tank? I think they're too aggressive for other fish and plants.

You do not have soft water. Usually you need to soften the water with RO (Reverse osmosis) or a cheap alternative is to add hydrochloric acid/muriatic in a separate container and let sit for a few day until the pH is 7.
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: GH and KH issues

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Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
Are you planning to keep African cichlid in the community tank? I think they're too aggressive for other fish and plants.

You do not have soft water. Usually you need to soften the water with RO (Reverse osmosis) or a cheap alternative is to add hydrochloric acid/muriatic in a separate container and let sit for a few day until the pH is 7.
No...Apistos are South American, not African. They do just fine as community fish.

So, with a GH of 2 dGH, how do I not have soft water? pH is not hardness...they are totally different things.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: GH and KH issues

I'm guessing from the pH & kH says you have high calcium carbonate. The gH is questionable. If you have a TDS meter, use that to clear up if you have hard water or soft water.
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Old 12-04-2019, 07:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: GH and KH issues

You should have about 40 PAR at the substrate. That is enough to let you grow almost all low to medium light plants, so your list of plants should be OK. I'm guessing your KH is not in degrees of KH, and is about 2 dKH, which is consistent with soft water, as is your GH, if it is degrees of GH. The high pH is puzzling, but it could be that high and still be normal.
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: GH and KH issues

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You should have about 40 PAR at the substrate. That is enough to let you grow almost all low to medium light plants, so your list of plants should be OK. I'm guessing your KH is not in degrees of KH, and is about 2 dKH, which is consistent with soft water, as is your GH, if it is degrees of GH. The high pH is puzzling, but it could be that high and still be normal.
Thanks. Actually tho, KH is in dKH. It took me 38 drops of solution to get the color change on water straight out of the well. When I repeated it on tank water that had been sitting a few days, and it took 42 drops.
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Old 12-05-2019, 02:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: GH and KH issues

I suspect your KH test kit is faulty. 38 dKH is very unlikely. If it truly is that high you may have dissolved a lot of baking soda into the water, and that isn't likely either. Usually high KH in tap water is combined with high GH.
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Old 12-07-2019, 06:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: GH and KH issues

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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Old 12-10-2019, 01:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: GH and KH issues

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Originally Posted by hoppycalif View Post
I suspect your KH test kit is faulty. 38 dKH is very unlikely. If it truly is that high you may have dissolved a lot of baking soda into the water, and that isn't likely either. Usually high KH in tap water is combined with high GH.
Truly it isn't faulty. I just got a TDS meter and it's over 1000 ppm coming out of the tap from my well. When I checked the TDS in my tank (which is 50/50 well water and town water) it was 700. My town water (haven't checked the TDS) has a GH of 1 and a KH of 7. I used the same kit as I did for my well water, so I think it's accurate.
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Old 12-10-2019, 02:00 PM   #10 (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?
Heck if I know! Most people don't discuss water parameters in daily conversation. I'm in eastern Montana, USA. Lots of cows, not many people. Rolling hills, soft water with apparently a very high KH in well water. My neighbors' well is in a coal vein and it's super sulphur-y. Mine tastes great and seems to not have any issues.
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