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OK, I'm going to figure this out yet. I can't allow my disease to progress into the purchase of a larger tank until I can master my 20 gallon, right? :wink:
I just performed my water tests again. For the record, all of the tests that I am using are manufactured by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in case that is of importance. They all consist of 5 ml glass tubes to which drops of the different reagents are added. My KH once again tested at exactly 15 degrees. This test is very black and white..... at 14 degrees (after having added 14 drops) the test water is bright blue and after drop 15, BHAM, the test water turns bright yellow, just as described. I am quite certain the results of this test are quite accurate. My PH tested at 7.6 - I am supposed to add three drops of the reagent to the 5 ml of test water and read the results against a chart. The water turns bright blue and matches almost exactly to the 7.6 color square on the chart. Please note though that the 7.6 color square is as high as the chart goes. It's the GH test that is giving me trouble. Supposedly the water should be gradually changing from orange to green with the continued addition of the drops. For some reason, my water sample never starts out orange at all. It starts out clear of course and with the addition of each drop it just progressively goes from very, very pale green to darker green. If I add enough drops to get it to a true "green" color I have to add about 12 drops which equates to 12 degrees GH. Never at any time though do I get this orange-green that the instructions describe.
Given this scenario, what should I do? Will these values adjust on their own once I get the K+, NO3, and PO4 in line according to the instructions given by Carlos yesterday? So far, everyone is hanging in there..... plants and fish "seem" fine and happy. (Even though I know that this is a potentially disasterous situation!). Also, I was thinking about something else too.... If I add the appropriate K+, NO3, PO4, and fertilizers, doesn't it stand to reason that the filter cartridge in my Penguin 125 will filter it out? Do I need a new filter, and if so what kind?
I can't tell you how much I appreciate all of your help! My fish and plants are certainly thanking you as well!!
Kindest regards, Michelle
 

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Once the fertilizers are dissolved in the water your filter wont be able to filter it out as long as your carbon is removed. You can remove it from your penguin by cutting a slit in the top of the floss and dumping it all out.
 

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Michelle,

I have the same AP kh and gh kits and I just realised that my gh kit is doing exactly what your kit is doing. I believe they are no good. The color of the solution is dark green and the solution stays green. I know I have hard water. You can check the date on the bottle. I think the expiration date is 3 years after the printed date. I think you can rest assured that your water is fine.

Steve Pituch
 
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