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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I am having trouble with my Kh and Gh. My tank is planted 20 gal long, 6 cories and apple snails. I have had a Co2 Natural plant system running for about 24 hrs. I had this problem even before the Co2 was added. My ph is 8.4 (needed for the snails). My Kh is 300+ and my Gh is 75. From what I understand with my ph this high the Kh should be lower and the Gh higher. Any suggestions on how to fix this?

Thanks
Betty
 

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maybe the "experts" will chime in, but I wonder why you your snails need such high PH? I have ramshorn snails and apples and such in my tank with a ph 6.7 without issues and I think others do too. (ok maybe their shells are not a perfect as in harder water, but they do their job) I also think that your cories would appreciate the PH on the lower side, not to mention that at lower PH ammonia is less toxic, which can be helpfull if this is a new tank.

I assume you have a test kit by your post so I wonder what your tap water is measuring? Do you add anything to the water? Remember that KH is also refered to as "alkallinity" the higher the KH the higher the pH in general. GH is a different type of hardness and is a measure in general of the amount of dissolved calium and magnesium in the water as well as other things that I wouldn't worry about. It is my understanding that when a species prefers "hard" or "soft" water they are referring to the GH.

So back to fixing this. Find out what the tap is. Then if it is less then what your tank is then just by doing water changes you will be able to lower the KH/GH. In some cases people have hard water out of the tap high KH and GH so they have to filter these minerals out of the tap to soften it. Perhaps you can give more info about the setup and what you want out of it so that I can give more targeted info? Like types of plants and so on.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My tank has been planted for about 2 weeks it has the following plants:
Ambulia 7-9" 6-8 stems
Baby Tears
Cabomba purple 9-10" 6-8 stems
Ludwigia Peruensis 9-10" 6-8 stems
Mexican Oak Leaf 9-10" 6-8 stems
Wisteria 9-10" 6-8 stems
Telanthera Rosefolia 9-10" 6-8 stems
Myrio, Filigree 9-11" 6-8 stems
Mayaca 9-10" 6-8 stems

I have stones with riccia tied to them in the tank already. I have 6 small Cory cats in the tank and it has been set up for almost 2 months. Gravel with dolomite mixed in. I have 2 20 watt blubs, sponge filter for a 40 gal run by power head, canister filter run by power head, and a penguin 170 bio wheel filter. I also have a bubble want and heater.
Tap water is from a well. Ph 6.2 Kh 80 Gh 25

The only thing I add is Kent's liquid calcum.

Any help is appreciated.
 

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Not to Discourage you or anything, but with the plants you describe you will need more light. With that kind of light I'd be doing anubians and moss and ferns.. stuff like that.. Anyways Back on subject. I would think that well water would be harder than that, but this is good. Unfortunately I am not too familiar with the calcium product that you are adding, but with the tap water parameters you describe I see why you might want to raise the General hardness only.

Honestly I think that the KH of the tap is good. I'm wondering if the product you are adding is causing the KH to go up to (along with the GH). If I were you I would do a little experiment. Take that calcium and dose a bucket of your tap with it, wait a while and take some measurements. I have a hunch that this may be causing the KH to go up, but doing this will check. Another thing that can cause this KH rise is any type of rocks with carbonate in them. If they are not totally inert they can cause problems with the KH going up. This is something to check out too.

Regardless I personally wouldn't recommend dosing just calcium to raise the GH because your plants and fish may be missing out on other minerals that are in trace amounts that also are part of the GH puzzle. Like Magnesium for example. You may want to dose that too. I personally use Seachem product called Equilibrium to raise the GH because it has everything the plants and fishs (snails too!!) need from a higher GH without having to mix all the individual elements yourself. I have had excellent results and I don't have to worry about getting the ratios of cal:mag right because it's done already. I also will not touch the KH.

Once you get the source of you KH identified you should be able to remedy the problem with 40% weekly water changes. Good luck!

O yeah since you are concerned of the snail health- (after a while they will reproduce so fast you'll want them to die LOL :D) one thing that you can add is a little bit of Iodine. This helps their shells and is beneficial to all verts, but only use a little bit so it doesn't harm the fish. I think it's 1 teaspoon/50 gallons each month.[/b]
 

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You have 2Wg Watts per gallon, enough light for most plants. Snails don't need pH of 8.4. My snails are happy at 4.0 pH, yes 4.0 pH. Your tap water is 6.2 pH, that is perfect. Your KH is also good, and the GH will work out as well. You mixed dolomite with gravel, that is good. Dolomite gives Ca and Mg. No need to add liquid calcium.
Follow Tom's Estimative Index system of dosing and water changes and all is going to be just fine.

Edward
 

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You can read this forum for posts here http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forum/search.php?search_author=plantbrain , plantbrain is Tom.

The system is based on availability of all necessary nutrients until the next water change resets the values again.

Plant needs:

CO2 15-30 ppm by CO2 injection
NO3 5 - 20 ppm by KNO3
PO4 0.1 - 0.5 ppm by KH2PO4
K 5 - 20 ppm by KNO3 / KH2PO4 / K2SO4
Ca > 0 ppm by GH / dolomite / CaCl
Mg > 0 ppm by dolomite / MgSO4
TE (trace elements) - unmeasurable concentration, 1 drop a day, see http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forum/fertilator.php , follow products for Iron.

Do 50% water change once a week and then dose:
NO3 10 ppm (per 10 gallon)
PO4 0.1 ppm (per 10 gallon)
K 10 ppm (per 10 gallon)
TE 1 drop a day

Following week do 50% water change and dose the same again,
that simple.

Edward
 
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