What kind of test do you use? It should tell you if that measurement is ppm or degrees of hardness. Also, if you are using well water and a water softener you may not have enough hardness. Planted tanks arent really as complicated as it may seem from reading everything you see online. Once you figure out what you need to do for your particular setup you should be fine, and thats what we're here for You test kit booklet should give you some kind of info on how it measures hardness.