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Best Way to Raise GH

This is a discussion on Best Way to Raise GH within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Sorry I can't answer you about Apistogrammas, but I would want to know what the tap water (no softener) parameters are. Likely the water ...

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Old 08-09-2012, 06:32 AM   #11
 
Sorry I can't answer you about Apistogrammas, but I would want to know what the tap water (no softener) parameters are. Likely the water softener is there for a reason, that your area has hard water. If necessary, you could ask the person in the closest fish store...

The next step, and maybe I'm rushing things, is can you put a hose onto a non-softened outlet and run it to your tank. The hint about outside spigots sometimes not being connected to the water softener was a good one. Another suggestion would be to find the water softener and see if the person who made it had the forethought to provide an outlet to tap water.

Byron said (translating loosely) to keep water softened water out of the tank, and I think that's good advice.

Last edited by equatics; 08-09-2012 at 06:36 AM..
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:28 AM   #12
 
Hi all.

Okay, so the hose water parameters are 8 GH and 11 KH, same pH. Izzy told me once that was considered moderately hard.

I can't really keep water softened water out of my tanks, though. :( I have no way to heat the water and for some of my tanks, just keeping some in a 5gal bucket with a heater wouldn't work. That's the bum part. :( It's going to be a problem in the winter for two of my tanks that currently do get hosewater. :/

However, I was reading through my fish profile book, "Tropical Fishes: 500+ Essential-to-Know Species" by Mary Sweeney, Mary Bailey, and Aaron Norman, and I read this:

"Generally speaking, pH is the most important parameter. Hardness measures only one element of the dissolved salts in the water, and it is only a rough guideline. Most hardwater fishes wil not react badly to soft water as long as the pH is appropriate. By contrast, however, many softwater fishes do not do well in hard water."

Mary Sweeney and Mary Bailey are well-known in the aquarium literature world and the book is published by TFK so the advice is sound. I think if I use Kent's African Cichlid trace element supplement in the water softened water to provide some of the missing minerals, I might be able to keep hardwater cichlids after all.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:36 AM   #13
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakura8 View Post
Hi all.

Okay, so the hose water parameters are 8 GH and 11 KH, same pH. Izzy told me once that was considered moderately hard.

I can't really keep water softened water out of my tanks, though. :( I have no way to heat the water and for some of my tanks, just keeping some in a 5gal bucket with a heater wouldn't work. That's the bum part. :( It's going to be a problem in the winter for two of my tanks that currently do get hosewater. :/

However, I was reading through my fish profile book, "Tropical Fishes: 500+ Essential-to-Know Species" by Mary Sweeney, Mary Bailey, and Aaron Norman, and I read this:

"Generally speaking, pH is the most important parameter. Hardness measures only one element of the dissolved salts in the water, and it is only a rough guideline. Most hardwater fishes wil not react badly to soft water as long as the pH is appropriate. By contrast, however, many softwater fishes do not do well in hard water."

Mary Sweeney and Mary Bailey are well-known in the aquarium literature world and the book is published by TFK so the advice is sound. I think if I use Kent's African Cichlid trace element supplement in the water softened water to provide some of the missing minerals, I might be able to keep hardwater cichlids after all.
Can't really write right now, but your post certainly deserves to be answered. Can you get the tap pH - from the local fish store if you don't have a test kit for that? You might need to know that and I do at this point.

Thanks.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:39 AM   #14
 
Tap pH is 7.8 as well, it's the same from the water softener and the hose.

Thanks. :)
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:55 AM   #15
 
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This thread is bouncing from soft to hard water fish, so it's tricky to keep on track when responding. But I'll try.

On the softener, this depends how it softens. Some remove the hard minerals (primarily calcium and magnesium) by adding other substances such as salts which can be more detrimental than the hard minerals on fish. Looking into how your particular softener works would be helpful.

The TDS (total dissolved solids) is important, and these occur from many sources. Hard minerals (which is our normal "hardness" test), salts of any type, water conditioners, fish foods, and almost any substance added to the aquarium (for water adjustment, treatments, etc). These TDS add up and this affects fish to varying degrees. This is in line with the second sentence in the citation from your book:

Generally speaking, pH is the most important parameter. Hardness measures only one element of the dissolved salts in the water, and it is only a rough guideline. Most hardwater fishes wil not react badly to soft water as long as the pH is appropriate. By contrast, however, many softwater fishes do not do well in hard water.

But the text in bold [my edit] is incorrect scientifically. Fish from hard waters require minerals in the water in order for their internal physiology to function normally. If these are lacking, they may "survive" but they will be under stress which causes other issues, and they will be physiologically weakened and die prematurely. There is further information on this here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...um-fish-98852/

I am also not convinced that pH is more important than GH. But the two are so inter-connected, it is difficult to say. This will be covered more in the above article.

Your 8 dGH is at the high end of soft and low end of medium hard, so this is suitable to a great many fish [leaving aside the softener issues]. The high KH means the pH is going to remain stable at whatever level it is out of the tap, unless you target the GH and KH. My article on this issue might help:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

If rift lake cichlids are the choice, then i wold raise the GH and pH as i previously described with the calcareous substrate. Or use the water pre-softener, which again may be better anyway. If Apistogramma cichlids are the choice, then you may or may not need to move more in the opposite direction, it depends upon the species.

Byron.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:02 PM   #16
 
Quote:
But the text in bold [my edit] is incorrect scientifically. Fish from hard waters require minerals in the water in order for their internal physiology to function normally. If these are lacking, they may "survive" but they will be under stress which causes other issues, and they will be physiologically weakened and die prematurely.
That's why I was wondering if adding the Kent Cichlid Essential would add those necessary minerals.

Kent Marine Cichlid Essential | Products

The Kent Marine website also says that for Victorian cichlids, a GH of 5 is acceptable. So if I can raise the GH to 5 and add the trace elements, I should be okay hardness and pH wise, right?

EDIT: Almost forgot. The water softener is a salt-based one. Sadly, there's not much I can do about it since it's not my house. :(
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:47 PM   #17
 
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Well, I'm pretty sure Sakura was looking at lake Victoria cichlids, and this is the softest of the big African lakes, isn't it? I think 10dH is fine.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:59 PM   #18
 
I frequently come up with these hare-brained ideas so take this one with a grain of salt <grin> It would probably be somewhat pricey, but I wonder if it's possible to find a reverse osmosis unit that's non-invasive to the existing plumbing. As I recall, they use salt in some part of the operations, but it doesn't get into the output water. Then you could put in cichlid salts (probably expensive over time) or a different mixture for a lower GH for Apistogrammas or other tropical fish.

The output would presumeably be pH7.0 neutral with GH=0 and KH=0

Last edited by equatics; 08-09-2012 at 02:02 PM..
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:28 PM   #19
 
Nemo, that's definitely something I'm looking into when I move. I'd much rather have an R/O unit than a water softener.

But now that I think about it, a few months back we had our water scientifically tested to see just how much sodium and salts were in it (my mom has heart troubles and we were concerned the water softener was adding to her problems) and it turned out there really wasn't that much sodium. I don't remember the exact number, I'll have to find the results.
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:02 PM   #20
 
That sounds good. Post those results! You can probably get them from the company if you can't find them at home.

Here's a link that looks somewhat promising for conversions with a lot of quick-release plugs and fittings, etc.

Reverse Osmosis Fittings, Tubing & Valves - Quick-Connect Plugs - US Water Systems
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