Confused by test results - GH, KH and O2
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Confused by test results - GH, KH and O2

This is a discussion on Confused by test results - GH, KH and O2 within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I have been having much fun testing Amm, Ni, Na, and pH, so I got API's GH and KH tests, along with Red Sea's ...

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Confused by test results - GH, KH and O2
Old 02-12-2007, 01:31 PM   #1
Confused by test results - GH, KH and O2

I have been having much fun testing Amm, Ni, Na, and pH, so I got API's GH and KH tests, along with Red Sea's O2 test. Now I am totally confused.

Doing KH test, it took 7 drops. This is on the little chart but I am not sure exactly what it is telling me, except that my water is on the hard side but ok for tropical fish like my mollies.

Doing the GH test, it took 17 drops, which isn't even on the chart (goes to 12). Now I know my water is hard, but come on.

Doing the O2 test, which is quite involved and I am not sure if anyone has ever used it, the final stage is how many drops to turn the greenish brown water to blue. That amount is the PPM of O2 in your water. At 20 drops, the water finally turns clear...I have gone as far as 30 without getting any blue tint at all. The chart, which basically tells you if you are ok or not depending on water temp and salinity, only lists ppm values between 6 and 11.

I did each of these tests twice, shaking the little bottles vigorously before I started.

Now either my water is off-the-chart hard and full of oxygen, or something is screwy. Any ideas? This is a 90 gallon freshwater tank with 15 small fish and 3 small live plants.
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:59 PM   #2
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Welcome to the wonderful world of test kits. I hate them myself becaus eI can never read them accurately except for ammonia and nitrites.

GH and KH could very well be high. I know some that have levels that are well over 20 dKH and dGH and over 200ppm for both and they are on city water. Don't sweat this too much though. The high levels are really only an indicator and only mean you need to make sure that you don't make huge changes to them. If you wanted to you could use RO water or Bottles water but it really shoudn't be needed unless you have really sensitive fish like Ciclids or Puffers.

If you are adding salt I would stop, you won't need it with those levels. Also you probably don't need to add Mg nor Calcium but a quick call to the water company will let you know where your levels are coming from. If it is all Mg or all Ca then I might worry and you might need to start using half RO or bottles water with your tap water.

I hope am not way off base but I keep my tanks right at 8dGH and 9 dKH so your levels aren't that off and my tap water is 0 for both.
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Old 02-13-2007, 12:25 AM   #3
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Also, don't trust any readings for the O2 test kit. The only tests you really need is ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and ph. And if you have a planted tank, it's helpful to have the gh and kh kits, as well as Phosphate. That's about all you need.
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