Help: ppm vs. dGH/KH - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
Old 11-01-2009, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
Member

Help: ppm vs. dGH/KH

So I FINALLY started getting all my things together for my new tanks again.
Part of the puzzle would be to figure out what water I have to determine what freshwater fish I want while its cycling.

Now I got an issue, my old chem set was JBL and measure in dKH and dGH, so I knew instantly what fish it would allow me (apart from the other needed parameters)
Now the new one is ppm...

So could anyone break it down for me how I can convert this or what I'm dealing with?
I have GH 25 ppm and KH 20ppm
And right now I have no idea what that compares to in dGH/ dKH and therefore NO IDEA what fish this allows me ~ What a nightmare

Oh and pH is 6.8 which sounds pretty good to me at the moment.

Any help is appreciated.
Angel079 is offline

Old 11-01-2009, 02:22 PM
Member

hardness and softness is realtaed to how low or high your ph is. maybe try looking online for a conversion table maybe.
MoneyMitch is offline
Old 11-01-2009, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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I do understand the relation and if I knew it in dGH/dKH I'd instantly be able to know what fish it allows me, just never have dealt with ppm in all these yrs.
Angel079 is offline

Old 11-01-2009, 02:52 PM
Member

If you have dGH or dKH, multiply the number by 17.9 to obtain the equivalent ppm number. If you have ppm, divide by 17.9 to obtain dGH or dKH respectively.

Example, 3 dGH is 53.7 ppm.

Your 25ppm GH is just over 1 dGH, and your 20ppm KH is the same. Terrific water for SA or SE Asian fish. Mine is 0 out of the tap, pH also 6.8. With this low a KH, your pH will tend to drop once the tank becomes established.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

Last edited by Byron; 11-01-2009 at 02:55 PM.
Byron is offline
Old 11-01-2009, 03:06 PM
Member

Byron's got the right conversion if you want to convert it back to degrees.

Your not the only one either. I've got a older GH/KH test kit that measures in degrees. I know what the readings mean. I haven't figured out the ppm measurements yet.

.... I'm probably drunk.

This is how I lurk

Mikaila31 is offline
Old 11-01-2009, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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OK, now I can honestly admit I hadn't dealt AT ALL with water that soft, my issues before were always caused by too hard water....

Is that not too low for plants, I somehow recall something about ~4dKH ideally at the lowest, any ideas?
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Old 11-01-2009, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
Member

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikaila31 View Post
Byron's got the right conversion if you want to convert it back to degrees.

Your not the only one either. I've got a older GH/KH test kit that measures in degrees. I know what the readings mean. I haven't figured out the ppm measurements yet.
I think its annoying...I better find a kit that has ph, kh etc and in degrees....thou I wasn't able to find one so far
Angel079 is offline
Old 11-01-2009, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel079 View Post
I think its annoying...I better find a kit that has ph, kh etc and in degrees....thou I wasn't able to find one so far
I have the API hardness kit (for GH and KH) and it is in degrees, with a conversion chart at the back of the instructions to save you doing the calculation though it is simple. I rarely use this kit, as I know the GH and KH of my tap water and I don't fuss over the aquaria, as I'll explain in my response to the previous question post.

B.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
Byron is offline
Old 11-01-2009, 06:40 PM
Member

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel079 View Post
OK, now I can honestly admit I hadn't dealt AT ALL with water that soft, my issues before were always caused by too hard water....

Is that not too low for plants, I somehow recall something about ~4dKH ideally at the lowest, any ideas?
No, this is not too low for plants or acidic/soft water fish. In fact, you're a tad better than me. I've had fish for more than 15 years and throughout my tap water has been zero hardness (KH and GH) and acidity is now at 6.8 although prior to 2001 it was below 6 out of the tap.

I have always had a small amount (about 1/3 a cup I think) of dolomite gravel in a small nylon bag in the top filter chamber. This has consistently "buffered" my water and the GH is at 1-2 dGH and pH remains at 6.0-6.2 and for years. I replace the dolomite maybe every year, not sure I need too that often, but...it is cheap. Just regular dolomite gravel as some marine and rift lake cichlid owners use. I am told that crushed coral and marble chips also work. Limestone rock will but the effect is significantly less as limestone rock takes a long time to dissolve whereas dolomite or coral chips/gravel is a bit quicker and a very little does the job. I mention this if you are concerned and want to raise the hardness a bit.

But as you can see from my aquaria photos, I grow lush plants in this very soft water, so there is no issue with that. Most aquarium plants come from very soft and acidic water (all the swords, crypts, aponogetons, floating plants,... and several of the stem plants) so this is natural for them. Some plants have a harder time in hard water (pun not intended), Vallisneria being one of a few exceptions because it is easier for this plant to extract carbon from carbonates. Bog plants like swords and crypts find this difficult and "prefer" soft acidic water. But there is some degree of variability and adaptability, probably moreso than with fish in my opinion.

Depending upon your fish, raising the GH a tad may be a good idea. Tank-raised fish probably are more accustomed to harder water, depending upon where they are raised. I have a number of wild caught fish, and the last thing they want or can tolerate is hard water. Cardinal tetras can live for more than 10 years in soft water like you and I have out of our taps, but those with hard water rarely have such luck with this fish. And there are many other species similar. In a couple of other threads recently there have been members lamenting the fact they cannot maintain the common blue rams because of their harder water; they are undoubtedly very envious of you and me who only have to turn on our taps to fill our tanks and have these beautiful fish spawning regularly.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
Byron is offline
Old 11-02-2009, 07:26 AM Thread Starter
Member

Thanks Byron!!!

Once they're established I hadn't tested in the past neither unless something appeared "strange" as far as behavior or plants looks etc.

API really, cause that's the brand I been looking at BUT I was unable to find hardness tests in the greater TN area or even online and the known pet stores. Where to you find yours????

I really wouldn't use these current results as "set" because there's no telling with the tanks set up, cycling etc what exactly the readings will be after all that.
For instance I love using the Eheim Substrat Pro as part of the filter media, have made very good experiences with it. It does not give me specific details what it actually is on the box, however they appear some sort of "rock" which is great for the bacteria growth, but I wouldn't know how far this will influence the hardness.

I hadn't actually found a good place to order plants online from (stores around here offer zero). Previously I enjoyed Swords, Vallisneria and a plant that I only know under the name dollar weed and then some moss on the roots I intend to add in there.

As for the fish I think I need to completely rethink now from what I'm used to. Tetra's came to mind first with these readings. I used to LOVE my Killi (A. Australe) however I have not been able to located them here anywhere so far, not even online.
I had seen Tetra's in the past that appeared similar to Neon's, but larger and blue eyes, again I do not recall the name here sorry.
Apart from Tetra's I do not know/ have not read up yet what fish options I have now that will like my water and the habitat of 55 gallon tank, like the blue rams. But as I said I'm so stuck with the fish and their behavior I previously had in the tanks. Now I need to see who likes my water and will get along with one another, considered 2-3 different kind of fish (Ie. Tetra, Ram, Cory...something like that maybe).
Angel079 is offline