How to evaluate the test strip results? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 02-14-2013, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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How to evaluate the test strip results?

I live in a Chicago suburb, so I've heard it's probably that I have hard water (my dad guessed we have soft though, since we never get mineral lines in the toilet etc). I bought the API gh/kh/ph test strips, I couldnt find anything more reliable than the strips at the LFS. I tested the tap, and also my tank water (its a heavily planted NPT running for over a month now). Both tests resulted similar. My pH was somewhere between 7-7.5 (im bad with those colors), but I would lean towards 7.5 for sure. My gH was between the last two highest colors (120ppm-180ppm). I would say it looked like a dark 120ppm, but then again i saw shades of purple which indicates the 180. My bet is somewhere inbetween.

When i look at fish profiles in this site, you use low numbers measured by dGH for hardness. How does ppm translate to dGH?

Do my readings look normal? Especially if anyone is familiar with Chicago water. I would ask what types of fish are good for my water in a heavily planted 10g, but ill save that for another thread. Thank you for your help.
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post #2 of 3 Old 02-15-2013, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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through searching I answered my own question. Byron posted that your ppm divided by 17.9 is your dGH. Which makes mine around 8-10 dgh, which is only on the low end of hard. I wonder why my test strips only go up to 180ppm then...

Does eveything else check out okay?
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post #3 of 3 Old 02-15-2013, 07:02 AM
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Your numbers are much more reasonable than mine. Your water hardness and PH seem to blend as one would suspect. My water is on the upper end of soft; however, my PH is over 8. It was explained to me that water utility facilities increase PH to protect appliances from damage caused by acidic PH. My local water company was very helpful in providing information that I asked for in regard to GH, KH, and PH in our tap water. I would suggest that you email your local water provider and get that info to compare what you see in your tank. You could probably find an email address on your water bill.

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