KH vs GH question - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 11-30-2009, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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KH vs GH question

What's the difference -- in practical terms -- between the two?
I usually just test GH. Do I/should I need to test for both?

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post #2 of 2 Old 11-30-2009, 08:14 AM
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Source water may contain varying quantities of alkaline earth salts, a large proportion of these salts is represented by carbonates, which effect your CO2 level. Measuring the bicarbonate and carbonate ions in your source water results in your 'carbonate hardness' (your KH) the KH measures your alkalinity .
As a general rule the carbonate hardness is below the value of your general hardness (GH). Measuring your calcium and magnesium ions in the water, results in your GH reading your General hardness.

While its advisable to know your GH, as far as stocking fish and plants the 2 primary parameters of your tank that you'll need to know are the pH & KH. (I say tank water as this can vary from your tap water after cycling)

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