pH, gH, and kH: I hate my life.
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pH, gH, and kH: I hate my life.

This is a discussion on pH, gH, and kH: I hate my life. within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I apparently have some jacked up water where I live. I've posted the WQ report in case anyone is curious: It's a PDF, ya'll. ...

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pH, gH, and kH: I hate my life.
Old 07-08-2012, 08:18 PM   #1
 
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pH, gH, and kH: I hate my life.

I apparently have some jacked up water where I live. I've posted the WQ report in case anyone is curious:

It's a PDF, ya'll.

I cannot make sense of the report, so hopefully someone smarter than me can. From my tests, I have determined I have high pH and kH, but my water is super soft. I'm using API dip sticks for the gH and kH (I test pH with the drops from the API master kit. However, I will order a liquid test soon. No store here carries them.) Here are my readings, the first number is aged water for water changes, and the second number is my tanks readings.

pH: 8.0; 8.4
kH: 240ppm; 240 ppm (highest reading available on both)
gH: 0; 0

The water straight out of the tap tests the same as aged water, only a slightly lower pH.

I know that dip sticks can be inaccurate, but I was getting anxious after two deaths in my cherry tank so I had to check other parameters as the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels were all gravy.

I mainly want to try and successfully start a colony of cherry shrimp, and I can't have them dying in my hands. If my water is indeed soft, and is very alkaline, what course of action should I take?
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:35 PM   #2
 
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Are you from Sherman by any chance? Thats how my tap tests. As i have hard water fish, I drive to Denison for tap water that is much harder. My next tank will of course have fish better suited for my home water. Any off the shelf water you buy will be super soft also.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:46 PM   #3
 
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I actually live right outside of Waco, in Central Texas. Perhaps this is common here in Texas.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:56 PM   #4
 
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Maybe. It drove me nuts until I found the right water. Does your tap come from a well? My Sherman water is from a well, while the Denison water is from Lake Texoma. Maybe you need water closer to a river or lake. For me its easier to get the right water instead of trying to change the tap water.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:06 PM   #5
 
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I'm not quite sure. We do have a large lake next to the city, but I am unsure if we use that as a source here. I'll have to check the water at work or at my girlfriend's house to see. I haven't even thought of that, thank you for the idea! I was hoping to find some sort of solution that didn't involve dosing chemicals.

Although, I have read things about magnesium sulfate increasing water hardness.

I've currently added a "pinch" to a one gallon test bucket and I'm intrigued by the results. The hardness is definitely up, but I'm not sure of the safety of dosing salt and cherry shrimp. Plus, will it last? Ugh.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:15 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brad himself View Post
I'm not quite sure. We do have a large lake next to the city, but I am unsure if we use that as a source here. I'll have to check the water at work or at my girlfriend's house to see. I haven't even thought of that, thank you for the idea! I was hoping to find some sort of solution that didn't involve dosing chemicals.

Although, I have read things about magnesium sulfate increasing water hardness.

I've currently added a "pinch" to a one gallon test bucket and I'm intrigued by the results. The hardness is definitely up, but I'm not sure of the safety of dosing salt and cherry shrimp. Plus, will it last? Ugh.
Ugh is right. You are most likely on well water, the 0 hardness and high alkalinity is kind of a dead give away. I tried a few private wells and they were 0 hardness also. Its a matter of finding the right source. You might try something called Argonite sand, if I remember right it will change your water. Thats better than chemicals. It might be for marine water, though.

Last edited by marshallsea; 07-08-2012 at 09:19 PM..
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:21 PM   #7
 
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most natural fresh water has more Ca than Mg, if you want to increase GH go with something like Seachem Equilibrium, it has more natural ratio of hardness minerals than adding just Mg

it may be the case that your water supply utility has added something to increase pH as they usually don't want to deliver acidic water since it can cause metals to leach in to the water, soda ash is used sometimes as it increases pH and KH without increasing GH, which people don't like because of the scale deposits and increased soap usage that results from high GH
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:29 PM   #8
 
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Brad, if your final choice is to change your water, pm me and let me know how it works. Maybe I can stop driving to Denison.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:10 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum View Post
most natural fresh water has more Ca than Mg, if you want to increase GH go with something like Seachem Equilibrium, it has more natural ratio of hardness minerals than adding just Mg

it may be the case that your water supply utility has added something to increase pH as they usually don't want to deliver acidic water since it can cause metals to leach in to the water, soda ash is used sometimes as it increases pH and KH without increasing GH, which people don't like because of the scale deposits and increased soap usage that results from high GH
Thanks for your input. I've looked into Equilibrium, but more specifically at Fluval's Shrimp Mineral Supplement. It seems to be precisely everything that I need:

"General Information
Maintenance of ideal GH (General Hardness) levels is essential for shrimp. Fluval Shrimp Mineral Supplement adjusts GH in shrimp aquariums to optimal levels while having no impact on KH (Carbonate Hardness) levels.


Fluval Shrimp Mineral Supplement is an electrolyte-based solution containing calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium with a 3 to 1 calcium/magnesium ratio as normally found in nature."


I've pretty much concluded this will probably be the only the route I have, but I just wanted to see if anyone here has any other input. I'm also hoping to slightly decrease the pH as well. The only end result I see is a concoction of RO/DI water, tap water, and shrimp mineral supplement. My mother will be pleased to see the buckets.

EDIT: Here is the cherry tank I am speaking of:


Last edited by brad himself; 07-08-2012 at 10:15 PM.. Reason: showing off
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:17 AM   #10
 
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A GH of zero sounds unusual.

Just thinking out loud, but does your house have a water softener system?
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