Testing GH and KH - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-30-2012, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Testing GH and KH

So I got a test kit for GH and KH, it's the API one that's a titration test. You put drops in until the water changes color and the number of drops is your dGH or dKH.


So, I fill up the vial and add a drop of the GH solution. It's green. I read the instructions

Quote:
The test is completed when the water in the test tube, after having been shaken, turns from orange to green.

...


So, I guess I'll be getting Discus...


It's incredibly faint, because one drop in the 5 mL test tube isn't much, but it's defiantly green.

The KH kit changed colors on the second drop, so between 1 and 2 dKH.


I think it's time to roll out the Equilibrium I bought and get that GH raised up a bit =o I'm kind of surprised my plants aren't showing issues.
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-30-2012, 09:06 PM
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lol - never heard of one changing that quick!

I need to do too much work on my water to be able to keep discus - it is very hard here. I would consider a tank of discus, had my eye on Blood Pigeons for some time

10g Fry / Hospital / QT tank (as needed)

75g Saltwater Reef, Ocellaris Clownfish, Lyretail Antias (baby), Lemon damsel, Longtail Fairy Wrasse, purple dottyback, snails, crabs and a few LPS corals.

220g Still sitting empty (come on Lottery I need the numbers to come up!)
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-30-2012, 09:10 PM
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Got a similar issue with low GH and KH, my water's almost DI right out the tap. Plays havoc trying to use CO2, turns into a carbonic acid tank. One plant-only tank went down to a 4.6 pH because I wasn't paying attention last week.

18 species/varieties of fish, 15 species/varieties of plants - The fish are finally ahead of the plants!
*560 gallons (2120 liters) in 5 tanks -> you do the math.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-30-2012, 09:16 PM
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Haha! Congratulations! (I think). I had almost the same thing happen to me except mine changed at 3 drops. And the orange was really faint. I was both happy and sad when I saw that happen. Happy because it means I can keep cardinal tetra. Sad because it means my goldfish were suffering. But everything is fixed now.

Any plans for what you want to do with your incredibly soft water (aside from adding Equilibrium)?

---Izzy

Sitting by the koi pond

writings on fish and fishkeeping


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post #5 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 07:11 AM Thread Starter
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I'm going to be having Angels as the main fish in my 125g. I love how Discus look, but I don't think I'm ready to take that step.

In my smaller tanks my pH has steadily been falling little by little. They are 5 months old now, and they have dropped a full point. I'll have to find a new pH test soon as the API one only goes down to a 6.0 and I'm at 6.4 now.

My target dGH will be about 3-4. Still soft, but a bit of minerals for the plants. From talking with the water supply folks I was expecting between 1 and 2 dGH, but wanted a test kit before I started messing with Equilibrium.
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 10:09 AM
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I believe Byron has much the same water as you Geomancer. Most plants will love your water. A few such as Vallisneria will not however.
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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He's had problems though with swords and had to start using Equilibrium. I haven't had problems (yet) but I only had one species of sword before. Now I have five.
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 12:38 PM
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Over the past 2 years I have done much experimenting with GH due to my zero GH and zero KH out of the tap. It was interesting that for years prior the plants were fine, but i did have some dolomite in the filters and using Flourish may have been sufficient if borderline. The dolomite gave out, I assume, since the plants suddenly showed a calcium deficiency though it took me a few months and with help from Diana Walstad to sort this out.

First on the API test, I agree the colour change is difficult, especially if it is that low. It wasn't until i raised the GH in my tanks to 5 or 6 dGH that I saw the colour changes very clearly, they are dark orange and then dark green. So my first comment is, can you confirm the GH with your water supply folks? Just to know we're on the right track.

Second, if raising GH is necessary, I would aim for 5-6 dGH. My plants have shown remarkable growth and dark green, esp the swords, over the past couple of months since I started Equilibrium. Walstad says 4 dGH is the minimum for plants to provide sufficient calcium (primarily) and magnesium and potassium. I've got my routine down pat now, 1 tablespoon in this tank, 3 in that, etc, at every water change. I was testing GH immediately prior to the weekly water change for several weeks and it was consistent so I don't bother testing now.

You will love being able to keep soft water fish healthy. My neighbour is amazed when I am frequenting mentioning during our dog walks "oh, saw another baby fish today...".

Almost forgot, your pH issue. In most of my tanks, i ignore the pH and let it fall where it may. Depends upon the species, I do use aragonite in the 90g and 115g to keep the pH in the low 6's, but in the other tanks it is down at 5 or less, I don't have a kit that measures below 5. I never bother about KH, that would only be another set of chemicals or additives. The beauty of Equilibrium is that it is simply mineral, it raises GH but does not affeect pH or KH.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

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; 05-01-2012 at 12:43 PM.
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, the range the water supply people gave was 35-45 ppm which is 1.96 - 2.52 dGH.

Higher than what I saw but still really low.

For pH ... that just sounds uncomfortably low. That's 40 times more acidic than where I am now Obviously your fish do fine, just on the surface sounds extreme.

Fish (not all in the same tank):
Angels
Corys (three species)
Diamond and Serpae Tetras
Harlequin Rasbora
Bristlenose Pleco
Whiptail Catfish
Marble Hatchetfish
Oto Catfish
Betta

I think that's it.

EDIT: For spawning my cory's already have multiple times (about once a month) and my Harlequin Rasbora females are nearly all gravid (only have had them for 1 week o.O).
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geomancer View Post
Yes, the range the water supply people gave was 35-45 ppm which is 1.96 - 2.52 dGH.

Higher than what I saw but still really low.

For pH ... that just sounds uncomfortably low. That's 40 times more acidic than where I am now Obviously your fish do fine, just on the surface sounds extreme.

Fish (not all in the same tank):
Angels
Corys (three species)
Diamond and Serpae Tetras
Harlequin Rasbora
Bristlenose Pleco
Whiptail Catfish
Marble Hatchetfish
Oto Catfish
Betta

I think that's it.

EDIT: For spawning my cory's already have multiple times (about once a month) and my Harlequin Rasbora females are nearly all gravid (only have had them for 1 week o.O).
There is nothing in your list that would have any difficulty with a low pH, provided they were acclimated to it initially. Remember too that weekly 50% water changes work to keep more stability because you are removing "stuff" that can affect this.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

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]
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