08-04-2010, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Byron
I am not a chemist, so this is a very general response. GH is the general hardness which is basically determined by the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. At zero you have very soft water with respect to general hardness. KH is the measure of carbonates (Karbon being the German for Carbon, hence the "K") which for our purposes is important for its buffering capacity with respect to pH. The higher the KH, the more buffering which means any attempts to change the pH will be very difficult; your KH is very high so long-term the pH in your aquarium should be quite stable. Fish are not affected by KH. They are very much affected by GH and pH, which is why in our fish profiles the "preferred range" for GH and pH are given for each species.
Usually the GH and KH are close, though not always as you clearly see in your case. For your aquarium purposes, your very soft water means soft acidic water fish will be right at home, though you might want to add some calcareous material to slightly increase the GH. Won't go more into this just now. What is your pH? Obviously that is also important for the fish.
You explained that very well...I somewhat already have an understanding of KH and GH but I could never explain it that well to make sense to anyone.
Comment/Question---Also you stated that GH and PH are really the concerns when having fish but for invertebrates you would want to monitor your KH because they do need the dissolved calcium & Mag for shell health...correct?