Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/forum.php)
- Beginner Freshwater Aquarium (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/)
- - Water Hardness (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/water-hardness-18767/)
Can some one teach me about all that
water hardness stuff
How do you lower it
and bring it to 7.0
water hardness is how much calcium and magnesium is present in your water. basically the only ways to get it to lower is with a RO unit. (Reverse Osmosis) you can also collect rain water an use active carbon to filter it for about a week or two. you can also use chemical free peat. peat can be unpredictable though. if you have plants, straight RO water won't work. if you do use all RO you must add your trace elements back or use a ratio of RO water and tap. its always easier to increase you ph but tougher to lower it and keep it stable. your buffer needs to be able to stabilize your ph.
Driftwood added to your tank can also lower your pH.
reading back on your post. ph and gh are two different things. RO units can do both. driftwood would lower your ph only. to add to that, if you have plants, injecting co2 can lower your ph as well. you need to have a start ph of about 7.6-7.8 and a kh of 4+. injecting 20-30ppm of co2 will yield a .6-1.0 drop in ph.
GH is general hardness. It is a way of measuring how much minerals there is in your water. It can be important with breeding on some fish but usually does not matter much to fishkeepers. KH is carbonate hardness. It is a measure of how much carbonate there is in the water. Because carbonate tends to hold your pH higher than 7.0 it relates to how well the water will buffer and control your pH on its own. Since we are often concerned about pH changes, a buffer that slows the changes can be a good thing if it doesn't end up making the water too hard for your fish and plants.
pH and hardness are also very important if you're keeping snails. A pH below 7 is acidic and will degrade snail shells over time. Also, in order to have healthy growth, the calcium levels (indicated by KH) need to be sufficient. Snails in water with a pH below 7 or that is not hard enough will visibly suffer.
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