Yesterday I tested my kH level for the first time and I got a result of 3dH. realising that that was a little TOO soft for my Guppies and Platies I managed to get my hands on some kH-Plus solution and treated all my tanks...WOW...now the colors just seems to jump out at me (is that normal?) and the fish are mating like there is no tomorrow...pH level went up to 7.5 which is still within limits for these fish, but I finished a whole bottle of solution...BUT IT SEEMED TO WORK.
How do I raise the kH natrually without buy bottle after bottle of solution?
Oh, and another thing...my test kit can test kH and GH...what they call Temporary Hardness (kH) and Total Hardness (GH)...what is the difference between kH and GH and which one should I be following?
I've been dealing with this recently, as I am now adjusting the hardness of my aquaria water. My tap water is zero, as soft as it can be, and I think the mineral balance of the fish needs to be considered.
GH is general hardness, caused primarily by the amount of calcium and magnesium in the water. It is expressed in either dGH [degrees of GH] or as ppm [parts per million]. API test kit gives it as ppm, and you convert by dividing the ppm by 17.8 to get dGH, or if you have dGH you multiply it by 17.8 to get ppm. So 53ppm is approximately 3 dGH for example.
KH is carbonate hardness [carbon is karbon in German, hence the "K"] and refers to the level of carbonates in the water. These can affect pH or attempts to adjust pH, as they are the buffering agents.
The easiest way to add hardness and raise the pH is with dolomite, limestone or crushed coral. I have in the past done this for livebearers and for a tank of rift lake cichlids, with success. Dolomite is a type of gravel that "dissolves' slowly adding calcium to the water. It works for months if not years. Best way is to put an amount in a nylon bag in the filter; it is easier to control the amount in this manner, rather than mixing it in the substrate gravel.
First question is, what is the hardness and pH of your tap water? Once you know this, you decide how much dolomite may be needed to raise the hardness/pH to where you want it, and I agree, pH of 7.5 is perfect for livebearers. What was the KH and GH after treatment? When you have these numbers (tap water and tank water pH and hardness) I can offer further suggestions.
I REALLY appreciate the help in this regard, unfortunatly I currently live and work in the Middle East and I am very lucky that the local Fish Store even stocks fish...I will need to look around for the things you mentioned...but once again, thanks alot...
I would not worry about the KH but work to marginally increase the DH and pH. Dolomite gravel is the easiest, and many fish stores carry this as it is frequently used in marine tanks and rift lake cichlid tanks. It doesn't take much, I have about 1.5 tablespoons in the filter of my 115g tank and it keeps the hardness 20ppm (about 1.2 dGH) higher than without, and the pH is steady, and for months; so it doesn't take much.
We're all here to help you further if questions should arise. Good luck.
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