Explain it: Water Hardenss & fish
I did the Tetra GH and the KH test on my water in the tank. I use natural spring water from the pond to hold over and my well water to suppliment. I have been told we have hard water so I tested it and it said:
GH: Took 62 drops to change from Red to Green. (Took half that to change it to Red first) Do I count the drops to change it to red? or subtract them?
KH (Carbonate Hardenss): It took 11 drops to change to Yellow. It went to blue on the first drop.
Can someone help explain these results? It says most fish thrive at 6-16 general (THEN MINE IS WAY OFF?)
It says KH of 3-10 is recommended. (1 to blue then 10 more to yellow....NORMAL?)
SO IS THE HARDNESS WAY OFF OR NORMAL? Was I supposed to run both tests?
The Goldfish has been fine for 7 or 8 years and I do have a nutgrass and a hornwort in there. Nutgrass has come out top of tank and the goldfish snacks on the hornwort.
(note: additions of house water is from deep well pump and the original "green pond water" started the tank....from where the goldfish inhabit in summer and come in from in winter)
I do not believe the goldfish will have problems with your water, compared to some tropicals; and after 8 years I suspect any issues would have occurred by now.
As for the Tetra kit, I am not familiar with it. GH and KH are two different things, though related; and pH is also related to these.
The KH has no effect directly on fish at all. KH is the amount of carbonate hardness in the water, and the more there is the more it "buffers" the pH, preventing it from dropping (acidifying) as it would otherwise tend to do due to the biological processes. So a high KH means your pH is going to remain stable. This is important for two reasons, first the pH will not fluctuate (and fish prefer pH stability), second you would find it difficult to lower the pH if you wanted to as for soft water tropical fish. I wouldn't worry about goldfish if it is stable.
The GH is the general hardness, a measure primarily of the amount of calcium and magnesium in the water. This does affect fish, internally, if they are soft water fish being kept in hard water for instance, or in reverse if they are hard water fish being kept in very soft water. Again I would not fuss over your goldfish if it is relatively stable.
I won't go into more detail as I don't think you have cause to be attempting to change the hardness/pH.
Thanks Byron. I was hoping it would also be ok for tropical fish later. I want a different tank with my heater in it and other fish. Just needed to know if could do it without too much fuss since stats will probably be same except for heat.
Softening hard water is possible, but doing it naturally is expensive. Reverse Osmosis is the safest and most reliable long-term method; peat in the filter works, but the harder the water the more peat and more often it needs replacing; diluting harder water with distilled water or rainwater can also work, and in small tanks this may be more practical than it would in larger tanks where RO would be preferable.
Temp is around 65-70. Mostly holds at 65. Ph is between 7.5 and 8.5 consistently. DNR and water quality people say our native water in my section runs semi-hard. The woodlands of my property ARE peatwetlands. Water is surface saturated black mucky peat or peat topped free running water down only 12-15" in some places.
Peat-infused water should be acidic and soft; the API pH test kit is quite adequate to test pH. Mixing it with some well water (harder and basic) until you have the range you want for the fish you have (when you get them) will not be too onerous in your case as you have a ready supply of both waters.
It is always best to have soft, acidic water fish together, or alternatively harder basic water fish together. I would not myself combine the two in the same tank, as one or both (depending upon the water) will be less happy having to compromise.
Byron does the hardness and ph of the water effect plants in anyway? I ask because I am going to be sending some clippings to bluebirdnanny to help her out with her tanks and did not know if the difference in my water and her water will be bad on the plants.
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