Hard Water - Stocking Fish/Plants - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-24-2018, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Hard Water - Stocking Fish/Plants

New to a planted aquarium. Previously had 55g tank with no live plants, but heater breakdown caused me to lose all my inhabitants when I woke up one morning

So, starting over and made the decision to try a live planted tank. Upgraded substrate and lighting to support, so feel confident with those.

Tested water for the first time in a while on the KH/GH, always monitored the NO3/NO2/PH.

PH - 7.0 and been stable for a while
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 40ppm
KH - 2degrees/40ppm
GH - 180+ppm, came out at the highest reading on the stripe test, so I'm not exactly sure how high that really is. Done a bunch of water changes (20-25% each time, 3 over 7 days) since and numbers have not drastically changed.

Thought all the other readings seem fine, the fish that were in there previously seemed happy enough until the heater went .

So, as a newbie to planted aquariums, thoughts on the GH reading? I don't have a RO system currently, and obviously would like to avoid if not completely necessary due to costs.

Do you think I'd be able to have plants and fish in those readings? Are there certain types of plants I should lean more toward based on the water conditions? Or bottom line, without a RO not going to be successful.

Thanks for any and all advice, it's much appreciated!
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-24-2018, 07:46 PM
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Hi!
I know I have very hard water and deal with crusty calcium deposits, my ph is also 8.4. I have low light regular LEDs and have a broad leaf Anubias growing like crazy, 2 amazon swords-staying green, a Honey Rainbow Gourami, 2 gold mystery snails and 7 black neon tetras. All are doing well. I just finished cycling a couple of weeks ago so I am building the bio-load slowly. There are many fish that can tolerate hard water. You may want to get your nitrates down, but other than that you seem good to go!

-Coral
35 Gallon
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-24-2018, 08:52 PM
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Cryptocoryne,vallisneria, anubias and java fern like hard water.

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post #4 of 8 Old 02-25-2018, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you!
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-26-2018, 09:00 AM
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I was looking at pictures of my old shrimp tank. I forgot about hygrophila and java moss grew like mad. I think the hygro I had was h.corymbosa.

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post #6 of 8 Old 02-26-2018, 06:21 PM
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I use peat moss trapped under sand in the substrate to prevent hardness buildup and have found fish like neon tetras do mush better that way. my kh of 4 degrees stayed at 4 for over two years. With just sand kh rose to over 20 degrees.


I also use the methods in the link to my signature with no mechanicals, no water changes and so on.


One thing to keep in mind is the plants will lower co2 which causes a rise in pH. I would avoid using any chemicals especially pH corrections types for that case. the high pH is from low CO2 which is hardly a bod thing for the fish.


my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: https://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-28-2018, 01:33 AM
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I would not do ro. Your gh is 10 dkh and ideal is between 6-12. Kh is a bit low though, I would bring it up to 4dkh. Don't change it with chemicals. You can slowly add crushed coral or aragonite to your filter. Small amounts at a time to slowly bring it up over a few weeks. This will stabilize your ph too.

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post #8 of 8 Old 08-23-2018, 10:58 PM
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Does anyone know how to lower Gh other than with A.PI. water pillows?
My 125 gallon cichlid tank is at 34gh and 4 kh. Substrate is a mix of sand and cichlid gravel.
My 150 gallon freshwater community is at 24 gh and 3 kh. Substrate is a mix of the black and clay colored planting substrate. The names elude me. I have plenty of driftwood in both and plants in the community.
The tap water is 3 kh and 4 gh.
I do frequent water changes and am running 2 large canister filters on each.
I was thinking some peat in the community filters might help?
Any ideas would be great.
I can't keep swordtails alive but everything else seems happy, but the high numbers worry me.
Thanks.
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