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Discussion Starter #1
** IF I POSTED THIS IN THE WRONG PLACE, FEEL FREE TO MOVE IT, MODS!!!! **

So, I have been doing a lot of research regarding planted tanks because I am (currently, lol) planning on setting one up. I will not be injecting CO2 or doing anything fancy. I just discovered, though, that plants can't live in hard water.

pH - 8.4
Kh - 15
Gh - 14

My water - as far as I've read - cannot support plant life or many fish. I was really aiming for a heavily planted community that included tetras.. So now, the scary, scary question I don't want to even ask - How can I SAFELY lower these levels? This tank will not be even close to set up for months to come, but I want to know before I start getting anything else for this tank. I've successfully kept bichir, goldfish, betta, pleco, spiny eel, molly and oscars at these levels, but I fear they just aren't suited for plants and tetras. Is what I read true? Or can plants/tetras live just fine (maybe not full lifespans on the tetras) in my water? I really don't want to be stuck with cichlids and due to the size of this tank and expenses, I don't want to run CO2 or use RO.... If what I read is incorrect, I won't touch my water. I know that stable and slightly unsuitable is much better than unstable, but I'm at a loss here, guys.

Thank you, as always,
Flint
 

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In a planted tank the pH is normal, at least in my planted tanks anyway. Just a sign the plants have reduced the carbon dioxide.

To keep kh and gh lower I used peat moss in the substrate. Which also had an initial lowering of pH but the pH rose as the carbon dioxide was reduced.

I was able to keep neon tetras and silver hatchetfish at those pH levels but with kh around 4 degrees and gh around 9 degrees.


my .02
 

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Discussion Starter #3
In a planted tank the pH is normal, at least in my planted tanks anyway. Just a sign the plants have reduced the carbon dioxide.

To keep kh and gh lower I used peat moss in the substrate. Which also had an initial lowering of pH but the pH rose as the carbon dioxide was reduced.

I was able to keep neon tetras and silver hatchetfish at those pH levels but with kh around 4 degrees and gh around 9 degrees.


my .02
What were your Kh and GH to begin with?
 

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What were your Kh and GH to begin with?

they started and 4 and 9 also. but with just sand (no peat moss) those rose to 19 and35+ in a couple of years. they stayed constant with the peat moss.
 
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