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Old 03-28-2009, 05:39 PM   #1
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how do I lower hardness(GH)

today I noticed my water hardness has gone up from 75ppm to upwards of 300ppm (test sticks not API) in the last three weeks or so. I read that high levels of GH create calcium and magnesium causing mineral desposites on tanks and equipment. I havn't seemed to have this problem as of yet. My tank is crystal clear and I would like to keep it that way.

is this a problem? how do i fix it?

ps. I do not want to add products or chemicals to my tank.
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Old 03-28-2009, 06:49 PM   #2
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Removing water from the tank and replacing it with purified water such as distilled, RO/DI, etc. will lower the GH of the tank. GH is principally a measure of Ca+2 and Mg+2 ions just as you thought. You won't see it until the water evaporates and then you are left with white residue on your lids and the glass. This is the hardness that is in your water that didn't evaporate when the water did. You GH will increase over time unless you change your water and add purified water. It really isn't a problem for most specimens but there are a few where it is a necessitry to have softer water.
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Old 03-28-2009, 06:52 PM   #3
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oh ok great, i was reccomened to use spring water do u think it has the same characteristics as distillled water?
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:01 PM   #4
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Not exactly the same characteristics. Water that runs off the land and goes to a river won't have much hardness to it while water from a well that had been filtered through a limestone layer will be considerably higher in GH. 300ppm is considered to be high GH but it's still perfectly fine. I keep and spawn discus, rams, angelfish, and others in the same exact hardness (from a well) and the eggs are fertile when they aren't supposed to be. I really wouldn't worry about it. If it bugs you that much you can change it with some purified water or do a 100% water change with your tap water, which I'm assuming is at 75ppm since that's what you stated it started off as.
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:02 PM   #5
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really eh, alright well sounds like im worrying a bit to much. thanks
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JWALK View Post
today I noticed my water hardness has gone up from 75ppm to upwards of 300ppm (test sticks not API) in the last three weeks or so.
I don't think your hardness is a problem myself. Consistent water changes will keep your water parameters stable and near that of the tap/source you are using. The strips can be off by quite a bit. Liquid tests on the whole have greater accuracy. If you decide to do anything, use a liquid test kit to check your readings first.
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:29 PM   #7
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really eh, alright well sounds like im worrying a bit to much. thanks
Maybe so, but it is nice to see that you are concerned. Most fish are farm raised and can adjust to a wide range of water hardness. I only suggest adjusting GH/PH etc............... if you have specific reason to do so. Breeding, keeping Africans etc...........................

I suggest you not worry about the GH and sit back and enjoy the fish.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:59 PM   #8
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today I noticed my water hardness has gone up from 75ppm to upwards of 300ppm (test sticks not API) ....
The test stripes are not accurate (liquid kits are much better), so it is best not to doctor your water based on that. At any rate 300 ppm is just fine for most fish, so no need to do anything even if the reading is true.
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:55 PM   #9
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Lower gh

Hey I was having the problem of having a high GH, well I red fourm after fourm and could not get anything. well I finally found something that works and did not cost an arm and a leg. API Water softening pillow. Works great, only like $10, cheaper than getting distilled water at the store or collecting rain water which is a pain in the butt.

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Old 02-20-2013, 03:28 AM   #10
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I would strongly advise against the use of water softening pillows to reduce GH. Most (if not all) simply replace calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions. While this would cause testing to show lower GH you would actually be increasing TDS (total dissolved solids) which will prove even more detrimental to your aquarium inhabitants that require soft water.
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