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Old 04-04-2017, 02:04 PM   #1
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GH too high

Hi all.

I have just set up a tank - Saturday just gone. Tank size - 180 lit. This tank is now cycling. I'll introduce some corys, ottos and perhaps some shrimp shortly to start the biomass.

My 120 lit tank has a PH of 7.2. Our water is really hard and so the current PH in the 180 is 7.8. However, the GH in the 120 is OK. In the 180 it is too high.

What would be the best way to reduce the GH. My budget is unfortunately really tight so cannot afford a RO unit. CO2 will reduce the PH but I doubt it will have any effect on the GH.

I'm now looking for an affordable (cheaper) means to get the parameters right. Will this hardness reduce with time as the tank cycles ?

Looking forward to hearing from anyone who has any suggestions.
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Old 04-09-2017, 02:16 AM   #2
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What is your substrate?

What about just using a regular filter, to filter the water, like for a sink for drinking water? Then test it. You will need to remove the minerals from the water somehow.
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:53 PM   #3
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For most fish, the difference between 6 or 7 deg GH is perfectly normal, and they have mechanisms to cope with it if it is slightly outside of the range SHORT TERM ONLY.
Acclimatise properly and you should be ok. You should do this anyway!
What are the exact numbers? A difference of 1 is negligible. Chasing numbers is a fools game! Yes I have years of experience to be able to confirm that.
(Using the German dh scale for the above)

Be very careful using FOR HUMAN water softeners, most employ an ion exchange resin and you will end up with very bad water. I mean it will be unbalanced, most usually exchange for sodium or potassium or both depending on the specifics of the resin employed. In most cases usually it's at the expense of calcium or magnesium. It's been a while since I read up on this but I think it replaces heavier minerals for lighter ones. I'm also fairly sure that it will test out the same by a regular basic hardness test kit.

Both Ca and Mg are more important from an aquarists point of view so you will be doing yourself a disservice by removing either.

Usually GH goes up over time with evaporation...... Rain water (depending on where you live) normally has 20-80ppm TDS. Before you get too involved with altering hardness, get a TDS meter.

Switzerland, if you're up in the mountains, you may get away with rainwater or snow!
Commonly fish houses (at least some of the ones I've read up on) will collect rain water from the roof of the fish house, simply particle filter it and use it cut with regular water which has been left standing (aerated) then you also will not need water safe, but again that depends on if the base water has chlorine or Chloramines.

Really this is a very large subject!

I'm not so sure otocinclus or shrimp are ideal starter fish for cycling biomass!
Save yourself a headache and just use fish food to start the filter. It's cheaper and healthier!
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Old 04-10-2017, 04:06 PM   #4
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GH too high, progress

Hello again,

Thank you for your responses so far. I am one week into the cycling of my new tank. I did a 25% water change on the weekend and did a retest after, about 2 hours after the change.

GH is 7.6, 0.2 down.

As for the livability of the tank for its occupants, this GH is not really a problem for me. However, for the plants this is not such a good thing. They wont die, but they dont grow that well either and ground cover plants dont like it, their roots dont grow fast enough to prevent melt off.

My substrate is JBL Manado. In front I have inert white sand. My filtration is an Eheim 2228 external filter and I am heating with a Tetra HT 150 heater. Tha tank was seeded from my existing 120 lit tank together with Easy-Life Easystart.

Plants : Anubias Bonsai, Baby tears, Echinodorus, Bolbitis, Crinium, Pogostermon, Amazon Sword, Aponogeton, Bucephelandra dark leaf and Giant wavy leaf, Nymphaea Lotus, Banana Nymphoides, Sagitaria, and some mosses.

Nitrites and Nitrates are 0. PH is 7.2 but will drop when I add CO2, Citric Acid and Baking soda DIY set up. For the GH I have added JBL BIOTOPOL. I also added Oak extract to lower the PH. I will be adding Sphagnum moss to the filter as soon as I have gathered some.

Although I am not chasing a specific value for GH, I want my premier aquascape attempt to succeed as I have invested quite a bit into it. Once it is set up and running, this will no longer pose a problem.

As for rain water, yes, I am eagerly awaiting the first rains ... I have always collected rain water for my tanks. Unfortunately there is no more snow where I live.

Thank you for the continued interest in the developments.
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Old 04-10-2017, 04:25 PM   #5
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If you add up the cost of all of these supplements, it really won't be that much different for an RO unit and annual filter replacement.
Obviously the actual purchase takes a bit of time to recoup on the spending but, add into the equation the cost of water treatment and you quickly see that after 3-6 months the unit pays for itself and you're saving money. Then you have direct control over GH and Kh. Then by using the Kh co2 pH triangle you can pretty much govern the tank precisely, but, a co2 set is not exactly cheap!

I don't use co2 but my plants are only simple cryptocoryne and Anubis, the only other thing I have at this time is a red lotus but it is doing well! By that I mean it is multiplying and budding off! Really happy.....

(Be careful, I'm not sure if you mean GH is 7.6 or pH is 7.6)
Normally a basic GH test rolls out even numbers.

Also, for a decent pH test, test first thing in the morning, before lights come on, then again during the day, and finally before the lights go off, you want at least 3 points of data to see the daily rhythm of pH.
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Old 04-11-2017, 01:06 PM   #6
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I'm using the JBL ProScan dip sticks with their mobile app to test. Their reading for all values in in the green except for my PH and GH. The PH is at the end of the green and the GH is in the red showing greater than 21į something ....
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Old 04-11-2017, 03:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cococalm View Post
I'm using the JBL ProScan dip sticks with their mobile app to test. Their reading for all values in in the green except for my PH and GH. The PH is at the end of the green and the GH is in the red showing greater than 21į something ....
Thanks for saying thanks! I appreciate that.

Just looked up this pro scan thing..... Heard of it but I'm unsure of how exactly it functions.
My guess, it will be German hardness scale (dGH) in line with other jbl test kits for GH/Kh.
(Does it have a Kh test? You will need to know your Kh if you're using co2)
It's a fine balance of co2 Kh and pH. Plenty if info out there, it's all the same.

Be careful with the colour reference red=bad.
This is not the case. Yes the water is hard but you're tricked into thinking it's bad because it shows a warning colour. Bad form on jbl part. But I guess they need a colour!

If you have soft water fish, L030 springs to mind (that was my reason for getting into softer water) then the jbl kit will say ohh that's bad, when actually it is ideal! (The ad for the GH drop test specifies 8-20 dgh as an ideal range, my soft tanks are at 4 to 5 so according to jbl, my water is bad? It's been this way for the best part of a decade.........)

Assuming it is d GH.
21x17.48=368.08 ppm for GH. (Pretty much all calcium and magnesium)
Fairly sure that's what the test kit measures. That's rift lake hardness!

Green is neutral i suppose on pH? Red is what? Alkaline or acid? Or both with green being in the middle, again this is bad, you might want acid water! And in the same breath, you might need a more alkaline water. Ignore the colours, look at the number for pH. Neutral is ideal for many fish but again, it isn't a bang on thing. Physiologically/biologically a fish can adapt to minor changes full time.

Eg, a fish has a range of 6.5-7.5ph. Clearly 7 is ideal as it's bang in the middle, but, the fish will be perfectly fine at 6.8-7.2 full time. Only the extremes of its range are cause for concern. This flexibility is how we can make our community tanks with a greater selection of fish work well.
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Old 04-13-2017, 02:17 PM   #8
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GH too high

Hello,

Here is a ProScan pic ( not mine, but will post one this weekend after water change). As you can see, it measures NO3, NO2, GH, KH, PH, Chlorine and CO2.

All my values are in the green except the GH where the "caption" says >21įd.

My CO2 is on the low end of the Green not quite on the yellow - I know this is low, but my CO2 set up is currently inadequate, but this is a work in progress .... I do not have all my materials yet.

I will, in time, be getting an electronic water testing device.

I will post again this weekend once I have completed my 25% water change. This will be the 2nd water change done since set up.

Thanks for the support
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:38 PM   #9
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Cheers again!
That looks pretty swish!
Trust me, if you can afford a digital photo/colour metric type device from the likes of Hanna or a data logger similar to the vernier system, RO will be the least of your financial concerns.
The reason I own neither, cost.

You should be ok with that rig you have but, I'd get a TDS stick if you plan mixing or cutting any water with either rain or RO.

I'll find a link in which there are more links explaining RO. I went over the basics a few years ago with someone and I'm sure not typing it all again.

At the end of the day if I help one person, that's all good.
One day, return the favour by helping some other in need, here, with fish or whatever.

You should have a set of data for your source water. (Ideal comparison to the actual condition of your regime.)
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:40 PM   #10
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http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ce-331365.html

Read this.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:08 PM   #11
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Im lost here...what wrong with gh? It should work fine for flora. Just need acclimate appropriate stock well
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:00 AM   #12
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What's wrong is the test strip says it's too high at 21dGH.
Which is the upper ends of the scale, it started off as a talk on how to best reduce the GH.

I've said you need not chase numbers. Though it may actually be north of where you want ideally for things like Otto and Cory. Most definitely these prefer a softer water.
They'll do ok but probably won't breed.
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:01 AM   #13
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Id roll with parameters like they are
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:05 AM   #14
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Post 3, chasing numbers is a fools game.
(I'm one of them!)

I've only answered part of the original question though!
What is the best way to reduce GH........... RO or rain water.
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:06 AM   #15
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Imo..soil peat wood
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:31 AM   #16
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Bog wood no.
Some tanks I've had are literally full of the stuff.
No real change on GH.
It does acidify a bit, like peat. But doesn't actually soften the water by removing GH. You'd be better off using a specific controlled dose of black water compared to a continually diminishing tannin output from wood. Peat works this way, when the pH goes up, the peat need changing. Never used peat but I sort of understand it. GH as far as I'm aware, doesn't significantly change as a direct result.


Fish probably make more use of calcium and plants probably make more use of magnesium than any sensible amount of wood could.

And yes, pH can be controlled directly from certain substrate mixes. Cichlid tanks for rift lake species and reef tanks make the best use of this, although more recently shrimp tanks have taken a good cut too!


-------------------------------------------------------------
Edit, found this on peat.
It won't have much effect on your water hardness. To have any effect it has to "white" sphagnum peat (formed in an <"ombrotrophic mire">), then it will exchange H+ ions for cations like Ca++ (multivalent ions are more strongly bound than monovalent ones), but it is cation exchange, meaning that the exchange sites will soon be filled with Ca++ ions and any softening effect will cease.
(I'm not bright enough to come up with that answer!)
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:40 AM   #17
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If softer wood species are used such as confifer cultivars it can lower gh.

Sure none of these are long term but some may not want to deal with RO or the fluctuating quality of rain water.


Yes what we call spagnum moss in usa
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:49 AM   #18
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That's interesting.
I've always used bogwood as it doesn't rot when submerged.

Aaaaaaaaand, I'm always open to new ideas. ( I mean new to me!)

So well done, have a cigar! (If you smoke, otherwise have a biscuit )

I agree with fluctuating rain and tap water. Very dependent on weather and which way the wind blows!

Thanks for enlightening me, I really can't speak out for all types of wood. Just the areas I know.

For me, the easiest direct control is RO. It offers further future flexibility, I mean, you can keep anything, if you start with a clean slate, make what you want for what you keep.

You taught me something today! I'm really happy!
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:07 AM   #19
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Im way dumber than I look
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:10 AM   #20
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Hah, you haven't seen me!
I make the three stooges look like university graduates!
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