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Old 03-08-2023, 06:25 PM   #1
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Any help appreciated

Thoughts and advice.

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ID:	325085I moved my tank from one room to another, and Iíve been having some interesting developments.

Hereís a readerís digest to save some scrolling. After moving it the ph dropped from 7.4 to 6.6, and I had a small ammonia spike (0.25 ppm) and nitrites went to 0.25ppm as well. My nitrate seems stuck between 40-80ppm (not sure which bc I cannot tell the difference in those two colors for the life of me). My plants have had a bit of a I hate you phase, but the Amazon sword is starting to bounce back. Weíll have to see how the java fern and Anubis do, but Iím hopeful. There is some algae on my glass.

To try and rectify this, I was testing my water and doing water changes 3 times a week, and adding stability. I may need to get more bc the bottle is now empty? I did miss one w.c. on Friday the 3rd bc my daughter got sick and has been running a fever. But I at least didnít miss the stability for that day.

Iíll add pics of my test results (I use the api liquid test kit), so you have a full idea of where I currently stand on progress. If it was you, would you do bigger W.C, or maybe more often at the same 20%?

The fish and snails seem happy and not stressed. I usually feed twice a day(morning about 7:30-8 am, and late evening 7:30-8 pm) a small pinch of sinking pellets for my Cory and snails, and a pinch of regular tropical fish flakes for the rest. Is it too much, too frequent, or just right?

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Old 03-08-2023, 08:03 PM   #2
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You may have disturbed a pocket of anaerobic bacteria which caused the Ph to drop. Also, if you decreased the aeration, the CO2 caused by the fish can also reduce Ph. The spikes most likely came from some die-off of the bacteria bed during the move. If they have returned to 0, no need to change anything that you are currently doing. If they haven't, you might want to consider using something like Fritzyme Turbo 700 or Fritzme #7 which are both live nitrifying bacteria cultures to help boost your bed. Until then, keep monitoring your ammonia and nitrites.

As for feeding, you want to feed as much as the fish will eat in a 2 minute span. The size of a " pinch" differs from person to person but 2 minutes is the same for everyone.
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Old 03-08-2023, 08:18 PM   #3
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Any help appreciated

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Originally Posted by Andy Sager View Post
You may have disturbed a pocket of anaerobic bacteria which caused the Ph to drop. Also, if you decreased the aeration, the CO2 caused by the fish can also reduce Ph. The spikes most likely came from some die-off of the bacteria bed during the move. If they have returned to 0, no need to change anything that you are currently doing. If they haven't, you might want to consider using something like Fritzyme Turbo 700 or Fritzme #7 which are both live nitrifying bacteria cultures to help boost your bed. Until then, keep monitoring your ammonia and nitrites.



As for feeding, you want to feed as much as the fish will eat in a 2 minute span. The size of a " pinch" differs from person to person but 2 minutes is the same for everyone.


Definitely agree with disturbing the soil bit, it got seriously sloshed between moving the tank and readding the water I had saved to put back in. At least it sounds like Iím doing the right thing, I just canít seem to shake the nitrate level.
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Old 03-08-2023, 08:21 PM   #4
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Edit to add:

It actually has more aeration as I lost a 30 gallon tank so it now had the filter and bubbler and heater from that tank.
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Old 03-08-2023, 08:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Amaunet View Post
Edit to add:

It actually has more aeration as I lost a 30 gallon tank so it now had the filter and bubbler and heater from that tank.
Looking at the picture, it doesn't look like there is much surface agitation. The more agitation, the more exchange of gases which releases the CO2 gas into the atmosphere. It also helps raise the Ph. If your extra filter isn't creating splash but moving more water, lower your water level a bit to create more splash.
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Old 03-08-2023, 08:42 PM   #6
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Hereís the amount of food I mean when I say pinch. They do eat all the food, so I might be ok(?) from what you mentioned.

Will def lower my water level as suggested though
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Old 03-08-2023, 08:56 PM   #7
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Get a sample of tap water and check it for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. Keep the container of tap water and check the pH each day for a few days. See if the tap water pH drops over time.

If your tap water has low or no nitrates, do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week, or every second day for 2 weeks. This should drop the nitrates in the tank.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

Bigger water changes are better for diluting stuff in the tank.
If you do a 20% water change you leave behind 80% of the bad stuff in the water.
If you do a 50% water change you leave behind 50% of the bad stuff in the water.
If you do a 75% water change you leave behind 25% of the bad stuff in the water.

------------------

What is the GH (general hardness) and KH (carbonate hardness) of your water supply?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website (Water Analysis Report) or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

A low KH will allow the pH to drop rapidly if there is lots of rotting material or carbon dioxide (CO2) in the water.

------------------

You need a picture on the back of the tank to make the fish feel more secure. You can buy aquarium backings from any pet shop or online, or use coloured card or a plastic bin liner. Just tape them to the outside on the back of the tank.

You have clay flower pots on the substrate in the tank. Do you have bottom dwelling fishes that hide in them? If not, I would remove them so there is less clutter on the bottom and that will make it easier to gravel clean.

You have rainbowfish and mollies that come from hard water with a pH above 7.0.
You have Congo tetras and a blue gourami that come from soft water with a pH below 7.0. Ideally, you would have 2 tanks, one for the rainbows and mollies, and the other for the tetras and gourami.
When you find out the GH and KH, you might need to buffer it a bit for the mollies because they don't do well in soft acid water. Mollies need water with a GH around 250ppm or higher, whereas the tetras and gouramis come from water with a GH below 100ppm.

Rainbowfish need lots of plant matter in their diet and at least half their diet should be plant based. I grew Duckweed (small floating plant) in my tanks and the rainbowfish ate that. You can also offer frozen or dry marine algae (sold at some pet shops and Asian supermarkets), pumpkin, zucchini, cucumber, etc. Just make sure they are clean and free of chemicals. Some fish prefer raw fruits and veges, others prefer blanched (partly cooked).
*NB* Do not feed onions or onion relatives to fish and no potatoes.

If you have more plants, particularly floating plants, you will get less algae and the nitrates should remain lower for longer.
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Old 03-08-2023, 08:58 PM   #8
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AQUARIUM PLANTS 1.01


TURNING LIGHTS ON AND OFF
Stress from tank lights coming on when the room is dark can be an issue. Fish don't have eyelids and don't tolerate going from complete dark to bright light (or vice versa) instantly.

In the morning open the curtains or turn the room light on at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the tank light on. This will reduce the stress on the fish and they won't go from a dark tank to a bright tank instantly.

At night turn the room light on and then turn the tank light off. Wait at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the room light out. This allows the fish to settle down for the night instead of going from a brightly lit tank to complete darkness instantly.

Try to have the lights on at the same time each day. Use a timer if possible.

If you don't have live plants in the tank, you only need the light on for a few hours in the evening. You might turn them on at 4 or 5pm and off at 9pm.

If you do have live plants in the tank, you can have the lights on for 8-16 hours a day but the fish and plants need 8 hours of darkness to rest. Most people with live plants in their aquarium will have the lights on for 8-12 hours a day.


--------------------

LIGHTING TIMES
Most aquarium plants like a bit of light and if you only have the light on for a couple of hours a day, they struggle. If the light doesn't have a high enough wattage they also struggle. Try having the tank lights on for 10-12 hours a day.

If you get lots of green algae then reduce the light by an hour a day and monitor the algae over the next 2 weeks.
If you don't get any green algae on the glass then increase the lighting period by an hour and monitor it.
If you get a small amount of algae then the lighting time is about right.

Some plants will close their leaves up when they have had sufficient light. Ambulia, Hygrophilas and a few others close their top set of leaves first, then the next set and so on down the stem. When you see this happening, wait an hour after the leaves have closed up against the stem and then turn lights off.

Plant lights should have equal amount of red and blue light and a bit less green light.


--------------------

TWO LIGHT UNITS
If you have two light units on the tank, put them on timers and have one come on first, then an hour later the second one can come on. It will be less stressful for the fish.

In the evening, turn the first light off and wait an hour, then have the second light go out.

If the lights have a low, medium and high intensity setting, have them on low in the morning, then increase it to medium after a couple of hours, and then high for the main part of the day. In the evening, reverse this and have the medium setting for a few hours, then low. Then turn the lights off.


--------------------

LIST OF PLANTS TO TRY
Some good plants to try include Ambulia, Hygrophila polysperma, H. ruba/ rubra, Elodia (during summer, but don't buy it in winter because it falls apart), Hydrilla, common Amazon sword plant, narrow or twisted/ spiral Vallis, Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta).

The Water Sprite normally floats on the surface but can also be planted in the substrate. The other plants should be planted in the gravel.

Ambulia, H. polysperma, Elodia/ Hydrilla and Vallis are tall plants that do well along the back. Rotala macranda is a medium/ tallish red plant that usually does well.

H. ruba/ rubra is a medium height plant that looks good on the sides of the tank.

Cryptocorynes are small/ medium plants that are taller than pygmy chain swords but shorter than H. rubra. They also come in a range of colours, mostly different shades of green, brown or purplish red. Crypts are not the easiest plant to grow but can do well if they are healthy to begin with and are not disturbed after planting in the tank.

Most Amazon sword plants can get pretty big and are usually kept in the middle of the tank as a show piece. There is an Ozelot sword plant that has brown spots on green leaves, and a red ruffle sword plant (name may vary depending on where you live) with deep red leaves.

There is a pygmy chain sword plant that is small and does well in the front of the tank.


--------------------

TRUE AQUATIC VS MARSH/ TERRESTRIAL PLANTS
Lots of plants are sold as aquarium plants and most are marsh plants that do really well when their roots are in water and the rest of the plant is above water. Some marsh plants will do well underwater too.

Hair grass is not a true aquatic plant, neither is Anubias.

Some common marsh plants include Amazon sword plants, Cryptocorynes, Hygrophila sp, Rotala sp, Ludwigia sp, Bacopa sp. These plant do reasonably well underwater.

True aquatic plants include Ambulia, Cabomba, Hornwort, Elodia, Hydrilla and Vallis.

The main difference between marsh plants and true aquatic plants is the stem. True aquatics have a soft flexible stem with air bubbles in it. These bubbles help the plant float and remain buoyant in the water column.

Marsh plants have a rigid stem and these plants can remain standing upright when removed from water. Whereas true aquatic plants will fall over/ collapse when removed from water.


--------------------

IRON BASED PLANT FERTILISER
If you add an iron based aquarium plant fertiliser, it will help most aquarium plants do well. The liquid iron based aquarium plant fertilisers tend to be better than the tablet forms, although you can push the tablets under the roots of plants and that works well.

You use an iron (Fe) test kit to monitor iron levels and keep them at 1mg/l (1ppm).

I used Sera Florena liquid plant fertiliser but there are other brands too.


--------------------

CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2)
There is no point adding carbon dioxide (CO2) until you have the lights and nutrients worked out. Even then you don't need CO2 unless the tank is full of plants and only has a few small fish in.

There is plenty of CO2 in the average aquarium and it is produced by the fish and filter bacteria all day, every day. The plants also release CO2 at night when it is dark. And more CO2 gets into the tank from the atmosphere.

Don't use liquid CO2 supplements because they are normally made from toxic substances like Glutaraldehyde that harm fish, shrimp and snails.


--------------------

PLANT SUBSTRATE
Some pet shops sell aquatic plant substrates that are meant to improve plant growth. Most don't do anything except add a lot of ammonia to the water and eventually turn into a brown mud on the bottom. Since the majority of aquatic plants take in the nutrients they need via their leaves, having a plant substrate is not going to help much. There are exceptions to this and laterite (red clay) can sometimes be added to the gravel to increase the iron level for the plants taking in nutrients via their roots. But for most plant tanks, all you need is gravel on the bottom of the tank.

Most aquatic plants need at least 2 inches of substrate to grow in and some need 3-4 inches.
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Old 03-08-2023, 09:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin_T View Post
Get a sample of tap water and check it for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. Keep the container of tap water and check the pH each day for a few days. See if the tap water pH drops over time.

If your tap water has low or no nitrates, do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week, or every second day for 2 weeks. This should drop the nitrates in the tank.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

Bigger water changes are better for diluting stuff in the tank.
If you do a 20% water change you leave behind 80% of the bad stuff in the water.
If you do a 50% water change you leave behind 50% of the bad stuff in the water.
If you do a 75% water change you leave behind 25% of the bad stuff in the water.

------------------

What is the GH (general hardness) and KH (carbonate hardness) of your water supply?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website (Water Analysis Report) or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

A low KH will allow the pH to drop rapidly if there is lots of rotting material or carbon dioxide (CO2) in the water.

------------------

You need a picture on the back of the tank to make the fish feel more secure. You can buy aquarium backings from any pet shop or online, or use coloured card or a plastic bin liner. Just tape them to the outside on the back of the tank.

You have clay flower pots on the substrate in the tank. Do you have bottom dwelling fishes that hide in them? If not, I would remove them so there is less clutter on the bottom and that will make it easier to gravel clean.

You have rainbowfish and mollies that come from hard water with a pH above 7.0.
You have Congo tetras and a blue gourami that come from soft water with a pH below 7.0. Ideally, you would have 2 tanks, one for the rainbows and mollies, and the other for the tetras and gourami.
When you find out the GH and KH, you might need to buffer it a bit for the mollies because they don't do well in soft acid water. Mollies need water with a GH around 250ppm or high, whereas the tetras and gouramis come from water with a GH below 100ppm.

Rainbowfish need lots of plant matter in their diet and at least half their diet should be plant based. I grew Duckweed (small floating plant) in my tanks and the rainbowfish ate that. You can also offer frozen or dry marine algae (sold at some pet shops and Asian supermarkets), pumpkin, zucchini, cucumber, etc. Just make sure they are clean and free of chemicals. Some fish prefer raw fruits and veges, others prefer blanched (partly cooked).
*NB* Do not feed onions or onion relatives to fish and no potatoes.

If you have more plants, particularly floating plants, you will get less algae and the nitrates should remain lower for longer.


I had the rainbows and mollies in a 29 gallon prior to the move, but when I did the move I noticed a series of pretty deep scratches on the glass, honestly Iím surprised I hadnít ended up with a leak, and I was scared of the tank blowing out. Hence why they are now in my 55 gallon. The rainbows came to me from my brother, bc he rescaled and wanted to go a different route with his 90 gallon tank.

My mollies do use it to hide on occasion, and my nerite snail thinks the smaller one is his home as he sleeps in it. My Cory likes using the bigger clay pot as her den. I had intended on buy more Cory friends for her before the smaller tank issue led me to putting the rainbows in.

I do put some cheap ghost shrimp (56 cents each) in about every three or four months since my gourami does need some meat in his diet. He refuses any freeze dried. Apparently he prefers to hunt down and kill his shrimp rofl.
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Old 03-08-2023, 11:09 PM   #10
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Glass is pretty strong and scratches in glass are normally fine as long as they aren't deep.
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Old 03-10-2023, 12:31 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=Colin_T;3584042]Get a sample of tap water and check it for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. Keep the container of tap water and check the pH each day for a few days. See if the tap water pH drops over time.

If your tap water has low or no nitrates, do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week, or every second day for 2 weeks. This should drop the nitrates in the tank.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

My base tap readings are
Ammonia 1.0 ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 0ppm
Ph 7.6
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Old 03-10-2023, 12:46 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=Amaunet;3584117]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin_T View Post
Get a sample of tap water and check it for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. Keep the container of tap water and check the pH each day for a few days. See if the tap water pH drops over time.

If your tap water has low or no nitrates, do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week, or every second day for 2 weeks. This should drop the nitrates in the tank.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

My base tap readings are
Ammonia 1.0 ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 0ppm
Ph 7.6
If your tap water has that much ammonia in it, I would suggest pre-treating your water with an ammonia remover before adding it to your aquarium. This can be done in another bare aquarium or container with a zeolite product in a box filter or products like a Polyfilter pad or similar product in a HOB filter. That's too much ammonia to add if your detoxifier doesn't work.
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Old 03-11-2023, 06:45 AM   #13
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The ammonia in the tap water suggests you have chloramine in your water supply, not chlorine. Make sure you treat the new water for chloramine, it is usually a double dose compared to what you use for chlorine. But check the instructions on the bottle.
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Old 03-11-2023, 03:23 PM   #14
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The ammonia in the tap water suggests you have chloramine in your water supply, not chlorine. Make sure you treat the new water for chloramine, it is usually a double dose compared to what you use for chlorine. But check the instructions on the bottle.


So yesterday I did a 50% water change, I admit I was kinda chicken on switching out 75% as I didnít want to risk freaking out the fishies.

At noon I tested the water and the levels were:

Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate I think 40ppm as it was lighter end between the 40 and 80 (I still canít tell the difference between the two reds)
Ph still steady at 6.6

I did a 55% water change and took the advice on lowering the water level by about an inch. I discovered part of my second smaller bubbler had sand covering it so I uncovered it. In addition, I also used the 10ml of water conditioner as the bottle instructed for chloramine. Also I rinsed and cleaned my filter cartridges in the old tank water. They were honestly pretty scummy.

Iíll test the water tomorrow again and see what they are and update yíall on the readings after my water change.
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Old 03-11-2023, 07:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amaunet View Post
So yesterday I did a 50% water change, I admit I was kinda chicken on switching out 75% as I didnít want to risk freaking out the fishies.

At noon I tested the water and the levels were:

Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate I think 40ppm as it was lighter end between the 40 and 80 (I still canít tell the difference between the two reds)
Ph still steady at 6.6

I did a 55% water change and took the advice on lowering the water level by about an inch. I discovered part of my second smaller bubbler had sand covering it so I uncovered it. In addition, I also used the 10ml of water conditioner as the bottle instructed for chloramine. Also I rinsed and cleaned my filter cartridges in the old tank water. They were honestly pretty scummy.

Iíll test the water tomorrow again and see what they are and update yíall on the readings after my water change.
The extra aeration could help raise your Ph some. If you have a GH/ KH test kit as well, take those tests. The KH is the amount of buffer ( carbonate) in the water that helps keep Ph more stable. GH ( general hardness) can tell you the mineral content of your water.
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Old 03-12-2023, 04:26 PM   #16
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So did my water tests and change (55% again) the test results are looking better.

Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate Iím gonna say 40ppm, bc I could see that it was visibly lighter than itís been reading. But itís still a red color.
Ph is steady and remaining 6.6

So I guess Iím making progress. I guess keep doing what Iím doing and do a water change everyday.

I did notice that my plants are perking up and showing some new growth, so theyíre at least seeming to bounce back and forgive me for the change of scenery 🤣
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Old 03-12-2023, 09:25 PM   #17
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So did my water tests and change (55% again) the test results are looking better.

Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate I’m gonna say 40ppm, bc I could see that it was visibly lighter than it’s been reading. But it’s still a red color.
Ph is steady and remaining 6.6

So I guess I’m making progress. I guess keep doing what I’m doing and do a water change everyday.

I did notice that my plants are perking up and showing some new growth, so they’re at least seeming to bounce back and forgive me for the change of scenery ��
Are you using any CO2? How long after the water change did you do your test? It's a little surprising that your Ph would not rise after the water change and the extra aeration. Something is causing it to fall. Do you have a GH/ KH test kit?
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Old 03-12-2023, 11:04 PM   #18
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Any help appreciated

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Originally Posted by Andy Sager View Post
Are you using any CO2? How long after the water change did you do your test? It's a little surprising that your Ph would not rise after the water change and the extra aeration. Something is causing it to fall. Do you have a GH/ KH test kit?


I always do my water tests prior to doing any water changes. Previously bc depending on what my levels were reading, I would either change out more or less water when doing the water change. Also I used it as way to see how well my tank was cycling out any ammonia.

I donít have a test kit for gh/kh some Iím honestly not sure what those readings are. When I get a chance to make a run to the LFS Iíll pick up a kit so I can start testing those. Iím willing to hazard a prediction that itíll show my water as being hard water.

Edit to add: I donít use co2 bc Iím too chicken to mess with it 🤣
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Old 03-13-2023, 04:54 AM   #19
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The GH (general hardness) and KH (carbonate hardness) of your water supply can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website (Water Analysis Report) or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

The GH and KH don't normally change much unless the water company changes their water source, so most people only test the GH and KH a couple of times a year. It's generally cheaper to get a pet shop to test the GH & KH 2 or 3 times a year and monitor your water company's water report, rather than buying the test kits.

If you get a pet shop to test the water and check the water company's water analysis report, you should get the same or similar readings. If you don't, one of them isn't telling the truth.
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Old 03-13-2023, 12:50 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Amaunet View Post
I always do my water tests prior to doing any water changes. Previously bc depending on what my levels were reading, I would either change out more or less water when doing the water change. Also I used it as way to see how well my tank was cycling out any ammonia.

I donít have a test kit for gh/kh some Iím honestly not sure what those readings are. When I get a chance to make a run to the LFS Iíll pick up a kit so I can start testing those. Iím willing to hazard a prediction that itíll show my water as being hard water.

Edit to add: I donít use co2 bc Iím too chicken to mess with it 🤣
Okay, Just trying to make sense of your readings. KH is the buffer that helps stabilize the Ph of the water. GH is the mineral content of your water. Unfortunately, most test kits do not separate WHAT minerals are there. Just for giggles , test your Ph the day after a water change. It would be interesting to know if your tank is reducing the Ph from your tap water.
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