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water hardness woes

Talkingteacups

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21 Sep 2022
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So, I have an established tank thats newly been planted , my fish are doing great, plants growing etc. Today I did my gh and kh tests, I've never really taken much notice in these (please dont hurt me) but doing deeper research into both fish and plants, I'm aware of how important it is.

my KH is 6dkh and my GH is....15dgh..... for my plants and fish, do I need to do anything to decrease my GH slightly?? I have some fish which according to their 'desired parameters' would do better in slightly softer water:( and I'm unsure if plants have a preference.
Should I try to soften their water? and if I should, how? (preferably not RO as its just not economical for me)

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MichaelJ

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9 Feb 2021
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So, I have an established tank thats newly been planted , my fish are doing great, plants growing etc. Today I did my gh and kh tests, I've never really taken much notice in these (please dont hurt me) but doing deeper research into both fish and plants, I'm aware of how important it is.

my KH is 6dkh and my GH is....15dgh..... for my plants and fish, do I need to do anything to decrease my GH slightly?? I have some fish which according to their 'desired parameters' would do better in slightly softer water:( and I'm unsure if plants have a preference.
Should I try to soften their water? and if I should, how? (preferably not RO as its just not economical for me)

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Hi @Talkingteacups Don't worry about it! If your tank, as in livestock and plants, are doing well just don't worry. IF you want to lower GH significantly - which is beneficial for especially soft-water species - you will have to go down the RO route - there is really no other long term sustainable way for your 190L tank. A GH of 15 is somewhat high, but not terrible. Save up for an RO unit and mix your WC water with 50% tap and 50% RO - that will slash your GH/KH to 3 KH and 7.5 GH - which are excellent levels for most species.

Cheers,
Michael
 

Talkingteacups

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Hi @Talkingteacups Don't worry about it! If your tank, as in livestock and plants, are doing well just don't worry. IF you want to lower GH significantly - which is beneficial for especially soft-water species - you will have to go down the RO route - there is really no other long term sustainable way for your 190L tank. A GH of 15 is somewhat high, but not terrible. Save up for an RO unit and mix your WC water with 50% tap and 50% RO - that will slash your GH/KH to 3 KH and 7.5 GH - which are excellent levels for most species.

Cheers,
Michael
Yeah, everyone and everything seems to be doing well!! None of my fish are particularly finicky, but the more reading I've done, the more I've noticed that some I do have in my tank would perhaps get on even better if they had softer water.

All of them come from my local store which is only 15 mins down the road, I'm fairly certain their water is the same as mine so I'm guessing that helps too!!


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castle

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Broken record time, but work with the water you have, trying to alter hardness will almost certainly mess with pH, and while I don’t see pH as a big deal, big swings will not be good for your inhabitants.

And even if you do slow transition, that day your RO fails will be a real PIA.

That said, most fish are pretty hardy and can handle a swing.
 

Talkingteacups

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If it ain't broke don't fix it is the safest path to follow whether it be plants, fish or a reef tank. You just have to accept you are doing something right.
tbh I havent ever messed with my water chemistry like this before so I'm glad I dont actually have to haha. I guess its just when you read alot you want to get as close to text book as you can but you are right in saying something must be working if everything is good!

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MichaelJ

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you will have to go down the RO route - there is really no other long term sustainable way
Well, not entirely correct. An alternative to RO would be to collect rain water - for a 190L tank assuming your changing a fair amount on a regular basis you will have to collect quite a bit and store it to make sure you have a steady supply to mix in with your tap water. And of course make sure you collect in an area that is not heavily polluted.

Cheers,
Michael
 

Talkingteacups

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Well, not entirely correct. An alternative to RO would be to collect rain water - for a 190L tank assuming your changing a fair amount on a regular basis you will have to collect quite a bit and store it to make sure you have a steady supply to mix in with your tap water. And of course make sure you collect in an area that is not heavily polluted.

Cheers,
Michael
Thanks, Michael!!

I'm changing 50 percent every week so I'd be buggered in the summer!! I think everyone is right, as long as my fish and everything is doing well, I'm not going to try and change it my water hardness. I think it could probably just end up doing more harm than good haha

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Talkingteacups

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I'm assuming you're referring to your Neon Tetras? Admittedly in the wild they'd be used to softer water but captive bred fish are far more resilient and will be fine in your water, the same can be said for your plants.
I have a few different species of tetra, rummy nose, neons and serpae. and obviously they've never seen the wild in their life thankfully because I'd never be able to match their water chemistry properly haha. But that definitely makes sense! I guess most 'more common' species of fish and hardier types are more resilient to changes in their water (all come from my local store too with hard water too)

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MichaelJ

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I have a few different species of tetra, rummy nose, neons
According to books I do a lot of things wrong

Same here and in the past I've kept the same species in pretty hard water as well without issues that I was aware of. Keeping up proper maintenance, a good diet and a stable environment is likely more important than specific water parameters (unless your planning to breed the species).

Cheers,
Michael
 
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