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FAQ: Raising/Lowering Hardness (GH and KH)
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2006.04.20(Thu)20:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

switchcat, you must get your water from the hard water tap for hard water fish.
If you age the water in a bucket or 5g water jug from the grocery store this will work great.

"Just don't look in my fish room honey... it's just better for all of us. "
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Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: 2006.04.20(Thu)21:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I do is get a big 44L storage contained for few bucks, then put a heater in it and leave it until it reaches about 1 degree over my tank's temperature
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Joined: 15 May 2005

PostPosted: 2006.04.20(Thu)23:13    Post subject: raising hardness Reply with quote

I'm looking to raise the hardness in my 55 gallon tank and I just bought some livebearer salt from seachem. Does anyone have experience using this product? I'm new to it but it says that it is completely safe for use in a tank with live plants which my tank has tons of. I'm also wondering if that alone will be enough to raise the GH. I'm fairly certain it will raise KH but I'm not sure that will be enough since my water from the tap is almost completely soft. When I last tested my water a few days ago I got a reading of 0 GH which shocked me because I thought for sure the tap water was at least 2-3 dh. The pH was very low close to 6 and I'm pretty sure it crashed because the water is too soft. Should I use anything else to raise hardness and should I only do that with water changes or should I do something more drastic? I'm a bit worried about my fish getting sick if I don't get the chemistry a bit more stable. Crying or Very sad
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Joined: 18 Jul 2004
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

PostPosted: 2006.04.22(Sat)18:37    Post subject: Raising pH with baking soda Reply with quote

I was doing some research, and people on an applesnail forum advised me to raise my pH of 7.2 to around 7.6. Are their instructions present online for this? Is only a little bit of baking soda needed or a lot? Any tips on how to keep the pH constant when doing water changes?

It's a 5 gallon hex by the way with one betta and one applesnail... a cana... apparently they get massive.

Thank you.
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Pete Harcoff

Joined: 18 Jun 2005
Location: Canada

PostPosted: 2006.04.23(Sun)0:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

Little. In your case, extremely little. I'd try an 1/8th of a teaspoon (maybe even less) max per day until you get the pH where you want it.

You have to be careful you don't add too much, because it really doesn't take much to jack up your KH and pH levels.
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Joined: 08 Feb 2006
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

PostPosted: 2006.04.24(Mon)21:32    Post subject: Water Chemistry Adjustments? Reply with quote

My current water chemistry is as follows:

pH - dropped from 7.2
Alkalinity - 80 ppm
Hardness - approx. 180 ppm
Nitrites are 0
Nitrates - 20 ppm
Amonia - .25 ppm

Should I be adjusting for my Alkalinity and Hardness? If so how? Are there "home remedies" like the baking soda or aquarium salt that I can use and if so how much do I use? Or do I need to buy product to do this?

My tank - 20 gallon established and cycled community tank with the following:

4 red fin tetra
1 head and tail light tetra
2 black skirt tetra
2 small mollies
2 swortail
1 spotted cory
1 small algae eater


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Michael L.

Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Location: Nanaimo, B.C, Canada

PostPosted: 2006.04.24(Mon)22:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ammonia is not at a healthy point. I would be more concerned about that ATM. Your tank is probably going through a mini cycle right now so don't do any water changes until your ammonia is at 0.
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Joined: 08 Feb 2006
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

PostPosted: 2006.04.24(Mon)23:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Michael.

I wondered about that because I just added 3 red fin tetras and one of the molly's to replace ones that I had lost when the tank was cycling. Last time I checked the amonia levels, just before I got the new fish everything was fine.

I had a bit of a nitrate increase so I did a couple of quick water changes. This might have contributed to the problem as would have the change of filter pak a couple of weeks ago.

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Joined: 11 May 2006
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: 2006.06.27(Tue)23:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Without a water softener, tap water here comes out at...

pH: 8.4-8.6
GH: 300
KH: 300

I want to lower this as I have a few favorites that I would like to keep. A Gold Spotted Butterfly Pleco I have is a particular favorite of mine. Also, Bettas seem to prefer softer, more neutral water. I like to keep females in my 29 and a male in my 5.

I could probably get away with Cichlids quite easily but I am not sure what I would use to keep the algae down in my tank. As you can see the buffer is pretty powerful.

I am considering trying to find a good mix of distilled and tap to get the pH at least down to 7.5, which would hopefully happen if I can get the KH and GH down more. That should give me a bigger range of fish to work with. But would it really matter? I mean if I use too much of the distilled I will create instability but if I use too little my buffer will still suck up any acid that could possibly go into the tank. Not really sure what to do.
"That fish likes lettuce?" "ya...I have to take it out or he'll eat himself to death." "Oh..." "weird ha?" "ya."
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Joined: 11 May 2006

PostPosted: 2006.06.29(Thu)21:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

Figured this is the best place to post my questions...

Out of the tap, my water has a pH of 8.4, and according to the site I read on Austin water, our water is moderately hard. However, it seems like the pH in my twenty gallon tank has fallen very rapidly-right now it seems to be between 6.6 and 6.8. I haven't added any buffers to it, there are no rocks, and the gravel was approved for aquarium use, and new water is added every week with the water changes. The only thing I can think of in the tank that might affect it are the two terra cotta pots I have in there-they were purchased new from Wal-Mart, so I thought they'd be safe.

So does anyone have any suggestions on what's causing it/what to do? I guess the recent rain could also lower things, but as I said, the pH is high coming out of the tap.
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