How Do I Raise Water Hardness?
Posted 04 March 2009 - 02:48 AM
I tested all the parameters of my water. Everything was spot on, except my GH or general hardness. It showed up as 3, when it should have been between 6 to 16 as indicated by my test kit.
I searched every pet store in our state capital today (Montgomery, AL) and did not find a single product that hardened water with the exception of one. It was called Cichlid Buffer. After reading the back label, it stated that it raised and stablilized pH and KH (carbonate hardness).
My KH is 8, and my PH is 8. I don't want to manipulate either if possible. I have heard messing with the pH is a P.I.T.A (pain in the a**) and the KH is perfect.
I asked the people that worked in the pet stores, and they looked at me as if to say, "#### is soft water?". I can't blame them, I wasn't a specialist, and still am not.
Are there any products I can safely add to my aquariums to safely raise the GH that will not raise/lower the pH, that will not introduce any unwanted chemicals/side effects, and are tolerable by various freshwater fish (catfish, platies, molly, ghost shrimp, snails, etc.)
I bought some aquarium salt, but after reading it will increase the pH and isn't something readily tolerater or enjoyed by corydoras and plecos (I have them in every tank, can't help it I love catfish), I have refrained from adding it pending further advice.
Posted 04 March 2009 - 03:54 AM
Posted 04 March 2009 - 04:28 AM
If you look around you might be able to find calcium or magnesium chloride and that can be added to the tank to raise the GH.
There is a thread around here somewhere about making up your own Rift Lake Water conditioner from basic ingredients available at most shops/ supermarkets. If you post a thread in the cichlid section someone might be able to direct you to it. Then you can use the ingredients that are listed, minus any that have carbonates or bicarbonates in.
However, there isn't really any problem with raising the KH above 8 and most buffers don't take the PH much above 8 either. So you could try a rift lake water conditioner and use it at 1/3 to 1/2 strength and see how the PH, GH & KH go.
Posted 04 March 2009 - 06:20 AM
It's best not to go messing around with your hardness unless it's absolutely necessary. Why do you need a higher GH than 3?
Because I have mollies that are not doing well, they do best in harder water.
Posted 04 March 2009 - 04:55 PM
As mentioned, those commercial products will raise both KH and GH. I've heard of people using epsom salts to increase hardness, but I really don't think it's necessary.
Posted 04 March 2009 - 05:11 PM
Posted 04 March 2009 - 05:33 PM
Posted 04 March 2009 - 08:20 PM
Thanks for the advice. I had done some browsing and it does seem that it's hard to tweak one thing without another being changed.
I probably won't add anything after all, just going to play with that other empty tank and see how the water parameters change. I'd hate to mess up all the other parameters just to tweak one that I've probably had off for the last 2 years. I had never checked hardness before, just always assumed I had hard water.
Besides the molly small fry and 2 or 3 of the balloon mollies, nothing else has died or acted sick in any of the tanks.
Posted 04 March 2009 - 08:27 PM
Posted 04 March 2009 - 08:32 PM
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