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What Sort Of Gh And Kh Should I Have

Discussion in 'Cycle your Tank' started by jamesmacc, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. jamesmacc

    jamesmacc Member

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    started my cycle two weeks ago and the 4 ppm of ammonia wont shift, had the same trouble last time i cycled my other tank and had problems with it stalling which was cured by a big water change and adding some bicarb, the ph had dropped from mid 8 to low 7's . i have ordered a GH and KH kit and was wondering if any of you kind folk could advise what sort of levels it should be at for each of the tests and how much bcarb i should add roughly if its low , is their a calculation of grams per litre etc
     
  2. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Some explanation would help.  Why do you want to adjust the GH/KH/pH?
     
  3. StevenF

    StevenF Member

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    The tests you ordered will show the results in degrees or ppm.  1 degree = 17.9ppm.   Keep that in mind.  As to what  the GH and KH levels should be there is no right and wrong answer.  In my opinion it is best to keep fish in water similar to what you would find in there natural habitat.  So if you have hard water fish you want a higher GH.  Some fish also prefer higher alkalinity.  The PH will depend on these valves.  For distilled or RO water you will see a GH and KH around zero.  In this case PH will also likely be low.  Around 6.  HIgher KH will push the PH up.  HIgher GH levels will also generally mean higher PH but it is still possible to have a low PH.  It all depends on what is exactly in the water.  
    I have heard of this happening before.  The reason we cycle with ammonia is because we want to stock the tank with bacteria that eat ammonia.  However bacteria also need other elements to grow shuck as phosphates.  IF you tank water  has a very low GH and or KH it likely will not have enough of the other stucf for it to cycle.  Now a larger water cycle could help resolve that  but if the water is too clean it won't help.  So if you have low KH and GH I would advise putting a good plant fertilizer in the water.  Seachem Flourish Comprehensive would be a good choice since it has all the element (macro and trace) and nutrients plants need.  Bacteria have similar nutrient requirements.  Note many fertilizers are not as complete as Flourish Comprehensive.  Many fertilizer manufactures assume that your tap water will make up for what is missing from the fertilizer.  Unfortunately, some people have very soft water or are using distilled or RO water due to very hard tap water.  I
     
    Please let us know what your PH, KH, and KH are for the water you put in your tank.  IF it is very soft putting a couple of decorative snail shells or crushed coral in the tank will boost the GH to  about 20ppm wih a KH of about 60.  PH should then settle in at about 7.  No mater how many shells or crushed coral you added you will not be able to exceed these valvues.  Shells and coral are a mixture of calcium and d magnesium carbonate.  They will slowly desolve in the water over time.  You might have to replace them every couple of years or so as they slowly dissolve away.  then add the necessary micro elements needed by plants (assuming you want to have plants in your aquarium.  You can then add the necessary trace element with a fertilizer.
     

     

     





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    Posted Today, 02:54 PM

    started my cycle two weeks ago and the 4 ppm of ammonia wont shift, had the same trouble last time i cycled my other tank and had problems with it stalling which was cured by a big water change and adding some bicarb, the ph had dropped from mid 8 to low 7's 
     
  4. jamesmacc

    jamesmacc Member

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    GH- 5 drops- 89.5 ppm
    KH- 10 drops - 179 ppm
    PH- 8.2
    ammonia 4 ppm
     
    GH and KH seem very high ? is that because i added 10 tea spoons of bicarb like my last cycle to raise the PH
     
  5. essjay

    essjay Member

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    Any bicarb in the tank will raise the KH.
     
    Try testing your tap water for all three, but also leave glass of water to stand overnight and test the pH of that glass of water. It is common for pH to change slightly when water has been allowed to stand compared to freshly run water. Knowing the tap water values will be of great help.
     
  6. StevenF

    StevenF Member

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    The bicarbonate probably did affect the readings.  Measure the levels in your tap water.  
     

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