How hard is hard?

DanInPA

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I am looking to start a new 75 gallon planted aquarium. My water out of the tap is 7.6 ph, 13 GH, 17 KH. I am trying to avoid altering these because I imagine it would be rather difficult to keep the water parameters consistent if I have to alter my tap water with every water change. I am planning on Black Diamond Blasting Sand Medium as a substrate with root tabs and liquid fertilizer. For plants I am looking to start with Valisneria, Amazon Sword, Cryptocoryne Wendtii, and Anubias Nana. For fish, Torpedo Barbs, Cherry Barbs, maybe Cardinal Tetras, and some Corys. Does this sound reasonable given my hard water? Does someone have suggestions for plants and fish for my water conditions? Or best practices for consistently lowering the hardness? Thanks
 

Retired Viking

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I use RO water to lower my waters hardness, I mix it with my treated tap water each weekly water change. I add more RO and less Tap water each change until I have it at the level I want it. I keep a written record to keep track of my progress and the amount of each type of water I mix each change. I would not start with cardinal tetra, they are more sensitive to water chemistry changes so I would wait until after your tank stabilizes (usually 6 months or so) that goes for neon, rummy nose and ember tetras too.
 
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13 degrees GH/17 KH is moderately hard, I'd say. A lot of plants do very well in harder water. I keep amazon swords and crypt wendtii in my rainbow tank that's around 13d GH, and they do great. Try a lot of different kinds and see what works.

As for fish, most livebearers like hard water, as do most rainbow fish. Research species on seriouslyfish.com to see what water chemistry they prefer.
 

utahfish

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I am looking to start a new 75 gallon planted aquarium. My water out of the tap is 7.6 ph, 13 GH, 17 KH. I am trying to avoid altering these because I imagine it would be rather difficult to keep the water parameters consistent if I have to alter my tap water with every water change. I am planning on Black Diamond Blasting Sand Medium as a substrate with root tabs and liquid fertilizer. For plants I am looking to start with Valisneria, Amazon Sword, Cryptocoryne Wendtii, and Anubias Nana. For fish, Torpedo Barbs, Cherry Barbs, maybe Cardinal Tetras, and some Corys. Does this sound reasonable given my hard water? Does someone have suggestions for plants and fish for my water conditions? Or best practices for consistently lowering the hardness? Thanks
13 DGH is a bit high for cardinals they prefer 7 and under dgh.
The other fish should be ok. If one wants to lower DGH like others have said mixing RO water.
Personally i use only RO water and raise the DGH to where i need it for the fish i keep. I use calcium chloride and magnesium sulfate to raise my RO water DGH.
If one doesnt want to go through the trouble of playing RO water chemist than adding RO water to tap water will work. Or one could just stick with hard water fish like live bearers that are more suited to your local tap water.
 

seangee

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13 dGH is actually not a bad place to be. Its close to the top of the range for many soft water species and close to the bottom for many hard water species. You have a fairly wide range to choose from but just need to avoid anything that needs very soft or very hard water.
 
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DanInPA

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Thanks for the tips and advice. I think I am going to skip the RO for now. It's good to know that there are plants and fish that will still do well in the water parameters that I have.
 
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