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Water Hardness Advice
#1
Hi All 

I have had my tank now for coming up to six months and although initially I had some issues with black beard algae as a result of some wood/plants introduced in my tank all has been going pretty well in my tank. 

I regularly test my water using the API test strips and over the last month I have noticed that my water hardness (KH & GH) has been shifting from 120 GH/80 KH to 60 GH/0-40KH although all other readings such as PH, amonia and nitrates remain stable. 
I mentioned this to the chap at the local pet store and the advice he gave me was not overly useful/practical. He advised that he had a lot of people reporting this recently and that the waterboard had done something with the water, he also said that each time I do a water change (i usually do 20%) that I should measure out a full tank supply of water and tap safe. 

When I do my water change I usually replace around 12 litres of water and use around 2-3 drops of API tap safe. My plants and fish seem to be doing very well but I am wondering what I can do to try and level out the water hardness back to the previous readings but I haven't really found much in the way of advice. 

Some questions I have are as the water hardness goes down how is this likely to affect my fish and do you have any advise on how I can restore the water hardness back to a more balanced reading?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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#2
I'd have a look at your local water authorities website and find the information there. If there's nothing up there, fire off an email asking about it.

Test your tap water too to see what it's hardness is. But 80KH and 120 GH? I take it that's ppm and not dKH and dGH.
[Image: 2Tsph5y]
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#3
(16-12-2018, 05:43 PM)Jota Wrote: I'd have a look at your local water authorities website and find the information there.  If there's nothing up there, fire off an email asking about it.

Test your tap water too to see what it's hardness is.  But 80KH and 120 GH?   I take it that's ppm and not dKH and dGH.

Hi Jota 

Yes that's right the readings are ppm. I checked Yorkshire Waters site and for my area the water is listed as moderately hard and the hardness average is listed at  66.3mg/I calcium. They have also listed a more comprehensive breakdown of what is in the water which I have attached.

Testing the water directly from the tap shows GH at 120 ppm and KH closer to 40 ppm


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
   
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#4
Ah ok. That's not such a huge change then and could be down to them altering what they add to the water or even getting some of their supply from another resevoir elsewhere. If your tap water was reading 0KH that would cause them problems with pH and acidic water and a water company would buffer it to stop that.

Have you had those test strips for long? They sometimes go a bit inaccurate after being exposed to air.
[Image: 2Tsph5y]
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#5
(16-12-2018, 07:56 PM)Jota Wrote: Ah ok.  That's not such a huge change then and could be down to them altering what they add to the water or even getting some of their supply from another resevoir elsewhere.  If your tap water was reading 0KH that would cause them problems with pH and acidic water and a water company would buffer it to stop that.

Have you had those test strips for long?  They sometimes go a bit inaccurate after being exposed to air.

Hopefully so, I keep a very close eye on water quality so aside from adding either too much or too little tap safe i cant think of anything else that would cause the dip. 

The test strips I have had for around a month as I purchased one of the large containers with around 100 strips but it is always closed at all times. I have on occasion wondered about the accuracy of strips more based on the odd comment I have seen on forums and have considered swapping to the bottle testing kit that API. I guess for now will continue to keep a close eye on the readings and will reach out again if it deteriorates, thanks for the advice!
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#6
KH can go down in aquariums as it buffers any acids produced by the nitrification cycle but normally GH goes up if you have a lot of evaporation and top up with straight tap water.
I've not heard of GH reducing as that's basically the Calcium and Magnesium content. Plants will use some but nothing like enough to wipe out your GH.
[Image: 2Tsph5y]
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#7
Test strips are not the most accurate way to test, they are notoriously inaccurate, better using the API master kit that uses liquids, but you will need to get the Gh and Kh test separately.
JMO

Ian.
Juwel Rio 450 LED

14 Rummynose Tetras
12 Glowlight Tetras
15 Cardinal Tetras
5 Red Phantom Tetras
4 Silvertip Tetras
5 Cherry Barbs
1 Pearl Gourami (female)
5 Sterbai Corys
3 Bandit Corys 
1 Panda Corys 
2 Bristlenose Plecs (how many) and  2 babys.
4 Bolivian Rams

Tank 79% stocked with above housemates.  Smile
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