What’s up Silver and Goldfish?
So we had a great tank talk the other night about KH and GH in your aquarium. I am going to try to keep a topic that can easily get WAY too complicated, very simple.
KH is the hardness of your water by measuring basically the calcium and the magnesium in your tank. KH also includes some other trace metals in your water.
GH (general hardness )refers to everything mentioned above and everything else in your water.
If you want it simple. GH refers to everything that an RO UNIT REMOVES.
YOU NEVER WANT TO USE RO WATER IN A PLANTED AQUARIUM BECAUSE IT STRIPS OUT EVERYTHING PLANTS LIKE TO EAT!
(the exception would be if you were “building” your own water….. adding all of this stuff back. OR Have such hard water that you have to reduce the amounts of these elements, ala adding water without any of them and diluting your current water.
Calcium and Magnesium are the biggest parts of KH in my humble opinion. Why? Because both your plants and fish use them up. They aren’t major parts of any process but can be a major limiting factor as they are needed in smaller amounts to make other things happen. (Goldfish member Parker, talked about how his swords had good looking but stunted growth. This we concluded was from a lack of calcium, as his monster water sprite was eating it all)
A steady KH is key. Admittedly I have great hard water here in the Bluegrass. (Limestone/calcium all around, and the grass that grows in it is eaten by all of the race horses around here….giving them stronger bones….ala horse country)
If my plants “eat” all of my KH. I do a big water change and problems solved, KH (ala calcium, magnesium and traces restored)
A steady KH also means a tank that will generally have a steady PH. PH is another story but you want everything in your tank to be a gradual shift. Generally speaking, many plants and fish can handle a decent range of PH, just not rapid swings.
The bottom line….I say this all the time…..Do your water changes!
(If you are struggling even after doing water changes. Try adding crushed oyster shells (ala calcium) to your substrate….like 2 or 3 half shells broken up and shoved down in there per 20 gallons…..
As always, ask if you have questions.