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I am a relatively newbie - my tank has been going a little over 3 months. My 30% planted 15 gallon only shrimp tank has (using API testing kit) a GH of over 25. Kh is 2, ph is 6.6. I used RO water and just completed a 50% water change  with no effect. Substrate is AquaSolum black humane. I use Prime when I do water changes. How do I (or do I need to) lower the GH.  There are about 20 shrimp in the tank. 

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Can you test the water coming directly out of your RO unit?
Where does the water going in come from?

There are bunch of cheap TDS meters on Amazon, I use this one (no complaints so far):
https://www.amazon.com/HM-Digital-TDS-4-Measurement-Resolution/dp/B0002T6L5M/ref=sr_1_21?ie=UTF8&qid=1540868196&sr=8-21&keywords=tds+meter

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The RO water is between 4 and 5 so it is not that. I am doing another water change now. Once that is done I will replaced almost 100% of the water. I use a drip method so it will be quite a few hours before I know if this last change helps. (I changed 30% and 50% in the last week ). Ordered a TDS meter on Amazon Prime so I can test that tomorrow 

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What does your water change/top off routine look like?
If you've been adding RO water to compensate for evaporation without doing water changes, you could possibly have gotten that high on concentration alone.

Do you own the RO unit or are you buying water?

RO w/ a gH of 4-5 is quite hard. End TDS depends on the source water but when I run my tap through an RO unit, it comes out at near zero TDS. Definitely check it once you have the TDS meter. It might still be in range or it could indicate a problem with the unit.

 

FWIW, I do top-offs with RODI water @ TDS 0, gH 0, kH 0 specifically to avoid the issue of creep as a result of evaporation.

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I am buying my water. I was using distilled water but started buying water when I upgraded to this tank. I will start topping off with distilled and making small water changes with distilled as well to see if I can bring the gh down. I am quite excited as I just saw my first shrimplets. TDS meter is on its way. 

 

Thanks for the info. I am fascinated with my new hobby. MUCH less physically demanding than running agility with my dogs!

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