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Best way to raise GH of tap water?


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My tap water is about 4 gh which i thought was okay for neos but in one tank the rcs seem to be struggling to molt and the colors became a bit muted. I believe the GH is to be blamed because in a 2nd tank the rcs are flourishing and the GH is around 8. I account the higher GH in that tank to there being some chunks of coral rock in the sump. So i tried putting a couple of pieces of coral rock in the 1st tank a few days ago and it hasnt budged the GH yet. Am i just impatient or is there a better and more reliable way to raise GH of the tap water? Id prefer not to use coral at all. Is it okay to use the GH+ additive with tap? Ive only heard of it being used for ro water.

Thanks.

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I use GH booster with tap and DI water. When you tap you don't have to use as must to raise your GH or you will end causing a large jump in your TDS. My GH comes out of the tap at 1 and TDS around 100-110. When I usually boost the GH to about 6 which raises the TDS to around 250-300.

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I know you can use epsom salt for adding gh for fish water.  According to my notes "1ml per 10 liters= 70 mg/L CaCO3"  So 70ppm/17.8 = ~4gh if my math is correct

 

Never tried it in a shrimp tank though.

 

Bryce, Epsom Salt has no Calcium but Magnesium.

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Adding crashed coral is better way to do it.

 

Just add it slowly. one table spoon at the time.

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Keep in mind crushed coral and coral rock will only boost GH/KH when the pH is acidic. If your pH is above 7ish, the coral will not dissolve much if at all.

 

Really I have tanks with crushed coral, pH stays very stable at 7.5.

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Keep in mind crushed coral and coral rock will only boost GH/KH when the pH is acidic. If your pH is above 7ish, the coral will not dissolve much if at all.

Hmm i wonder why my 2nd tank has higher kh and gh then. I was assuming it was the coral rock in the sump. I know the tap comes out around 4 gh so something is pushing it up in one tank and not the other. Im trying to think of other variables... the tank with higher kh/gh also gets ferts dosed, seachem macros and micros. It also is a dirt substrate capped with pfs. The lower gh tank has never received any ferts and the substrate is a red turface material.
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Really I have tanks with crashed coral, pH stays very stable at 7.5.

 

Yes, your crushed coral is helping to buffer the water to 7.5. I use crushed oyster shell which is much slower to react but I find it buffers closer to 7.

 

When the pH drops toward the acidic scale, the coral dissolves into calcium carbonate which increases the hardness and brings the pH back up. Eventually it reaches an equilibrium and becomes effectively inert until something changes to lower the pH such as water change, adding IAL, etc. This is the reason why crush coral and injecting high levels of CO2 can cause major problems. The CO2 keeps lowering the pH and the coral continuously dissolves causing super high hardness.

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Any thoughts on using Seachem Equilibrium to raise GH a bit? I just ordered some from amazon. Figured a low dose might be worth a try.

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Seachem Equilibrium adds potassium salts. This will probably be fine for a moderately planted tank. Theoretically, if you have only a few plants, the potassium could build up and cause issues. It's typically easier to get the recommended target GH/KH balanced with TDS using a shrimp specific conditioner.

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Seachem Equilibrium adds potassium salts. This will probably be fine for a moderately planted tank. Theoretically, if you have only a few plants, the potassium could build up and cause issues. It's typically easier to get the recommended target GH/KH balanced with TDS using a shrimp specific conditioner.

Thank you for this info. I would indeed describe that tank as moderately planted. It has ludwigia, hygro stricta, anubias and lots of moss. I will give it a try i guess. Are there any signs to look for of potassium build up? Just general stress of the shrimp or something specific? Thanks.
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i thought shrimps molt easily at low GH

Im by far no expert but it is seeming that my tank with a much lower gh is starting to struggle. I cant think of another variable that would be the issue. It seems the shrimp cant molt. 1 died with the band of death and another appear to be trying to molt but was struggling. Half of a shell was hanging off it. Also i havent seen a molt in the tank in quite some time. Something is going on for sure. I checked tonight and the gh has increased up to 5 so maybe the coral helped a bit finally. Im going to do a water change tonight and watch them closely the next few days.

Im thinking there is a sweet spot. Not too low and not too high. There must be a comfort zone from my understanding. At this point i would like to get to 7gh and see what happens.

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i had moulting problems once before and it was not related to gh in my case i think the culprit was high nitrates but i dont have any proof. After i did more WC the problem was solved.

I've been told neos will do fine with seachem equilibrium. the ca:mg ratio is not ideal for inverts and there is excess potassium as someone already pointed out. regardless of whether you use SS or equilibrium you will still have buildups of certain elements.

seachem equilibrium contains sulfates. i haven't been able to find out if SS uses sulfates or chlorides or something else? (if anyone here knows I'd love to find out!).

You probably already have your head around this concept but the benefit of others i would like to point out that no matter what product or chemicals you use to mineralise there will always be an imbalance accumulating over time.

so #1 thing to do is regular WC as the organisms, plants and your inputs (eg foods) deplete some minerals and contribute to excesses of other minerals.

love n peace

will

love n peace

will

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sorry got distracted didn't summarise - i just meant to say don't rule out other causes aside from lack of calcium re moulting issues. if there are somehow more or other toxins in the water of said tank then that could be responsible.

ive read that when shrimp moult their shell they are much more susceptible to illness from poor water quality without the protection they otherwise usually have. (hence why mine were dying despite having plenty of calcium and magnesium)

hope ive been helpful and just want to encourage you to investigate other possibilities :-)

love n peace

will

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Thanks so much for the info, it was very helpful. I checked my nitrates and they are at 5 and obviously no ammo. Copper test was also negative. Im running out of test kits lol. I have a calcium test kit from my reef tank days but i dont think there is an ideal level for calcium in the water column for shrimp tanks right?

Just a little update incase anyone was interested. The seachem equilibrium arrived from amazon but i am holding off on using it for now based on some of the feedback here. I dosed seachem trace elements the last few days though. I checked the GH last night and it seems to have moved up to 6 now. Shrimp do seem happier and i even have a couple berried red tigers in there now so that is a good sign right? I think i will still stick with my original goal of 7 GH so just a hair more to go but i think i have weathered the storm. Thanks for everyones suggestions and info.

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Adrand,

It sounds like you're out of the woods now with your gh issue, but I wanted to ask how long had that tank been set up when you noticed the problem? I wonder if the turface itself was the issue. I have read that it's cation exchange is initially high, altering Mg/Ca levels, but that it also diminishes quickly over time. I'm cycling my first turface tank right now.

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Adrand,

It sounds like you're out of the woods now with your gh issue, but I wanted to ask how long had that tank been set up when you noticed the problem? I wonder if the turface itself was the issue. I have read that it's cation exchange is initially high, altering Mg/Ca levels, but that it also diminishes quickly over time. I'm cycling my first turface tank right now.

Yes i think i am out of the woods with the gh issue except yesterday i had a runaway heater. I caught it when it got to 76 fortunately it didnt get any higher. In the trash it goes and thinking i will run heaterless now.

Anyways, the turface in this tank is actually being reused from a prior tank setup. Id say it was a year in the prior tank and at least 9 months in this tank.

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