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GH/PH Newb

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Maybe I'm not looking in the right spot but can anyone share a link to the basics of PH and GH?  I have read some threads in regards to specific questions but don't understand what they mean and why they are good or bad.  I have a new Cherry Shrimp only tank.

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So, I've ordered test kits and they are coming in.  


TDS meter came first and it was 315.  I did 20% water change with distilled water, and its now 235.  


PH = 7.6


Nitrite=2-5 ppm

Nitrate 5-10 ppm


still don't know gh/kh yet.


any suggestions?

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Ok, thanks for the replies!   Yesterday I changed the filter cartridge before I tested so maybe that is why I got the readings for nitrite and nitrate?  The tank is only 5 gallons and ran for 1.5 months (1 month with goldfish that I ended up donating after I learned tank was too small). My readings are now:





PH 7.6 at least






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2 hours ago, zodiac said:

ph and kh are fine.

TDS,a little high,but okay.


gh is too low.

cherries don't do good in 6 or lower.

your tap might be lower.

Great, thanks!  What is a cheaper alternative to get GH higher and  PH lower?  I don't mind spending some money for additives given I've come this far but not ready to buy a RO system at the moment.  I plan on doing one more partial water change in the next day or two and then try to leave the tank alone for a while.  

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i've heard people with over 8 ph have no problems.

stable is key.


someone else can recommend what minerals to use,but you want one with no kh...as you have enough.

or buy distilled or ro water at the store.

i make ro water and add salty shrimp mineral gh/kh+.


also,when doing water changes,do it slowly.

i made a drip container with a valve.

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8 hours ago, zodiac said:

costs,maybe 3 bucks to build.

cut a slit,put in airline tubing and supper glued it.




I didn't have those parts but took your idea and just cut a small hole in the bottom of the 1 gallon distilled water jug and it took about two hours to empty out.  TDS is 190ish, going to wait a few days and do one more 1 gallon water change with distilled to retest and go from there.  


I picked up a lot of junk with the water change and not going to feed for about a week.  I think I have planaria, but it was reduced with the water change.

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