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GH too high


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Hi, so last night I saw on of my Sakura shrimp struggling to molt. I didn't know how I could help so I let it be.


Now I woke up this morning to 3 dead shrimp all looking like they were trying to molt. I tested my waters and these were the results. I used API's Freshwater Master Test Kit.


Ph: 7.6 - 7.8

Ammonia: 0ppm

Nitrite: 0ppm

Nitrate: 0ppm

KH : It took 6 drops for the color to change so if I understood it right it's around 100ppm

GH : It took 17 drops for the color to change so I'm guessing it's around 320ppm



I'm guessing GH is too high. I used tap water with a water conditioner. I always use the recommended dose after water changes etc. How can I decrease the GH and maybe even the PH?


Extra information I dose daily the recommended ammount of liquid CO2 and I just started feeding the shrimp Shrimp King Complete.



Any ideas why 3 shrimp died in 1 night. I got these shrimp in a batch of 15 around 1-2 weeks ago and there were only like 2 other deaths that I know of..



Thanks for your assistance.

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Hi Zailyn,


I've been in the hobby for a bit over a year now, so by no means an expert.


What water do you use? R/O, Tab, treated Tab, Well etc


When not sure of your drops tests, use a stick test to double check.


Problems with molting can also come from a lack of mineral in your water, best way to find out is  to check your snails, if they have problems with their shell your tank need Calcium etc.


What's your TDS? if you don't have a TDS meter I suggest you get one on your next shopping trip, it helps you figure out when to do water changes and how much stuff is in your water. For example I start with R/o from my pet store (TDS 14) and and shrimp king GH+ until I have TDS 150, that give me a KH of 0 and a GH of 6, with a PH 7.4. In tank with my Active soil I get TDS 180, KH 0, GH 6 and PH 6. I use 1/2 daily recommended fertilizer and when TDS hits 220 I do another 30% 150 TDS waters change. 


I also started with my first shrimp tank with Co2, I had to go trough at least 40 shrimp until i decided to stop the Co2 and with my next order of 10 shrimp, I managed to establish the colony that is 100+ shrimp in a 35l tank atm.


To answer your question, the easiest way to reduce your KH and GH is a 10% pure R/o water change, this will also reduce your PH but that could be temporary if you don't have inert rocks and soil. If it doesn't work for the PH you can add dead leaves etc to lower the PH naturally. 


Hope that helps.




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They are in hard water and need to be kept in water with a GH of 6-8 and a KH of 2-4. Diluting the water with pure water is the only way to do so but you will likely see more deaths, as this dilution will cause them to molt, or at least attempt to.


As mentioned above, a 10% water change would be a good starting point but you'll need to do a lot more to get that GH down. Might have to do that everyday for a week or more. You shouldn't do too much at one time or you risk a massive die off from shifting parameters too quickly. So 10% is usually a safe amount. You could even do the 10% for a few days, then follow up with a larger 20% wc. Just be sure to match temperature of fresh water going in with the temp of your tank water.


Going by your water parameters, you'd need to cut that tap water with about 60% R/O, distilled or rainwater to get in an acceptable range for regular maintenance water changes. For all that, you might as well start using 100% R/O water and re-mineralizing it using a shrimp specific conditioner for your GH/KH. This way you'll know exactly what is in your water. Then a TDS pen becomes very useful. Also remember to always top off evaporated water with pure water, as minerals are always left behind that could build up if topping off with re-mineralized r/o or tap water.

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