Water Parameters - Anything else I should do?


Junior Poster
Dec 19, 2006
Newnan, GA

Measuring my tap water I get the following values. The hardness tests are based on an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals test kit looking at color changes between drops.

Carbonate Hardness = 0-1 dKH
General Hardness = 1-2 dGH
pH = 7.4

I currently add Kent Freshwater pH Stable to the water in my water change bucket to achieve a KH of about 5dKH before I add to my 10 Gallon tank. Between weekly 30% water changes I top off with distilled water. I also use pressurized CO2 and maintain a 6.8 pH.

Testing of the aqurium water provides the following results:

Carbonate Hardness = 6 dKH
General Hardness = 8 dGH
pH = 6.8

What is curious is that the General Hardness has been raised in addition to the Carbonate Hardness. The Kent pH Stable container inicates that another Kent product should be used for General Hardness. This tank has Carib Sea Tahitian Moon Sand ("inert , synthetic substrate") over a base of laterite. I would not expect this to affect the General Hardness.

My plants seem to be doing quite well and I have excellent growth. A bit of ??hair algae??, but my dwarf gourami and black molly seem to enjoy eating it, and it is not excessive.

I am going to start a 50 gallon planted tank and I just want to check if what I am doing to treat my tap water is the correct plan to follow. I "think" it is given the growth in my 10 gallon tank, but I would like advice and opinions from those with more experience.

Thank you,

Brian Ferguson

Tom Barr

Staff member
Jan 23, 2005

Use baking soda for KH, raise to about 2 degrees.
You and the plants do not need more.

GH- the GH booster greg watson sells is cheaper than anything you can buy and is specific for plants.

Add about 2 degrees worth after the water change weekly.
That will address any issues for you with the cheapest method.

tom Barr