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I wrote in a previous post:
> My tank has been running for a week now.  I just tested the water for the
> first time for Hardness (Kh/Gh) and was quite surprised.  Here are the
> results of my tests, and input as to what they should be and how to get
> there for a community tank (37G) would be appreciated.
> PH=7.6
> Nitrites= 0ppm
> Ammonia= 0ppm
> KH= 12dKH (214.8 ppm)
> GH= 14dGH (250 ppm)
> Obviously my water is...ehem...abit hard.  What is an easy and inexpensive
> way to soften it to a lvl for a community tank?  Again it is still
> 'cycling', so I'm sure the levels will change.  Should I just go and get a
> softener 'pillow'?  and if so where is this pillow placed in the tank?

>>  No doubt others will also respond, but my main thought is that something
from your
>>substrate is slowly raising the hardness.  _If_ that's the case, you could
either tear
>>down the tank since it's only been up for a week, replacing the substrate,
or concentrate
>>on fish which don't mind higher hardness levels.

I tested the GH of straight unfiltered tap water and it was 14dGH..same as
the tank.
the substrate I am using is Aquarium Gravel..nothing special here.  I have
added only one stone in that last couple of days...it was called Pagoda
Stone...looks like hardened sedimentary or slate.  this is the only thing I
can think of for the hardness to be so high, but then again, if I didn't
treat the water for hardness when I added it to my tank would it change?  I
didn't soften the water, I only dechlored it with Aqua Plus Tap water
conditioner.  Available at most pet stores.  Today I did some looking around
at the softening pillows.  I would rather not tear the tank apart if I can
avoid it.

>> My understanding is that most or all of the softening pillows are ion
>>exchange resins which wind up putting a lot of sodium into your water,
which is
>>undesirable at least for the plants.  Before tearing your tank down
though, test a bit of
>>the substrate with acid (I think the Krib suggests dilute muriatic =
hydrochloric acid,
>>but other suitably strong acids would also work).  If the combination
bubbles, this is a
>>marker for materials that will raise your hardness levels.

Unless unless other options come my way, I will opt for the pillow softener
method...and keep an eye on sodium levels in the tank.

What are acceptable sodium levels or both plants and fish?

My PH is also kind of high, should I wait until the pillow softener does
it's thing, before attempting to change the PH?  Doesn't changing the
hardness also affect the PH..how much will it affect the PH. ( I am familiar
with the KH buffering role) Is there a direct PH change due to softening the
water?  and If so how much should I expect it to change?


When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem
begins to resemble a nail.