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My first experience with test kits

Okay, I will admit to not being the most scientific minded person in the world.  I
have tended to skip to the next message, when the message gets too technical with
chemistry or physics.  And of course, like most things ignored or scorned, this is
coming back to haunt me.  I have started using all the nifty test kits sitting under
my cabinet and I was wondering if someone would mind giving me a heads up on whether
things are going alright in my tanks.  If you want to flame me for being a beginner
and being too lazy to read a ton of books on water chemistry, please save band width
and send it to me direct.  I have already looked around some (I love the Krib), but I
am not sure I understand what I am reading.  Hmm, time to pull out old high school
and college books, yuck!  Forgive any exessive information, but everyone says that
there isn't enough info when beginners ask questions, so I am just going to spit out
alot of stuff.  Feel free to comment on anything.  I don't know anyone really
into aquariums, so this is my only place to get constructive critism.  

Tank One:
---75 Gallon Tank, set up for one month.
---Water Parameters: PH 7.3, KH 9 or 10 depending on which test kit, GH 4, 0
   Nitrites, Nitrates Ammonia.  Visual CO2 dupla gadget is blue (means more CO2
   according to their instructions, makes sense with the PH)
---Heavily planted (where did that substrate go?)
---Fish: 3 SAEs, 6 Ottos, 6 Harlequin Rasboras, 4 Forktail Rainbows, 2 Kuhlii
   Loaches, 1 Clown Loach (damn those snails!)
   No fish for first week, but then on noticing algae on the glass, Ottos and 
   SAEs were addded.  On having 0 nitrates/nitrites and ammonia after a month, I
   added the other fish.
---CO2: high pressure system, going into an aqualine CO2 reactor, with some of 
   the output of my filter going throught the reactor.  I do not
   have a bubble counter, so I just adjust the amount so that my Dupla visual CO2
   gadget is an aqua-blue.  Any idea what that means?  Does this reflect the
   actual CO2, or just the PH?
---Filtration: Eheim Professional Model 2228 Cannister Filter (good price, used)
---Lights: A halogen shop light (300 watts).  Actually has two 150 watt bulbs, 
   spaced out with 1.5 feet between them. 
---Substrate: Substrate Gold laterite covering bottom (maybe a quarter inch deep?)
   with 2.5 - 3.0 inches of 2-4 mm gravel on top. 
---Water Movement/Heating: Output of filter, plus a power head on the other 
   side of the tank.  3 Submerged heaters set at 76/78 degrees Fahr.  
---Behavior of Fish/Condition of Plants:  Fish seem happier than any other fish
   I have every owned.  Stem plants need pruning too much (work, work), 
   Echinodorus parv. Tropica has flower stalk, four leaf clover is affectivly
   taking over the entire front of my tank.  Some pearling during the day.  
   Tropical sunset hygrophilia is red on tips, pink going into the white 
   veins, with green on lower leaves.  Does this mean the shop light puts out
   enough light?  Normal green hygro is a brownish green on top, near the lights,
   green lower down.

My question is about KH/GH.  Is it normal for the KH to be so much higher than    
the GH?  I tested my tap water and my other fish tank and I got
tap water: gh 4 and kh 7
29G tank water: gh 8 and kh 6 or 7
75G tank water: gh 4 and kh 9 or 10

The other tank is a 29 gallon, typical fish tank, with alot of fish, few plants, 
practically no lighting, and no CO2. It had a ?high? nitrate level of 2.5, no 
nitrite and a ph of 7.4.  Would adding aquarium salt raise GH?  I add a little for
the live bearers, because somewhere I heard this was good for them.  Only plants in
this tank are Java Fern, Java Moss, a lone dwarf onion or valisnera, and alot of
wisteria.  Oh, and I stuck some balls of the laterite in at some point, into the
substrate, just to play around.  Nothing like making mud balls while singing
Christmas carols, instead of baking cookies.  Is this how you know when your hobby
has gone too far?

Is it possible that the differences in readings are caused by:
1) GH difference, adding salt to 29 gallon
2) KH difference, increase in 75 gallon because of addition of CO2, depletion in
   29, because of plants using carbonates

I tested everything a few times, even doubling the amount of water to get a higher
precision for the GH and KH, so at least the results are consistent over a few 

This has been a huge endeavor for me, with lots of research and discovery, and I have
to say, it has been worth it.  Watching all sorts of plants I would never even have
considered surviving, now thriving and even multiplying, is unbelievable.  Plus, I
have never seen my fish so hyper.  Is it possible for fish to get an oxygen high? 
They sure act like it!  This mailing list has been an invalubale source of
information, and I just want to say thank you for all the advice.  Sorry for the long
posting, but it isn't often that a lurker posts, so I thought I would make up for my

Thank you for any feedback,
Jennifer Glover