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Ibeshrimpin

GH level way too high and need to fix it

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Ibeshrimpin

Hey all,

Newbie shrimper here. I have a 5gallon tank with driftwood, bunch of plants, gravel, cherry shrimp, neon tetras, and a neurite snail.

Everything seems to be healthy and fine but the only thing that was way off was my GH (at 22+).

When I test the aged tap water, GH is at the ideal level and it may have to do with a giant rock I had in the tank as decoration previously (I removed last week).

I read on the forum that some people say high GH isn't too bad for the tank, but seeing how everyone recommends approximately 3-5 GH level, I wanted to make sure I made the water optimal.

I bought some distilled water to dilute the water and bring the GH level back down, but how often and how much should I be doing the water changes? 

Can anyone help me with a guide on how to bring my GH down asap without messing with the other levels?

Thank you in advance!

 

-Dave

 

Posting a picture of my tank here for those interested

IMG_2754.jpg

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jayc
4 hours ago, Ibeshrimpin said:

I bought some distilled water to dilute the water and bring the GH level back down, but how often and how much should I be doing the water changes? 

You are doing it the right way. Several water changes with pure RO, Distilled or Rain water will bring GH down.

And yes, I believe that rock you had in the tank was the cause. So removing it was the right thing to do.

Just stick to 10% weekly water changes. This will reduce GH slowly, so as to not stress the tank inhabitants.

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sdlTBfanUK

Very smart little tank you have there. I have a tank with neons and red cherries as well.

GH for cherries is usually 6-8, the figure you quoted is usually the taiwan bees so if you aim for 7-8 you have less reduction to aim for! You should probably also keep a check on the TDS as that is easy to make sure they are both in line?

My cherrys are pretty indestructible so hopefully you should be ok.

Simon 

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Ibeshrimpin

@sditbfanuk & @jayc,

Thank you very much for your help! Will definitely stick to the 10% water changes and keeping the GH level to the figure you mentioned. 

Recently ordered a TDS meter and should be arriving soon! 

I saw a video online where the hard water was not allowing the shrimp to molt and break out of the shell, and it laid on its side.

This scared me straight and wanted to make sure! 

Feeling much better with everything now. Thanks to both of you!

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Ibeshrimpin

Follow up,

just got the tds meter in and it is reading at 390+ 😬

Post 10% distilled water change here are the values

ph 7.2

kh 2

gh 19

Should I be gravel vacuuming with the change? Really worried about the high values here

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jayc
6 hours ago, Ibeshrimpin said:

gh 19

That's way too high even for Neon Tetras. They prefer the soft waters, just like the amazon river.

 

What gravel do you have in the tank? - take a handful and put it in a plastic cup with some distilled water. Measure the GH and TDS. Then wait 1 day and re-measure the water in the cup. If the GH and TDS have increased, then the gravel is your culprit.

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Ibeshrimpin

GH was at 22 before so it has gone down slightly. I have done as you have said and letting the cup with DW and gravel sit there till tomorrow.

I bought regular gravel from petco (dont think it was anything special)

as for the high TDS and GH values, I have two suspicions. The giant rock I had in there earier (picture below), and I had a cheap vacation feeder (aso in picture below) that slowly melted and covered everything in white/“light pinkish color ALL over when I returned from a 5 day vacation.

Does the vacation feeder change water parameters?

I gravel vacuumed and did a 30% water change but may still have residue?

 

CEC73992-AECA-4D11-A1A2-BCE39469D6B7.jpeg

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jayc
1 hour ago, Ibeshrimpin said:

The giant rock I had in there earier (picture below), and I had a cheap vacation feeder

Oh Yeah. That's the cause of your high GH and TDS.

Those vacation feeders can cause a real mess with tank water parameters. Gravel vac the spots where the feeder melted.

The rock might have contributed to the increased GH as well, but not nearly as much as the feeder.

Feeder blocks are nothing but 90% calcium wrapped around a small portion of food. Never use feeders. 

 

You can stop the gravel in a cup test too. We have found the cause.

 

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sdlTBfanUK
3 hours ago, jayc said:

Oh Yeah. That's the cause of your high GH and TDS.

Those vacation feeders can cause a real mess with tank water parameters. Gravel vac the spots where the feeder melted.

The rock might have contributed to the increased GH as well, but not nearly as much as the feeder.

Feeder blocks are nothing but 90% calcium wrapped around a small portion of food. Never use feeders. 

 

You can stop the gravel in a cup test too. We have found the cause.

 

As always JayC has it sorted. Just wanted to say many years ago when I started I bought some blocks of something (I think they were calcium) which looked like blocks of chalk! There were sold as 'good for shrimps' (off ebay) but boy did they throw the TDS through the roof - I wasn't testing GH then as I was new to keeping shrimp. I don't recall it killing any (neocaridina) shrimp though, but binned the rest of the blocks! I suspect that crab was made of same/similar going by the look/texture.

The only good thing was, as said, it didn't kill any shrimp, weirdly so you shouldn't need to panic!

The rock in the picture looks like it may be sandstone, but I couldn't be 100% on that as my screen is quite small?

Simon

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jayc

There are other options of feeding your shrimp or fish, if you go on another trip.

For 5 days only, you might as well have overfed them the day you left and not feed anything until you returned.

Fish and, especially shrimps, can go a few days without food.

 

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