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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought the API Freshwater Master test kit awhile back but I see alot of talk about the GH and KH hardness of water? Since this test kit does not come with them is it worth the money to go out and get tests for these parameters?
 

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Depends on your water and maintenance habits, fish load, etc. You'll need to at least test your tap once to know what you have. If KH is high, then pH will be stable as long as you have some sort of water change routine going on to replenish buffers. And even if you have to replenish buffers like I do, once you get into a routine that you know works, it's rare that checking is needed.

Now as for GH, it's not nearly as important, at least to me, but still good to know your tap parameters. As long as that's in a good range, then you should never really need to test for that, at least not very often.

So, anyway, you don't want to just know pH and ignore KH, that wouldn't be a good idea. If they were going to bundle two tests together it should be pH and KH. GH and KH have little, if anything, to do with each other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ahh ok I was just reading that having a low KH reading can cause skin irritations and cause flashing which is what Im experiencing with no sign of Ich what so ever. I know my Ph at the tap and in the tank is a rock solid 8 everytime I check it. Once I think it was around 7.9 so I know that is ok. Seen that adding a 1/4 tsp of baking soda per 10/g will increase KH but dont wanna go adding anything till I know where Im at to start with. I seen at my lfs there was a test package for KH and GH for $10, so I might have to run down there and pick that up this afternoon. The fact that they are flashing is just bugging the &%$# out of me.
 

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FWIW, my KH is about 4.5 with a pH of about 8 and I've never had a pH crash. I generally do at least 50% WC's in my tanks weekly. I have gone 12 days between water changes though with no ill effects. So if you keep a good maintenance routine as prov said, you should be fine, as long as the KH is above 3.
 

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My KH is about 5, but I add some sodium bicarbonate to give myself some wiggle room and up the pH a bit, as it's about 7.6-7.8 out of the tap. Not that the pH value is all that important, it's more about keeping it stable. Organics consume buffers (KH), so if lax with water changes, and you've left yourself little room for error then it's possible to see your pH drop, but it'd take some real neglect or a really overstocked, overfed tank for a total pH crash IMO. If your pH is always around 8 or so, then I'm guessing your KH is solid, but best to know for sure. Then also if you experience a problem with fish flashing or whatever, you can pull out the test kits and rule out water parameters problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So, I went out and got the kit to test KH and GH and did my tests. With the KH I added 13 drops so it says that would make it 13 degrees of hardness or 13 x 17.9 which equals about 232. Then I went on to do the GH test and after adding over 40 drops it still didnt change colors to signal that the test was at its ending point. So is it possible that my water is that hard? I know it is really hard everytime i have to clean the showers since everything is stained orange until you scrub the heck out of it, but that seem pretty hard to me.

Or could the test kit be bad? I looked at the batch code on back of bottle and the last 4 digits were 1099 indicating that it was made Oct of 1999 so is pretty old.
 

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Or could the test kit be bad? I looked at the batch code on back of bottle and the last 4 digits were 1099 indicating that it was made Oct of 1999 so is pretty old.
Here's an article that indicates that it has a shelf life of 4 years. I'd return it and get one that you know is working. The readings may well be accurate, but selling a eleven year old test kit is a bit ridiculous. But in fairness, they may not even realize.

If your KH and GH is truly that high, enjoy your rift lake cichlids knowing you'll never need to worry about water parameters, at least not pH, KH, or GH.
 

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xxbenjamminxx said:
So, I went out and got the kit to test KH and GH and did my tests. With the KH I added 13 drops so it says that would make it 13 degrees of hardness or 13 x 17.9 which equals about 232. Then I went on to do the GH test and after adding over 40 drops it still didnt change colors to signal that the test was at its ending point. So is it possible that my water is that hard? I know it is really hard everytime i have to clean the showers since everything is stained orange until you scrub the heck out of it, but that seem pretty hard to me.

Or could the test kit be bad? I looked at the batch code on back of bottle and the last 4 digits were 1099 indicating that it was made Oct of 1999 so is pretty old.
These are the symptoms of a bad GH test kit. Been there several times.
 
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