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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I should start out by saying the tank is nearly 3 years old, a community tank, quite heavily planted and all of the fish are happy and healthy :thumb:

Anyway, I aquired a Hagen water test kit when I purchase the second hand tank recently and, having never used one (my LFS did the first one, then one a month after that to confirm the cycle was complete), thought we would give it a go. I know my fish are all well and the water is good, but in planning for my Discus tank I needed to know where I would be starting from so also tested my tap water. The results are below and a few questions about them:

Tank water:

Ph = 7.2
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = 15
Ammonia = 0
GH = 260-280
KH = 40


Tap water:

Ph = 7.6
GH = 80
KH = 30


Now the thing that jumps out the most is the GH in the tank is much greater than that out of the tap. How does this happen? Also the GH levels, accoridng to my book, suggests a "low Ph" but my Ph value isn't low :-?

Readings were taken during the middle of the day and there is a yeast based CO2 system running, but at about half the recommended rate. I also know Ph reduces slightly over time, so for my Discus set-up I will be looking to reduce my Ph from nearer the 7.2 mark than the 7.6, and will see how a pressurised CO2 system does at that before adding any adjustment etc.

I am very happy with teh results considering my minimal maintenance regime and the fact I "knew" my water was good. I am just surprised (but not concerned) about the hardness values.

Also, looking at the tap water, can anyone see any problems when it comes to my Discus tank or are these typical values that are easily corrected?

Many thanks,
Martin
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi, substrate is just plain pea gravel from the LFS and I have just (after taking this sample) added some liquid feed for the plants (Nutrafin PlantGro). CO2 is minimal as I say, half the recommended for this size tank.

I am adding some new plants next week and putting some structure back into the tank, so I was thinking of adding some pellets to the substrate for feeding the roots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well after a 25% water change (took some water from this tank to start my new tanks) and no addition of CO2 for a week, the GH has come down to 160 and the PH has increased a touch to 7.5. Nitrate has come down to 10.

The GH of the new tank is at 120, but I suspect the raise in GH in the new tank is because I have used some water from my established tank.

I did expect the new tank to have a more acidic PH than the tap water because I've used a peat based substrate beneath my gravel, but whilst the water has a brown look to it the PH hasn't changed.

Nitrite levels are very high for the new tank anyway, and there are a lot more plants to go in yet, so I'll let nature take it's course and see what happens in another week.

As well as using some "old" water I ran the new filter in the old tank for a week, to get it established. Not sure this has made any difference though, looking at the Nitrite levels (1.6) and Ammonia (0.1).

Strange, but I set up a small 25 litre tank at about the same time and that's running a basic hob filter (just foam, not pre-used) and the levels of Nitrite, Ammonia and Nitrate are all spot-on. Not sure why the big tank (with the filter "pre-cycled") is showing really high Nitrites :-?

Could it be the aquatic compost?
 
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