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Thread: general hardness and carbonate hardness?

  1. #1
    Tosai
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    general hardness and carbonate hardness?

    thanks for looking at the thread. what is the difference in general hardness and carbonate hardness. is high carbonate hardness bad for the fish. and how does ph effect fish?

  2. #2
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    Hello Joker . . .

    This should help get you oriented:

    Steve Hopkins 12 November 2007
    http://www.koi-bito.com/forum/general-koi-forum/7351-understanding-soft-hard-water-2.html#post93280

    GH - general hardness - is a measure of the amount of calcium and magnesium. Sometimes general hardness is defined as including manganese and iron as well. General hardness is expressed as calcium carbonate equivalents even though the calcium and magnesium may actually be in the form of calcium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and others.

    KH - alkalinity [carbonate hardness. dpc] - is a measure of the buffers or acid neutralizing capacity. Alkalinity is expressed as the buffering capacity of an equivalent amount of calcium carbonate. It is the carbonate that neutralizes acids and provides the buffering. The ions providing the buffering capacity may not be calcium carbonate in your water. The alkalinity may come from magnesium carbonate, sodium carbonate, potassium carbonate, calcium bicarbonate, magnesium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, calcium hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, and others. Actually, it can be any alkali metal (calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, lithium, rubidium, etc.) attached to a buffering ion.

    Yes, you can have low general hardness but still have adequate buffering capacity. Likewise, you can have dangerously low alkalinity but still have high general hardness.
    Don Chandler
    Member: AKCA, ZNA, KoiUSA

  3. #3
    Tosai
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    i have well water. that shows alot of ph and carbonate hardness and very little general hardness. will this harm the fish or help? i have used it for irragation for trees and has had no ill effect.

  4. #4
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    "A lot" really doesn't shed much light on your water and trees aren't Koi, so we need more details before much help can be offered.

    Draw a bucket full of well water. Sample the ph, gh, and kh (drop tests, not strip tests) immediately and record the readings. Drop an airline into the bucket and let it de-gas the water for 24 hours and re-test the sample. Often the ph will change after thorough aeration and that is useful information.

    It might also be useful to put a sample in a clear jar (with no aeration) and let it rest for 24 hours to look for settlement of sediments. Some well water will precipitate certain minerals out when exposed to open air.

    Your local agricultural agency should be able to provide assistance as well. They usually have inexpensive testing available for well water that will provide a detailed analysis of all major mineral components and hardness values.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  5. #5
    Tosai
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    thanks for the advice ill go measure the water with the drop tests.

  6. #6
    Oyagoi mstrseed's Avatar
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    Swimming pool stores can (not always) be a good source of "free" tests too...........

  7. #7
    Jumbo farne230's Avatar
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    Papa Bear. If the pond ph is steady at PH 7.2 then aerated and the PH rises to 7.4, what does this tell us?
    Bob

  8. #8
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farne230 View Post
    Papa Bear. If the pond ph is steady at PH 7.2 then aerated and the PH rises to 7.4, what does this tell us?
    Bob
    Off gassing dissolved CO2, which is acidic.

    In well water elevated CO2 concentrations are commonplace which makes it important to know when designing your water change routine. Large water changes with that kind of water can create a great deal of instability in the pond and irritate the Koi and bio.

    The same is true for heavily planted ponds or those that are going through a heavy "new pond syndrome" of green water. CO2 levels go up at night as the plant life reverses course (no photosynthesis) and then go down during daylight hours with rapid photosynthesis (high O2 production). "Green water" ponds going from 7.2 at day break to 8.5 just before sundown are pretty common. Some swings are even wider.

    Those wide ph swings drive the rapid precipitation of carbonates as they react to try and buffer the ph which only adds to the "domino effect" of instability.

  9. #9
    Tosai
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    here is what i have found my ph from the well water is 8.2. the gh ppm is 35.8 the Carbonate hardness is 590 ppm. i was wondering how this will affect the fish. if it is bad is there a way to change the water so it is better for the fish?

    just so you know the plan is to set up a 500 gallon tank put some japanese fingerlings in there and have a 50% to 100% water change a day and watch there growth.

    thanks for all the posts!

  10. #10
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    While the ph is in an acceptable range it is far beyond ideal for fingerling Koi.
    Before finalizing your plans I'd have the water tested for specific mineralization and use that report to check on water softening options. Some kh minerals can be easily removed with a softener which will probably give you a much better chance at success with young Koi. They're tough enough to do anything with even in the best water

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