GH off the scale

Questions on pH, acidity and alkalinity & hardness,(GH/KH) as well as water testing, additives, chemical filtration and general water quality.
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Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:30 pm

GH off the scale

Postby HenryViolet » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:57 pm

I am a novice fishkeeper with only a couple of years experience. Up until now I have been able to fix any problem I encountered with a quick online search. However, I’m really struggling with the most recent one and would greatly appreciate some help. According to my (in date) test strips, which I used straight from the tap, the water in my area (West Yorkshire) has gone from perfectly soft to off the scale in terms of GH. My fish (corys, rainbow shark, bristlenose plecs) all seem to be fine but I noticed cloudy water recently in a tank that is well established and usually clear. I tested the water in the tank and everything was fine other than GH, which went purple on the blue API scale.
I’m on a budget so trying to avoid a RO machine purchase. Therefore I did a few water changes over the course of a week and also gave AccuClear a try. Despite following the instructions and multiple doses I didn’t see an improvement over 24 hours later. I then hooked up the filter from my old tank to try improve clarity. That didn’t work either.
Is it possible for tap water hardness to change so drastically with no change to the water supply to my house? Could there be an issue with the water provider perhaps?
Also, does anyone know of any potential issues with using a Brita water filter to fill up the tank, other than ensuring correct temperature and the time it would take? Given I’ve already got one it would be the cheapest way of removing the minerals etc.
And finally, other than the unsightly cloudiness, is there any genuine pressing health concerns for the inhabitants? And will anything reliably and safely clear up the water?
Sorry for the essay and thank you very much for your time.

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Re: GH off the scale

Postby pterygoplichthys » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:29 pm

It's very unlikely that your gH has risen to that extent; far more likely is that the test strip is wrong - they are known to be very inaccurate. Use liquid tests: something like the API Master Test Kit for the absolute essentials (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) as well as pH and the separate API kH/gH test kit for alkalinity and hardness. If a liquid gH test shows the same (which I doubt), speak to your supplier and find out why this is and how long it's expected to continue.

A Brita filter will not help as they do not remove the minerals that make up general hardness, they remove temporary hardness (kH) which is what causes scale in kettles etc.. A Brita filter will not reduce the gH.

The cloudiness is likely to be a bacterial bloom which will clear on its own in a few days.

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