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Water Hardness

The amount of dissolved mineral salts in the water is expressed as itís hardness. Calcium and magnesium bicarbonates (mineral salts) being unstable with heat, are often referred to as "temporary" hardness or carbonate hardness (KH). The total of carbonates, bicarbonates, sulfates, chloride and other salts, is naturally termed as the total hardness or general hardness (GH). It suffice us to know that there are two types of hardness, and they both play a minor role unless breeding some particular fish. As with pH, test kits are available for testing of both KH and GH. It is quite unusual that water hardness needs to be increased, but for such occasions hardness buffers are available. A more common scenario is needing to soften water. This is achieved through ion-exchange resins or the more familiar reverse osmosis units. Some minerals and nutrients are added to the aquarium as fertilisation for plants. These are available at pet stores in liquid form, as substrate tablets and diffusing tablets.

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