I’m becoming more and more interested in water hardness and I’m really just looking for some advice here. I’ve read from multiple places that you really don’t need to worry about kH in a freshwater tank unless your pH is going crazy, or you have specific fish/plants that require high kH. On the flipside, I’ve also read that kH is one of the most important things to monitor in a planted tank. I understand kH on a basic level: higher kH means higher pH, and kH is the ability of the water to buffer against pH changes.
I’ve been keeping tropical planted tanks for about 6-7 years now, and I’ve never bothered with the hardness. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’ve never had a mass die off of fish or plants, and I have a good feel for the balance of my tank, so I’m not really worried that a drastic pH change will happen… I’m just anxious that it could happen. I’m also interested in generally understanding water chemistry so any tidbits are greatly appreciated.
So, what have your experiences been with kH in the freshwater planted aquarium? Is this something that’s worth controlling? How hard is it to control/how much work would this add to my regular maintenance? My current stance is that its more dangerous to change the tank with buffers and mineralizers than just leaving it be.