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post #18 of (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 03:38 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: NE TN
Posts: 588
After looking over my log for 75 gal tank .. thought my KH was holding steady but it did drop after this last water change. Funny how memory works or in this case didn't. lol

Had only started checking KH & GH when first got kits 8/30. Both had been at 2-3dkh for those couple weeks. I say 2-3 because I notice a very faint change at 2 but a bit better change at 3. I guess I really should call it 2 and that's what I eventually did later.

9/15 - changed substrate to STS .. I didn't note it but added baking soda after final fill. Also added 2 new large pieces of driftwood that had been soaking for almost a month outside. For about 3 weeks after the KH would drop to 1 .. GH stayed fairly steady at 2-3. Weekly 50% water changes. PH had been steady at either 6.4 or 6.6 (hard to tell exact colors on the chart) . At some point I doubled the amount of oystershell grit in the filter but didn't note what day.

10/3 - KH 1-2 .. GH 2 .. PH 6.2 or 6.4 .. added 2 tsp baking soda (at the time I hadn't calculated exactly how much to add so erred on low side) .. nitrates 20 .. this was last time KH dropped to 1 so assumed it was the STS still sucking it up .. until yesterday when it again dropped to 1.
10/6 - did 50% wc .. 1 tsp GH Booster .. after this experimented with every 2 wks water change while nitrates lower than normal
10/9 - Kh 2 .. added 4 tsp baking soda
10/11 - KH 3 .. for some reason didn't check GH or PH .. nitrates 30
10/13 - should have added 1 tsp GH booster but because this was the first skipped water change it appears I forgot or didn't note it not sure which.. KH 3 .. nitrates 30
10/16 - KH 3 .. didn't check GH or PH .. Nitrates 40-80 .. my chart it's impossible to tell difference
10/20 - 50% water change, then 1 tsp GH Booster .. 4 tsp baking soda
10/23 - KH 4 ... GH 3 .. PH 7.6 freaked me out .. never, ever been that high in this tank .. added 1 tsp GH booster after test was going to start adding 1 tsp 2x/week
10/27 - KH 3 .. GH 3 .. PH 7.4 or 7.6 .. nitrates between 40-80 .. added weekly dose 1 tsp GH booster
10/28 - brown diatoms back (had just gotten over them when I changed substrate) .. probably showed up a few days before this but this is when I realized I needed to move my Oto's from my unheated 10 gal to my heated 29 gal tank. Would have done it sooner but nothing for them to eat in the 29 gal. So this gives them something to eat and they clean my plants for me .. 1 or 2 at a time.
10/29 - GH 3 .. added 1/2 tsp GH boost after test -- was going to add every other day at lower rate but didn't quite work out that way.
11/2 - KH 3 .. GH 3 .. PH 7.0- dropping now .. nitrates 80 possibly higher but that's as high as the chart goes - never seen it that color before
11/3 - 50% water change .. 1 tsp GH booster. Then decided to go back to weekly changes since the high nitrates worried me
11/6 - 1 tsp GH Boost
11/9 - KH 2 ..GH 3 .. nitrates 30
11/10 - 50% wc .. 1 tsp GH booster
11/11 - KH 1 .. GH 3 .. PH 6.8 or 7.0 .. nitrate 30-40 ppm. Wanted to see what happened right after water change .. KH dropped from 2 degrees day before wc to 1 degree one day after. Will add baking soda tomorrow (should have done it already) and GH booster.

Last time I tested tap water was right before substrate change 9/15 .. KH 2 .. GH 3 .. PH 6.4 after about 5 mins .. 6.8 after 24 hrs .. 7.0 after 72 hrs.

Now that it's all type up and I've studied it more, noticed several things:
1) I need to be more consistent with checking the KH, GH and PH at the same time especially when making so many changes. I was so zoned in on KH because of the STS I failed to see changes elsewhere.
2) The PH rise corresponds to the 2 week water changes, lack of adding GH booster that one week and the re-appearance of the brown diatoms. If only I had done a test somewhere in that first 2 weeks.
3) KH seems more stable with longer time between water changes since tap water is low and probably one reason I was trying changes every 2 wks.
4) PH may rise in that time and the nitrates get way out there.
5) Either need to add baking soda weekly after water change or go 2 weeks between changes.

Sorry .. probably WAY too much info but helps me figure it out typing it up this way. What do you notice? Suggestions?
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