2 week old tank.. Need KH & phosphate help
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Old 08-13-2003, 02:42 AM   #1
Carpet-Pond
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My first serious planted tank project:
55 gallon, Temperature 78F, Eheim 2211 canister + HOB Proquatics 200 power filter, Coralife Aqualite 1X65w 6600k x two

Tap water:
PH 7.8
KH 2

Tank water:
PH 7.0
KH 2
c02= 6ppm

Nitrite: Light Purple (3rd square from the top using aquarium pharmaceutical test kit- the color chart was missing from my box- I had lost my receipt and couldn't return it so I looked at the chart representation on the back of the box- the numbers were too small to read.)

I set up the tank two weeks ago using two cups of plant soil at the bottom with larger diameter gravel as the first layer, a thin layer of laterite and 10 iron tabs in the middle, and tex blast small diameter gravel on top.
Looking back, I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't have used the plant soil (topsoil, manure, sand) as it may have altered my water quality and introduced phosphates.

Since my KH is so low, am I going to have problems with PH swings? I am using a DIY 2 liter going into a power filter, bubbling at a small burst rate of a bout once every 1/2 second to 3/4 second. This has been going for about 17 hours so I'm not sure how it will effect the PH yet.

Can anyone tell me how to raise my KH a few degrees? What phosphate test kits do everyone recommend? And finally, will those two cups of soil present a problem? The water has cleared and the five fishes seem to be doing okay so far. Also, last week my KH had been 3. Did it drop a degree from all my water changes? I hope I don't have to start over.

Thanks for the help,
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Old 08-13-2003, 03:56 AM   #2
Rex Grigg
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You can raise the kH using baking soda or calcium carbonate which will also raise the gH. For ideas on how much to use go to http://www.frii.com/~gbooth/AquaticConcepts/ and select the water chemistry article. I would not have placed soil containing manure in the tank. Have you tested your nitrate level? As for a phosphate test kit I use a Hagen and it works well.

Also you should really have done a silent cycle since you have a planted tank.
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Old 08-13-2003, 07:57 AM   #3
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OK TYVM for the info. The water chemistry article was very helpful.
It said to use 2 teaspoons of calcium carbonate per 50 liters to raise the
KH by 4 degrees. Would that same measurement apply to baking soda?
Or is that what baking soda is made of?

I'll also give the Hagen phosphate kit a try.
Is a silent cycle one that's done without filtration?
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Eheim Pimp #159: Eheim 2233 Ecco & Eheim 2211 canisters.

55g planted- 80deg F.
2 Coralife Aqualights 65w 6700k + 2 15w lights .
Pressurized CO2 5lb tank.
Substrate: 1" Tex blast, 2" Flourite & Eco Complete, ~.25" sand.

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Old 08-13-2003, 12:03 PM   #4
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Read the article again. Calcium carbonate will raise BOTH the kH and gH 4 degrees. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. And you use much less of it to raise ONLY the gH.

A silent cycle is one in which you load up the tank with fast growing plants and normally never see any ammonia, nitrite or nitrate spikes. Also the silent cycle allows you to your entire fish load in the tank in a matter of a couple of weeks.
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Old 08-13-2003, 02:19 PM   #5
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Right, ok I understand. I am only interested in raising my kH now. My gH is like 14- which from what I understand, shouldn't be a problem. I will get some baking soda and figure out the right amount to get my kH to about 5.

Quote:
And you use much less of it to raise ONLY the gH.
You meant to say kH here right?

Can the sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) be added directly to the tank or should it be eased in gradually with water changes?

Thanks Rex!
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Eheim Pimp #159: Eheim 2233 Ecco & Eheim 2211 canisters.

55g planted- 80deg F.
2 Coralife Aqualights 65w 6700k + 2 15w lights .
Pressurized CO2 5lb tank.
Substrate: 1" Tex blast, 2" Flourite & Eco Complete, ~.25" sand.

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Old 08-14-2003, 12:58 AM   #6
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You are correct. I was typing too fast this morning. I would mix the baking soda with tank want and then add it to the tank.
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