Help understanding my numbers
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > Specific Aspects of a Planted Tank > Fertilizers and Water Parameters

Thread Tools Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
Old 01-12-2013, 12:03 AM   #1
Planted Member
majorwoo's Avatar
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 217
Default Help understanding my numbers

I am looking for some help in handling my situation. I enjoy reading/learning about my hobby, so I'm quite happy with some links but I am having trouble sorting through the amount of information (and misinformation!) to arrive at where I think I need to be.

My tank: 65 gal, 60 lbs flourite sand substrate, EI dosing dry ferts(see below), CO2 via Excel (may upgrade to pressurized in the future)

+/- 3/4 tsp KN03 3x a week
+/- tsp KH2P04 3x a week
+/- tsp K2S04 3x a week
+/- tsp (20ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
(honestly, I tend to dose a tad less as my tank is on the low end of the 60-80 gallon range)

So my problem: I have very soft water, of the readings I've done in the last few weeks roughly:
PH: ~6.6
KH: ~1
GH: ~2

So I've recently started doing EI and was planning on weekly 50% water changes, but I've noticed a pattern with my water changes that I need to solve in a more efficient manner. Doing a ~40% water change took my tank from:
PH: 7.2
KH: 8
GH: 15


PH: 7.2
KH: 4
GH: 15

I have Seachem carbonite that I dosed 98ml into my 65gallon (a 50 gallon dose) to raise the KH back to avoid a low KH leaving me open to PH swings. This will usually bring the KH back up, but usually brings the PH along with it (and it shouldn't I thought?) Yesterday I got:

PH: 8.0
KH: 10
GH: 15

And today:

PH: 7.7
KH: 8
GH: 18.75

I have been reading a ton since I got back into keeping a tank - and I agree with the idea of not fighting my natural water more then I have to. I would like to let the fish to get used to the lower PH of my water (which isn't that low anyway), and only increase the KH enough to not worry about PH swings. (It is my understanding that the plants can tolerate the softer water as well as they will get their ferts mostly from the dry ferts I am dosing)

So what I think I need, is a better understanding of my soft water, and ways to deal with it. Things I'd like to understand better/change:
1) How much KH/GH do I need to keep the water safe for plants/fish and not worry about PH swings?
2) I'd like to find a cheaper way then Seachem carbonite as I'm using 1/3 of a $12 bottle every water change.

Thanks to everyone in advance. I appreciate many of you sharing your experiences and ideas !
majorwoo is offline   Reply With Quote

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Your Location. As precise as you feel comfortable with.
Security Question
While balancing on a piece of wood, two inches by four inches known as a 2x4, John and his friend Sally both spotted a dalmatian inside of a truck with sirens. The animal with John and Sally is a _ _ _?
Please select your insurance company (Optional)


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 09:19 PM.

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012