fixing pH and hardness - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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fixing pH and hardness

so let's say my water is
pH 8.2
and accoring to the chart below, moderately hard (might even be higher)

Table 1: Typical Water Hardness Ranges
Water Calcium carbonate (mg/L) °dH
Soft 0 - 75 0° - 4°
Moderately Hard 75 - 150 4° - 8°
Hard 150 - 300 8° - 16°
Very Hard >300 > 16°



I want to find a way to bring down the pH and hardness to keep some rams or apistos. Would treating the water using peat before adding it to the tank work? Could using enough beforehand bring the parameters down to the levels i want it (roughly 6-6.5 and soft?) and what would be the best way to use it?

Note: I am trying to avoid spending money on an RO unit
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 11:42 PM
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I would think a pressurized CO2 system would take are of that in no time :-)
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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ok let's say i don't want to have to buy any expensive equipment
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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and co2 won't bring down the hardness and pH
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 11:59 PM
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I played games with the water chem for several years. N/G!!! If you want soft water buy an RO it's the only way.


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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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but will an RO remove all hardness?
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjacob316 View Post
but will an RO remove all hardness?
Yes down to 2-5 ppm based on the unit. You either use a ratio mix with your tap water to set what you want or chemically reset what you want with 100% RO using a product like Grumpy's mix or equilibrium.


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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i'll have to see what i can do, although if i use bolivian rams, they can handle my water better than other sa's, and i just have to stick with plants like java fern and anubias
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 12:36 PM
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Hi CACOB316,
Maybe you can teach me :-)
When I introduced CO2 my ph went from 8.25ppm to 6.95 ppm. mY kh IS 7.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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pH isn't measured in ppm

what was your kh before and after co2?
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 07:22 PM
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CO2 affects pH, but not KH. KH can go down if some of the plants are using the carbonates in the water for a carbon source.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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CO2 affects pH, but not KH. KH can go down if some of the plants are using the carbonates in the water for a carbon source.
thats what i thought, so with as hard as my water is, the co2 would be at very toxic levels for my fish to get the pH below 7, and the water will still be too hard
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 12:13 AM
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I'm also very curious about kH. I mentioned in another post...my kH is very high, ~200 ppm. My tab water isn't very high, about ~100 or so. Should I do small weekly water changes to reduce kH? I was told by who I'd consider a master in the subject (Justin at Ocean Aquarium) to never do water changes.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 01:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquaticz View Post
I would think a pressurized CO2 system would take are of that in no time :-)
co2 induced ph changes are not equal to normal ph changes.

Personally, I would attempt to find locally bread fish that are adapted to the water conditions in question. If that is not possible. peruse aquabid and ask the sellers what THEIR conditions are. You'd be surprised how often you can find fish accustomed to outside the norm conditions.

Further, all but the most delicate species(discuss, altums) can adapt and thrive to most conditions, so long as they are stable.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 03:52 AM
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cjacob, Rams and Apistos will breed better in water that has low GH. Best way to get this is to start with RO water. Add just enough tap water or minerals to make the GH and KH no higher than 3 degrees, and add peat moss to the filter.
To create this water at home without an RO filter is not easy. You will filter the water though some of the resins sold in fish stores that say they soften the water. You can also filter the water through peat moss. Soil Master Select and Turface will remove KH from the water. If you feel like messing with all that you would set up a filter (perhaps a small canister) and filter water in a small garbage can to prepare water for water changes. Much easier to buy RO water!

Jtothes, Justin at Ocean does a lot of things that are not so great for the rest of us that do not have Hetch Hetchy water. Do water changes. Start slow, like you say, perhaps 10% 2-3 times per week. You can do slightly larger changes as the GH in your tank starts coming down. I have found that dropping the GH by 1 degree with each water change, up to 3 times per week is about the fastest that fish can handle it.
My GH and KH also climb during the summer when evaporation and lack of rain water make me top off with tap water. I tend to do larger water changes in the summer, too, but still it creeps up.

Do not confuse pH with water hardness, or GH and KH. Each is measuring something different. Altering the pH without changing the GH or KH is not the way to make the appropriate water to breed the soft water fish.
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