KH and PH - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Red face KH and PH

Hi guys quick question today.

Right now my Kh is around 5.5. To get my target CO2 of 25PPM I need to lower my PH to around 6.8.

Problem is I have 2 beautiful nerite snails in this tank. If I wanted to get the PH to 7 so I don't get calcium deficiency with them, would I only need to raise the KH with the old Arm and Hammer?

And what would be the dosage to get myself atleast to 7Dkh so I get 25PPM and Ph7? Tank is a 34US gallons.

Do I slowly add Carbonate or I dose one shot!! Got White clouds and SAE right now, but will be adding Gourami and Corys.

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 05:12 PM
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For calcium deficiency, I would think you would be concerned with GH, not KH.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 05:16 PM
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Are you using pressurized CO2? Pretty sure whatever CO2/KH/PH table doesn't apply if you're not.

And that difference in pH is not going to affect your snails. GH is the applicable measure that you need to keep up for them.


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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 07:03 PM
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Snail shells are actually made of Calcium Carbonate. So therefore in the name, Calcium, and Carbonate, both GH (calcium) and KH (carbon) values would determine their shell health (in turn, whether they can survive). The outer hard shell layer is made of calcium, while the inner soft "shell" layer is composed of carbonate.

If you get whitening of the snail shells it's a calcium deficiency. Or possibly too acidic water, which would also dissolve the calcium layer and the carbonate layer would be compromised as well.

Look up "Ocean Acidification" (you can add in "calcium carbonate" in the search as well).
Here's a decent article Ocean Acidification | Smithsonian Ocean Portal
Yes, it does refer to sea water, but the same acidification principle can take place in freshwater as well, even with co2 injection. Pretty much co2 as we know, chemically reacts with the water, creating carbonic acid, which ends up increasing the amount of Hydrogen ions and lowering pH. Snails use calcium ions to bond with carbonate to create their shells (calcium carbonate), however those hydrogen ions (H+) have a stronger/faster bond with carbonate (creates bicarbonate), and with the increase of H+ they take away/use up the carbonate that the snails need to build/maintain their shells, ultimately leading to deteriorating snail shell health and possibly killing it.

With too low KH/pH/too acidic water, you could see snails' shells dissolving/eroding/pitting, good chances of dying if not placed in suitable water.

Here is a rather easy to understand basic chemistry explanation of aquarium water.
Water Hardness

Not everything can live happily the same water conditions.
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