KH Zero GH 4 Hightech New tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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KH Zero GH 4 Hightech New tank

Hey all, I'm sure this question has been asked a multitude of times but for clarity sake I must ask once more. I have read a dozen different posts about what KH and GH does and I have a grasp on its importance but wondering if i really need to alter it. I have read yes, I have read no.

My main concerns are knowing what my Co2 is, fish health and watching out for the so called pH crash (read isn't even really a worry)

I have been checking my ph from lights on (7pH) and toward the end of the day (6.2pH) so here is my '.8-1 point drop' but I worry because of the large lack of kH.

IF I do need to up my kH what should i use, baking soda or is there something more appropriate?

Specs:
-22gallon long
-24/7 Planted+ Light
-2213 ehiem canister filter with surface skimmer and lily pipe.
-Drop checker (sits at a greenish blue through out the day, i know i know throw it out ^_^)
-co2 w/solenoid

-3 weeks old still cycling (FISHLESS)
-substrate is 3 fold, eco complete on bottom, fluval stratum middle and capped with seachem flourite
-malaysian driftwood multiple pieces
-planted

_Tap water specs_
pH 7.0
kH 0 (checked 3 times both tank and tap water)
gH 4
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 12:55 AM
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IF I do need to up my kH what should i use, baking soda or is there something more appropriate?
If this were me I would dose enough CaSO4 to reach .5KH
That dose might cloud the tank for 4-6 hours though.
Check this every 2 weeks or so to make sure you are on track depending on WC's


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 04:29 PM
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I would get a different test kit and confirm that your KH is really 0 out of the tap. If it it, you're safest dosing baking soda and bringing your KH up to 1-2.

CaSO4 will not alter your KH; it will bring up your GH. You need a form of carbonate (i.e. baking soda) to bring up your KH, not a sulfate.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
If this were me I would dose enough CaSO4 to reach .5KH
That dose might cloud the tank for 4-6 hours though.
Check this every 2 weeks or so to make sure you are on track depending on WC's
I thought CaSO4 raised GH? I have a GH booster i ordered from Aquarium Fertilizer | NilocG Aquatics that just came in yesterday if i need to mess with GH. Please help me understand if i am incorrect.

I checked my ph this am and it was rock bottom of the API test kit if not lower than readable (it was almost white/clear it was so pale yellow) i'm thinking the drift wood, stratum, and co2 are all to blame and its making me think that adding NaHCO3 (baking soda) will be a possible first choice in attack of said issue because of lack of KH and low pH.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 05:17 PM
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Ditto on the baking soda. It will increase the KH but will also increase the pH. You may then want to add vinegar or citric acid to bring the pH to a more neutral range.

BTW - I think your drop checker is correct - you have no buffering capacity in the tank (with GH being low and KH being zero) so just a little bit of CO2 gives a big drop in pH. The 0.8 -1 drop in pH rule does not apply in this situation. I would trust the drop checker.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TexMoHoosier View Post
I would get a different test kit and confirm that your KH is really 0 out of the tap. If it it, you're safest dosing baking soda and bringing your KH up to 1-2.

CaSO4 will not alter your KH; it will bring up your GH. You need a form of carbonate (i.e. baking soda) to bring up your KH, not a sulfate.
Thank you for the clarity on that ^. I actually have 2 KH tests, thought they were different for saltwater and fresh. Unfortunately both tests confirm low KH. (I had a 10g nano reef for a year, boo SW)

(1)Since the tank is still cycling should I start raising KH now? (no worry about fish safty ATM but what about cycle stalling) (2)How long does a baking soda dose generally last in a tank before having to dose again? (3)WC water needs to be dosed/conditioned to whatever the KH in the tank is, How long will water change water stay to said dkh once i dose it? I normally fill my 4.5g containers up after i do my wc to allow it to settle for a week.

Thanks all~

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 05:57 PM
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If you really do have near zero KH you can verify it by letting a shallow dish of tap water sit out in the air for a day or so, then compare the pH to what it was right out of the tap. It should go down, probably to less than 6.0 from CO2 dissolving into the water from the atmosphere. It is more likely that the KH test kits are out of date, and are reading wrong.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 06:02 PM
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I use seachems aquavitro carbonate which is potassium carbonate. I like a kh of 4. PH will only go down to 6.4. Plus it's a source of potassium.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rezco View Post
Ditto on the baking soda. It will increase the KH but will also increase the pH. You may then want to add vinegar or citric acid to bring the pH to a more neutral range.

BTW - I think your drop checker is correct - you have no buffering capacity in the tank (with GH being low and KH being zero) so just a little bit of CO2 gives a big drop in pH. The 0.8 -1 drop in pH rule does not apply in this situation. I would trust the drop checker.

Since my pH was extremely low at lights on today i was thinking the pH increase from the baking soda might help subside the tannic acid from the wood and the pH lowering effect of the fluval stratum, allowing the co2 to kinda do its thing. Is the baking soda 'consumed'? If it is does the adjusted kh/pH become affected as well over 1 weeks time?

This maybe a relative question but will the pH and kH both be raised by the same amount if the same dose is added weekly? ahhhh so many questions lol...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
If you really do have near zero KH you can verify it by letting a shallow dish of tap water sit out in the air for a day or so, then compare the pH to what it was right out of the tap. It should go down, probably to less than 6.0 from CO2 dissolving into the water from the atmosphere. It is more likely that the KH test kits are out of date, and are reading wrong.
ok so I'll set out a dish tonight when i get home and wait till tomorrow night and test pH. A pH drop will signify lack of kh? so if i did this test side by side with a dish that contains a dash of baking soda the pH wont drop as much? This will show the KH test kits are reading wrong because... super low KH water is extra accepting to atmospheric co2?

I'd rather be taught to fish then handed one!

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 12-31-2016 at 07:33 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 10:34 PM
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I thought CaSO4 raised GH?
Apologies on my end, meant to be CaCO3 (calcium carbonate).
Sorry, I had gypsum on the mind from another thread!


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Important: - Understanding pH, KH, GH in Home Aqauriums | 113548 Answered a bunch of questions i had.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 07:20 PM
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Unfortunately, some of the information there is incorrect. Too much of it is incorrect for it to be useful as a reference.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, some of the information there is incorrect. Too much of it is incorrect for it to be useful as a reference.
Thank you for letting me know and the continued.

I'm going to be adding dissolved baking soda (in distilled water) slowly over the weekend and try that method to get up to about 5dkh and hopefully 7.2-7.4pH. Any starting advice?

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