Measuring co2 levels. Parameter issue? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Measuring co2 levels. Parameter issue?

Hi

I recently bought an NT labs aquarium lab test kit because I haven't checked my parameters yet. I purchased a biorb life 60 approx 2 months ago second hand along with livestock and some plants already in the tank. Luckily all livestock survived the 40mile journey home in about 10 litres of water in the bottom of the tank in the back of the car!!

The tank has been doing well and although originally bought for my wife/ young daughter I have gradually got the bug back again (I used to have a small fluval edge planted tank back in the day).

To cut a long story short I did a 25% water change and thought I should really invest in a test kit to check the levels as I wanted to see what the co2 levels were for plant growth. I have PH of about 7.8 , the concerning thing was the KH level. It took 14 drops to change the water colour so am I right in saying its a KH level of 14? I believe it should be around 6?

Does anyone have any ideas as to why it's such a high KH reading pressuming I have read it correctly? I did dose with plantamin yesterday could that be giving the reading? Looking at the chart online the co2 mg/L is very low about 4.

I'd like to get the co2 to optimum level but I don't want to go and dose with co2 until I know what's going on with KH and it's safe to do so.

Opinions/advice welcomed

Thank you
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 08:52 PM
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Opinions are different about ideal kh level. Amano had around 2 kh in his tanks. Most advice a kh of 3-6. But planted tanks can also do fine in the 8-12 range. 14 is a little bit high. You could use RO or rainwater to bring that KH down.

Another method to measure your co2 (not 100% accurate but gives an idea) is a drop checker with 4dkh solution. I find this one the most easy and does the job.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nigel95 View Post
Opinions are different about ideal kh level. Amano had around 2 kh in his tanks. Most advice a kh of 3-6. But planted tanks can also do fine in the 8-12 range. 14 is a little bit high. You could use RO or rainwater to bring that KH down.

Another method to measure your co2 (not 100% accurate but gives an idea) is a drop checker with 4dkh solution. I find this one the most easy and does the job.
Thanks for the quick reply. I may have a look into the drop checker sounds a bit easier!

I thought about checking water I put into tank but I used bottled water 10liters and then 5 litres of normal tap- all treated with tap safe.. So won't achieve much in checking the tap water KH as the majority was bottled. I could check tap water KH and then do another 25% change if it's lower?

Bump: Forgot to ask what is RO? Reverse osmosis

Last edited by VdubS; 09-15-2017 at 09:13 PM. Reason: Just answered own question
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 09:37 PM
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If it makes you feel any better I have a kH of 22-23 degrees, I'm low tech but most of my plants seem to be tolerating it fine. I get a lot of growth.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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What is the danger for having such high KH if any? To fish/ plants?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 05:43 PM
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What is the danger for having such high KH if any? To fish/ plants?
Assuming the KH is a mix of calcium and magnesium the plants should be fine since the need both. But if it is all calcium or all magnesium you could get poor plant growth due to deficiency. Plant are in general very tolerant GH, KH, and PH issues. So I wouldn't expect any plant issues other than the mentioned possible deficiency.

Fish however are much more sensitive to GH, KH, and PH. High KH is normally associated with hard water. IF you stock the tank with fish that do well in hard water you shouldn't have any issue. However if you stock the hard water tank with fish that need soft water you could have sick fish.Fish are also more sensitive to PH than plants so you want to keep that under control in all tanks. That is however easier in a tank with high KH since the KH will help prevent rapid changes in PH. I personally haven't seen issues with PH at a GH of 2. Again if you match the selection of fish to the water PH you are more likely to have heathy fish.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 07:51 AM
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Assuming the KH is a mix of calcium and magnesium the plants should be fine since the need both.
Carbonate hardness is a measure of the carbonate and bicarbonate anions in the water column. What does calcium and magnesium have to do with this (unless you meant to say general hardness)?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 12:46 PM
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@VdubS, are you talking about adding pressurized or DYI Co2 or adding something like Flourish Excel to get your tank to 'optimum levels'?

Big difference!


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-18-2017, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by slipfinger View Post
@VdubS, are you talking about adding pressurized or DYI Co2 or adding something like Flourish Excel to get your tank to 'optimum levels'?

Big difference!
@slipfinger I was thinking about pressurised co2, I used to have a fluval co2 20 mini setup a few years back now- although typically I am struggling to locate it at the moment!
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