Challenges in trying to maintain KH - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
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Challenges in trying to maintain KH

I have a planted tank with Aquasoil and CO2 supply.

The water supply at my region is soft, GH 4 and KH 0-1.

Last night after my CO2 timer was switched off, I did a waterchange with added Baking Soda to increase the KH.

About 1130pm, using API test kit, the KH is 2

This morning at 11am, I text the water again and the KH is showing 0 to 1.....

I understand the nitrifying proceeds will reduce KH, but that is too fast for KH to come down in just 12 hours.

I am concerned with the continuous dosing of so much Baking Soda.

Can any experts here share how you increase and maintain KH in your planted tank?

Thanks in advance


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaen130 View Post
I have a planted tank with Aquasoil and CO2 supply.

The water supply at my region is soft, GH 4 and KH 0-1.

Last night after my CO2 timer was switched off, I did a waterchange with added Baking Soda to increase the KH.

About 1130pm, using API test kit, the KH is 2

This morning at 11am, I text the water again and the KH is showing 0 to 1.....

I understand the nitrifying proceeds will reduce KH, but that is too fast for KH to come down in just 12 hours.

I am concerned with the continuous dosing of so much Baking Soda.

Can any experts here share how you increase and maintain KH in your planted tank?

Thanks in advance


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Aquasoil is designed to lower KH. For most this is welcome because of high KH in their tap water. This buffering effect will eventually wear out but until this happens you are stuck with low KH. My tank is a 2KH but others with nice tanks have 0 KH.
The sodium in baking soda would be the issue possibly when dosing a lot. North of say 100ppm might not be good. The bicarbonates are being buffered out by the aquasoil so the only issue might be an elevation in TDS?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 09:57 AM
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A good way to slowly increase the ph is to take egg shells and microwave them for 15 to 20 seconds, then peal out the membrane inside. When this is done take the egg shells and crush them up in some old pantyhose and hang them in your tank until the desired ph is right. The ph effects your kh... I hope this helps. You can also use crushed coral and it will raise the kh and stabilize the ph....

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 01:15 PM
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Shrimp breeders would love to have your water parameters. Having said that, if you are injecting CO2 to reach optimal levels, I would worry about pH crashing. Many, if not most people use this substrate for their high tech tanks, along with r/o water. I guess they are raising their KH somehow, whether it be calcium carbonate additions, rocks or baking soda. I personally don't use this substrate in my high tech tank because of this reason. That, and I don't see really see the need to feed plants via the substate when dosing ferts to the water column anyways. I did use Fluval Stratum on my latest low-tech scape (for aesthetic reasons) and I'm facing similar issues. I have somewhat soft water (dKH=2 and dGH=3) and the FSS buffers it down to 0-1 dKH. I'm doing the same as you by just adding baking soda. My KH isn't dropping as quickly and believe I'll be able to exhaust it's buffering ability before the the cycling finishes. I don't think I'll need to take any extreme measures to bring it up.

Any form of calcium carbonate (aragonite, crushed coral, oyster shell flour, eggs shells, etc.) in a stocking or mesh bag tucked in your filter somewhere would be a way to slowly raise the KH for long term.

I'm curious what others have to say on the matter, being as aquasoil is the holy grail of substrates for planted tanks and used by so many folks here.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the inputs.

Yes, before trying to raise the KH, my pH is below 6.0.

After the attempt to raise the KH over the week, like mentioned above, the test kit shows KH 0-1, but my pH is currently 7.5 this morning.

That is my main concern, KH not increased, but pH kept going up...I do have some live stocks inside, worry about the side effects of the increased pH


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 04:28 PM
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Not as important as people make it sound, pH fluctuations are normal and they won't be"crashes" like many describe
The only time you have a rapid fluctuation is during your water change.
Co2 is gradual, off-gassing is gradual.
Just keep adding the baking soda to get to your desired KH each water change and don't worry about it, before you know it you'll be where you wanna be.


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-15-2018, 07:28 PM
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This is interesting because I tested my kh/gh today and it was very high, at least I think, due to having to add 12+ drops for each. (API) tank water and tap both the same. The shrimp and plants in my tank are doing great though. Bizarre.
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