Raise KH to reduce acidity for hardscape? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Raise KH to reduce acidity for hardscape?

I've noticed since starting CO2 injection that my water gets so acidic it's eating away my Seiryu stone. Which, over time has removed a bit of it's character. I'm really cranking CO2, so my pH is something like 6.4 maybe even lower.
Does anyone raise KH to the highest levels tolerated by fish and plants in order to reduce this acidity, to preserve their stone? I'm considering trying as my stone looks so abnormal as a result. Too clean to be natural.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 06:01 PM
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Typically planted tank growers strive for a lower KH.
Plants absorb ferts and compounds better @ lower KH.
You may use more CO2 with higher KH to achieve the 30ppm target?

I'm always targetting a 1dKH in all my tanks, pH just is what it is for me.
Pretty much removed all wood and rock over the years to grow more plants.

What is your present KH?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 06:36 PM
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The solubility of Calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate is primarily determined by PH. IF your water PH was 7.5 you might not see any erosion of the stone. But that may adversely affect your fertilizers and may also make it harder to reach your CI2 target. It might be easier to remove the rock and seal it with a brush on Acrylic sealant.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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My present KH is all over. It's currently about 6 but it's historically been more like 8 or 9. However I've got a pretty heavy CO2 load and by the ph/kh/co2 charts may have as much as 80-90ppm, hard to know since I was measuring based on assumed kh levels of 8 and now I know my water isn't consistent. (Long story short, I've always done 50%WC's with 50% RO, and my tap water parameters dropped like a lead balloon due to a lot of rain coming down the Ohio River Valley resulting in much, much lower mineral content than typical throughout the year. I'm now planning to save up for an RO system and just build my own water in the future.)

I love plants, but man I love some beautiful stone too. I'd say I love plants most, but stone is my favorite of all hardscape materials by far, and if I have to use specific plant selection to preserve stone I wouldn't mind.

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The solubility of Calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate is primarily determined by PH. IF your water PH was 7.5 you might not see any erosion of the stone. But that may adversely affect your fertilizers and may also make it harder to reach your CI2 target. It might be easier to remove the rock and seal it with a brush on Acrylic sealant.
I doubt acrylic sealant would work out like I desired. However, I may just end up sticking with river rock in some tanks, as they don't have as much to distinguish their shape, making any errosion over time easily ignored. Plus many river rocks aren't limestone, and I hear seiryu is a type of limestone.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 10:07 PM
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When you are ready to consider an RO I'd recommend Marine Depot.
They have a 100GPD of their own brand RODI for like $149
You can mod and add to it if need be.
I cheat and use a shower head adapter and just run it sitting in the tub.
Fill 3 Brute cans and I am good for a few weeks.

If I needed this on a more regular basis I would follow @ Greggz path, a bit more elaborate for sure.
Mr. Ken Keating has a complete outdoor shed style unit too.


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
When you are ready to consider an RO I'd recommend Marine Depot.
They have a 100GPD of their own brand RODI for like $149
You can mod and add to it if need be.
I cheat and use a shower head adapter and just run it sitting in the tub.
Fill 3 Brute cans and I am good for a few weeks.

If I needed this on a more regular basis I would follow @ Greggz path, a bit more elaborate for sure.
Mr. Ken Keating has a complete outdoor shed style unit too.
That's a pretty great deal for only $150 in my opinion. I'll never need 100GPD but I suppose it couldn't hurt to have more than enough flow. It's looking more and more like I'll need to repurpose one of our basement rooms into a fish room. Or should I say aquatic plant garden? I think the latter. 😉

What does @Greggz do? I've not skimmed his tank journal for months.
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Last edited by Darkblade48; 04-23-2019 at 06:33 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 03:59 AM
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That's a pretty great deal for only $150 in my opinion. I'll never need 100GPD but I suppose it couldn't hurt to have more than enough flow. It's looking more and more like I'll need to repurpose one of our basement rooms into a fish room. Or should I say aquatic plant garden? I think the latter. 😉
I added $60 in modifying mine to 200GPD.
This just gets the Brute cans filled in a more timely manner.
It does put the 2nd shower/bath out of commission for most of the day but he// that's only one day every two or so weeks.

RO is not for everyone, it involves re-mineralizing to reach desired GH & KH values.
The benefit is knowing exactly what's in your water 100% of the time.
I no longer re-mineralize the brute cans, dose the tanks independently as I see fit keeping KH very low.

I'm not recommending RODI, just sharing how I handle it.
Since I have this down to a routine and a science now I would not go back.

I never bothered with the small storage tank etc... since I produce water only every 2-3 weeks.

The RO is cheap after you purchase 3 Brute cans with casters to move them around!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
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What does @Greggz do? I've not skimmed his tank journal for months.
I make RO and fill two 55 gallon drums in my basement that are tied together. Since we also use RO for drinking water, RO for the storage tanks is only made overnight controlled by a solenoid.

I ran two sets of piping inside the wall to the back of the tank. There is a pump inside the aquarium and inside the storage tanks. On switch drains the tank down to a basement drain, the other pumps up the RO water into the tank. Water is completely front end loaded with macros, GH, KH.

A bit of work to set it all up, but IMO well worth the effort.



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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post

I added $60 in modifying mine to 200GPD.
This just gets the Brute cans filled in a more timely manner.
It does put the 2nd shower/bath out of commission for most of the day but he// that's only one day every two or so weeks.

RO is not for everyone, it involves re-mineralizing to reach desired GH & KH values.
The benefit is knowing exactly what's in your water 100% of the time.
I no longer re-mineralize the brute cans, dose the tanks independently as I see fit keeping KH very low.

I'm not recommending RODI, just sharing how I handle it.
Since I have this down to a routine and a science now I would not go back.

I never bothered with the small storage tank etc... since I produce water only every 2-3 weeks.

The RO is cheap after you purchase 3 Brute cans with casters to move them around! :-):-):-)
I would think that for long term use it would be best to avoid mineralizing the brute cans lest the leftover moisture begins to attract mold/bacteria/algae. I'd assume pure RO would be unhospitable to micro critters, or at least less desirable compared to nutrient rich waters.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 02:20 AM
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the brute cans lest the leftover moisture begins to attract mold/bacteria/algae.
Could not say, I've been using moldy micro solutions for years.
Just shake it up well to make sure it is evenly distributed.

Maybe I make too much @ a time???


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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
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Could not say, I've been using moldy micro solutions for years.
Just shake it up well to make sure it is evenly distributed.

Maybe I make too much @ a time???
That's a decent question, but honestly I'm interested in knowing WHAT GROWS in micro solutions? And WHY? Our world is full of bizarre niche-specific life forms, and many seem almost to appear out of thin air. It's fascinating.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 03:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacktetra View Post
I've noticed since starting CO2 injection that my water gets so acidic it's eating away my Seiryu stone. Which, over time has removed a bit of it's character. I'm really cranking CO2, so my pH is something like 6.4 maybe even lower.
Does anyone raise KH to the highest levels tolerated by fish and plants in order to reduce this acidity, to preserve their stone? I'm considering trying as my stone looks so abnormal as a result. Too clean to be natural.
I have a kH of 4 - 5 and I'm going to ph 6.4 you have a higher kH do you really need to go that low?
You could raise your water 1 or 2 dkH and afterwards it might mean you need to add more Macros depends on the plants but it shouldn't hurt them if you adjust.
Also you'll have to use Fe DTPA if you aren't already.

RODI won't help you (unless you needto adjust your gH), low kH is going to be worse for your Seiryu stone.

A lot of times Seiryu stone is treated with a strong acid to blacken it, I don't know if that treatment makes it more inert or not maybe you can look into that.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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@cl3537 My original question was basically "should I RAISE KH to reduce acidity(increase ph) so my seiryu stone isn't eaten away so quickly."

AFTER that question was asked I've gotten an increased interest in using RO water because I've discovered my tap water varies greatly. I've seen something like 18dkh before and last I looked it was only 5dkh. So my interest in RO is more to do with creating better water stability, not in lowering my KH. I honestly am not bothered by having 12kh and 18gh but I AM bothered by having those numbers swing enough to cause stress to my plants and livestock. Hence my discussing RO.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 08:00 PM
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Well if you set one up you don’t have to just use it for aquarium stuff. I’ve got a modest RO compared to Gregg’s above. It’s in basement with 14gal bladder tank, use it to fill up totes for aquarium prep down there but it’s also hooked to a tap at kitchen sink and T’d off to feed fridge/ice maker.

Last edited by DaveKS; 04-24-2019 at 08:01 PM. Reason: Typo
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 10:18 PM
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My RO feeds my fridge/ice maker, and my filtered water for drinking (lots of water drinking in this house- personally doctors orders 100oz a day)... its under my sink and has a spicket above for filling canisters. 3M, very pricey.... but I dont actually use much of it in my tanks!

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