KH keeps dropping - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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KH keeps dropping

I have bad tap water. Super hard kills fish and plants. So I went RO and use equilibrium and baking soda to bring the hardness up and replace minerals. The tank is fishless right now I am using straight ammonia to keep the bacteria I. The filters happy until I get fish. However I am worried about the kJ. I buffer up to 6kh and come back a couple days later and it is down to 2kh. ph looks like it keeps dropping from 7.6 to 7.2 the next step in the test kit. I am not sure if it has something to do with the bacteria breaking down the ammonia or my soil to blame. I am using safeTsorb oil dry. It is basically cooked and hardened clay. It is supposed to be great with absorbing nutrients to help keep the plant roots happy. However I heard it might lower the kh. What is a good level to buffer my kh and go to in order to not cause ph crashes and kill the fish I end up putting in.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 08:17 PM
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This happens with SafeTSorb.
Just keeping a KH of 1 will prevent a crash.
Maybe CaCO3 instead of all the sodium content?
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 02:07 AM
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Bacteria literally eats kh fyi. Not sure why yours is dropping that fast though.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 02:50 AM
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Bacteria literally eats kh fyi. Not sure why yours is dropping that fast though.
It is SafeTSorb, a CEC rating of like 33.6, it is an alkalinity magnet.
About 2 pounds of baking soda per 40lb. bag is needed to render it saturated.
Self persecution: I tested this several years ago.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 04:09 AM
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Just use less safTsorb and mix it with inert gravel.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ddrizzle View Post
Bacteria literally eats kh fyi. Not sure why yours is dropping that fast though.
It is SafeTSorb, a CEC rating of like 33.6, it is an alkalinity magnet.
About 2 pounds of baking soda per 40lb. bag is needed to render it saturated.
Self persecution: I tested this several years ago.

Disclaimer: Please don't add this amount to your tank!
Oh ok, wow. I guess that's what you get for using [censored][censored][censored][censored] that is made for soaking up spilled oil.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
It is SafeTSorb, a CEC rating of like 33.6, it is an alkalinity magnet.
About 2 pounds of baking soda per 40lb. bag is needed to render it saturated.
Self persecution: I tested this several years ago.

Disclaimer: Please don't add this amount to your tank!
Any experience on how long this kH reducing effect lasts in normal hard water conditions?

I used STS as my substrate, and initially it lowered my tapwater pH from 7.8 to 6.4. That quickly went to about 6.8, and is now between 7.0-7.2 per my not very accurate JTT test strips. My water report doesn't report kH, just bicarbonate at 120 mg/L & "calcium" at 66 mg/L. Not sure what form of calcium this is supposed to be. Carbonate? To get kH, should I add the values for bicarbonate & calcium, and then divide that by 17.848? So 186/17.848=10.42? This seems rather low for our very hard desert water.

"Hardness" is listed at 200 mg/L. Not sure if that is kH or dH. "Alkalinity" is listed at 130 mg/L, and Magnesium at 12 mg/L, and sodium 34 mg/L. The test strips don't test for any form of calcium, just "alkalinity" which shows as not measurable, but not sure I trust my strips on that. Since the hobby always uses kH, I just wanna know how to determine what that is for my tap water so I know what my starting point is.

Thanks
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 01:21 PM
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Bacteria literally eats kh fyi. Not sure why yours is dropping that fast though.
The BB in Aquariums Nitrosamonas, Nitrosococcus, Nitrosospira and Nitrosolobus do not eat carbonates.


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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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So it sounds like it will eventually stabilize. I wonder if I should just pull it out before I get fish in there though. Told my wife it won’t cost much to convert to planted. RO system, light, tons of new plants later and I may be dropping $100 on substrate.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 02:28 PM
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No need to toss the SafeTSorb.
So it's a KH magnet, plants won't mind.
Just adjust your GH to your liking.

Roy just started a thread, kind of a how to start up a new tank.
Probably read over it for suggestions since he used SafeTSorb I believe.


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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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With a really low kh won’t my ph drop really low and cause swings? I don’t want to have algae issues and kill my fish with ph swings. Can you point me to this new thread?
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 08:06 PM
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Seattle Aquarist recently started the thread.
Look Roy up and threads he has starting.


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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 08:38 PM
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With a really low kh wonít my ph drop really low and cause swings? I donít want to have algae issues and kill my fish with ph swings. Can you point me to this new thread?
Your inventing a problem. When you add fish things will change like ph and kh. Then stabilize. I gather this is low tech tank?

Over course of lighting period a change in PH of .2 or kh drop isnít going to kill anything.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Good to hear I am just being paranoid. I will stop meddling and keep it as is. Thanks for all the advice.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ddrizzle View Post
Bacteria literally eats kh fyi. Not sure why yours is dropping that fast though.
The BB in Aquariums Nitrosamonas, Nitrosococcus, Nitrosospira and Nitrosolobus do not eat carbonates.
Yes they do? Literally the all the same species as occur in waste water treatment. Try to convince the koi community and aquaculture industry.

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