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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Where does it go?

In another thread in the algae forum I listed my parameters as I'm having a godzawful time with BGA. Now, my water out of the tap tends to be soft, with a KH of 1-2 dH and a GH hovering around 6 give or take. I've been upping that at WC time with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to get it to a KH of 4 so that hopefully it would remain more stable. Also so it would be in line with CO2 injection to a PH of 6.5 that would (according to the chart) give 38ppm CO2 . I've been ASSUMING that once I put the bicarbonate in to raise the KH to 4* that it was STAYING there 'til the next WC. Well, we all know what they say about "assume." After 2 days my KH has dropped a degree to 3, which at a PH of 6.5 gives only 28ppm of CO2. If it's been dropping like this in the past, unbeknownst to me, there's no telling what it was at by the time of the weekly water change.

So, that begs the question, where does it go? I realize that it's bicarbonate ... does that mean the plants (and algae ) are utilizing it out of the water column?

Sláinte!
Cindy



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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 11:48 PM
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Maybe it doesn't drop, it could take 2 days to fully disolve and give a accurate reading in the test kit. I noticed when adding Seachems Equilibrium to my tank after water changes that if I test the same day I get a false high Gh reading. The next day I get a lower reading that remains the same all week. Another point to take into consideration is after my water change (65 gallons) the CO2 drops to below 10 ppm and it takes my unit 2 days to get the CO2 back up to 38 ppm where it will stay consistantly the rest of the week. I noticed that my Kh was elevated to 7.5 ppm after a WC and thought it must be something in the Equilibrium that raises the Kh a little (tap water is Kh 6.2 and Gh 0), but the Kh settles down to 6.2 after the CO2 level comes back up. I also tested the Equilibrium in straight tap water and it only raises Gh. I can't explain it in a chemical formula, I'm just reading the numbers and telling like I see it.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 09:10 AM
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I believe hornwort, vals and a few others can split the bicarb and use it for a carbon source.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 12:15 PM
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I don't think it is very common, but I once had some driftwood I purchased that was eating both KH and GH. I took several pieces, put them in tupperware containers along with a sample with no driftwood. Doing daily measurements, you could see both KH and GH dropping in the containers w/ driftwood, but sitting rock solid in the straight tap water tub.

As I've not heard many others with this problem, it's a long shot,
Brian.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Well I put another teaspoon in there yesterday bringing it, supposedly, up to 4dKH. I'll keep watch on it and see what happens. No driftwood in there BTW, although there is a couple of "new" rocks. But I doubt that would be it since it usually goes the other way with some rocks!

Sláinte!
Cindy



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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 01:43 PM
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I'm speculating. Your HCO3- could be reacting with acids to form carbonic acid, H2CO3. Perhaps the carbonic acid is then dissociating to form H2O and CO2; the latter could then be dissipated. This may be why your kH is dropping over time.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmmmm ... ... I think for the moment I'm going to assume that sun spots are sucking it up ...

Sláinte!
Cindy



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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 02:36 PM
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I see plantbrain explained what is going on in your other thread.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Yup. I think I'll still attribute it to sun spots though ...

Sláinte!
Cindy



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