Raising KH experiment - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Raising KH experiment

Has anyone used Eco-Complete African Cichlid substrate to raise KH in a non-cichlid tank? If you have, please share your success with this method
I'm going to try it out monitoring the parameters daily and I will share updates periodically.Seems Aragonite is pretty good stuff. I am optimistic that this will work as planned!

I know others have used crushed coral, crushed oyster shells, Texas Holey Rock, Limestone, and more.

It's popular to use Baking Soda, but I am looking for a way to do it without regularily adding something to the tank following weekly water changes. I guess I could call it this: "Lazy Aquarist's Way" HaHa. I'm kidding not really that I'm lazy, I just don't like measuring and adding stuff to my tank. It makes me nervous for my fish.

By the way, I will not be experimenting with my tank stocked with fish and plants. I will be using my QT. Better safe then sorry!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 12:24 AM
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I have no personal experince with this method. What concerns me is using your QT as your test bed does not give an adequate representation. If you qt is like mine then there is basically no livestock bioload and no plants load to test against. Sure you will see some changes to the water chemistry but you won't really know how it affects CO2, p, n, and phosphate along with other chem issues with out a real bio load.
I am not a fan of testing with live animals but maybe you could try with some feeders and some plant trimmings to see how your experiment will work in a real world enviroment.

I look forward to see how this works.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 01:21 AM
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Use anything like that in the tank or filter to maintain a level of GH, KH, pH, TDS, but do not depend on it to alter the water when you do a water change.
If the new water is softer, more acidic, lower TDS, then right after the water change the tank will have water that is somewhere in between the values you are aiming for with the aragonite, and the softer tap water.
Then the levels will gradually rise over several days or a week, just in time for another water change, another roller coaster of hard to soft to varying water parameters.

If you want to use aragonite to make the water harder, then I would set up a prep bucket or barrel with a filter that you can stuff with the mineral product, then run that until the water in the bucket or barrel meets your specs (it might take several days). THEN do the water change. The mineral levels in the tank will not then make anywhere near so large a change.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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Good point about the QT. It does have some life...2 live plants and tons of snails (pond snails and ramshorn) But that's it. Not much.

Diana, I like your idea. I will try that with the buckets and see what happens. I am hoping that the Aragonite will raise the pH just enough to keep it from dropping when I do Water Changes. The tap water is 7.2 pH and after the Water Change drops to 6.5. My goal is to have my pH stable between 6.8 and 7.0. My reason is I really want to have large shrimp and Nerite snails but having 6.5 pH isn't good for them.

But overall, even if I didn't want invertibrates, my biggest concern is getting my KH up. It was reading 2 dkh a couple weeks ago, but lately it's been only 1 dkh. Dangerously low.

So, I am hoping that by using the ECAC substrate in small amount will raise the KH enough to help keep the pH from dropping. What won't work if it goes up higher than 7.0 because I keep Angels.

It will be interesting to see what happens.
Thank you for your input!
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-03-2012, 03:18 AM
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Put the material in a bag (I use cut up stockings) so if you see the levels going higher than you want you can remove the bag.

Since the tap water is so variable (I responded to your other post), I would check it each time, perhaps an hour before you want to do a water change, and add baking soda or potassium bicarbonate to get the KH where you want it. You can also pre-treat it with the Aragonite or other materials, but these take longer. They sure will work, though.

Get several different materials and see what works best for you, what dose, and how long to treat the water. The reaction stops when you remove these from the water, which is why I suggest to keep them in bags. Then you can prep the tap water exactly the way you want it.

You can also keep these materials in the tank, but will have to monitor it to see when they are doing too much, and might need to be removed, or use less.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-03-2012, 03:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Diana I remember you from the kuhli loach/pH thread. You are quite helpful with great suggestions/advise and so descriptive which really helps! I appreciate your time very much.
I hope the experiment will prove to be a success for me. I haven't been able to start yet because the LFS doesn't have the ECAC substrate.

Good news is that pH rollercoaster stopped after I left the bubbles on 24/7. Quite vulnerable though with the KH only being 1!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-03-2012, 05:16 PM
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It is a myth that 1 dKH will lead to big pH swings. The pH will be lower if the KH is low, but adding CO2 does not cause a bigger pH swing with 1 dKH than with 10 dKH. It may be that there is some even lower KH, greater than zero, that would leave the pH unstable, but I don't believe that has been demonstrated, or at least it hasn't been reported here.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-03-2012, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
It is a myth that 1 dKH will lead to big pH swings. The pH will be lower if the KH is low, but adding CO2 does not cause a bigger pH swing with 1 dKH than with 10 dKH. It may be that there is some even lower KH, greater than zero, that would leave the pH unstable, but I don't believe that has been demonstrated, or at least it hasn't been reported here.
Really ?? If this is infact a myth, I wonder why so many aquarists stand by it as a fact? Have you experienced low KH without pH swings when adding one thing or another such as Co2 or other elements? I'm not doubting you, I would just like to be able to read up on what your stating. Do you have any refernces I can look up?
Thank you Hoppy I appreciate it!

Last edited by Amandas tank; 11-04-2012 at 12:21 AM. Reason: grammar
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 01:18 AM
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Our water in Sacramento is low KH, especially during the winter, when it is largely processed river water. As I recall the KH is around 1 dKH. I use CO2, DIY CO2 for now, and it has given me no problems at all. I used to use pressurized CO2, at a fairly high concentration, with the same water, and also didn't have any problems. For awhile I added baking soda to increase the KH, but quit when I realized it was doing more harm than good.

Others in Sacramento also use our low KH tap water with no problems from CO2.

There are a lot of deeply believed myths about planted aquariums, so when you search among the forums you will find a lot of out of date, mythical information.

When you add CO2 to water, with any carbonate ions at all in it, the pH will drop. No matter how high the KH, the pH will drop the same amount, but it starts out at a lower value with low KH water.

Hoppy
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Hmmm, very interesting Hoppy. Thank you for sharing this with me. Sounds like I'm worrying too much about nothing. My pH has been holding stable which is great. My KH is 1, and GH is 4. But everything is holding

I'm still going to do the test with the ECAC substrate because I am curious It's just something I never have heard of people using this stuff in nylons to raise their KH. I think it will work. It'll be a fun experiment.
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aragonite, baking soda, eco-complete cichlid, raising kh, water parameters

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