lowering KH - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2006, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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lowering KH

anyone have a pretty quick and relativly simple way to lower the KH in the tank.

My tap water is just at 3 degrees KH. but the GH is higer than I want for discus at around 8-10 degrees. The Ph is 6.23.

My tank idealy I want at 6.2 PH, 3 KH, and 3 GH. I have been using the water softener pillow for my XP3s and it's working great to lower the GH. But the KH is slowly rising...from 3 to now up arong 12...and climbing. I worry about doing a huge water change...because the GH will just bump back up on me...and more pillowing needed. So does anyone know how to lower the KH with a fairly simple solution.

thanks

dave
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2006, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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does no one have an answer for this?
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2006, 07:45 PM
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How big is your tank? Most folks who want to lower the GH/KH go the RO water route rather than using chemical means.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2006, 09:18 PM
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Kh will not naturally rise on it's own. Something in the tank is raising the kH. And you need to find what it is.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-17-2006, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
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Ok....

got any ideas what that might be from. Is it the seachem, is it possibly the CO2, does Eco complete raise the KH. I'm asking what COULD raise the KH. Cause I don't really have much in it by the standards on this site. I have:

75 gallon tank
Two rena XP3 filters, one of which had the pressurized CO2 running inline
4 inches of eco complete
one med sized piece of wood
some plants...and some fish...which seem to not be thriving. (the fish)
I have 10 ammano shrimp and now 20 cherry reds
I have a 48" dual satellite and a extra 48" florecent
I dose florish excel and florish iron, two capfuls twice a week

I also am now using the water softener pillow for the XP3's and it's keeping my tap water params at bay. But the tap is 6.23 PH, 3 KH, and 8 GH. The KH is already where I want it but my gh needs to come down all the time. hence the Pillows. But the KH goes up slowly, is it from fish waste, or the frets, or does CO2 do that, or do the plants have an effect, is it the wood, do the lights change it over time? I don't know. I'm stumped casue I'm not a chemist and don't understand what Could cause that. I'm tempted to just go to the RO thing again. it seems to be the way to go since my suppliers RO water is 0KH and 0GH. but again thoughts are welcome...

dave
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-17-2006, 06:44 AM
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Anything with CO3 can raise your kH; such as CaCO3, NaHCO3, etc. Do you have any possible source of CaCO3 in your tank? EC would be my guess.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-17-2006, 12:16 PM
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There was some contaminated Eco-Complete last year. That might be the cause.

You are not topping off the tank with tap water are you?
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-17-2006, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveonbass
Ok....

got any ideas what that might be from. Is it the seachem, is it possibly the CO2, does Eco complete raise the KH. I'm asking what COULD raise the KH. Cause I don't really have much in it by the standards on this site.
Dave,

My bet it is your substrate. If substrate contains carbonate, eg CaCO3, this could easily dissolve, slowly over time or more dramatically if you inject CO2.

I advice you not to "add anything" to lower the KH as most likely it will raise back again - anyway you would be treating the symptom and not the cause.

Find some vinegar and put it on the substrate: you should see gas bubbles (CO2) as carbonate dissolves. That gives you the diagnosis.

Treatment would be to change to a stable substrate.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-17-2006, 07:16 PM
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Even though the packaging says it doesn't, Eco Complete will raise both KH and GH, but only temporarily, providing that you do at least 30-40% weeky water changes. It can sometimes take 2-3 months for the water chemistry to stabilize.

And as Rex mentioned, there was some contaminated Eco Complete that shipped last year, which had abnormaly high amounts of calcium carbonate in it, which the company attempted to solve by adding a phosphate buffer and water clarifier, which in turn ended up biting them in the butt.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-17-2006, 07:48 PM
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would bad eco complete really raise your kh from 3-12, that seems highly unlikley. This could happen fairly easily if you are topping off your water like rex has stated. When water evaporates from your aquarium the minerals do not. Topping off your water would then add more minerals to the exsisting minerals in your tank. Im not an aquarium guru but through science I know this to be the case. Retest your tap water, do a water change, take a sample of your substrate and test it like the other PT member stated. I would avoid changing the substrate if you havnt ruled it out.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-18-2006, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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I guess I'll test the substrate when I get some vinegar. But I'm just making sure that it's not the water softener pillow.

I have been using RO water to do top offs...but I have been using mostly tap when I do a 50% water change. Which was and is a problem with the GH...but I have the pillow. I'm thinking of doing a moderate to large water change using ONLY Ro water next, and seeing what happens. At this point I have another greenwater bloom and I'm losing fish every day...And some shrimp. So I'm getting to the point of exahustion and will just try to fix all this water stuff...and keep the plants growing...and get back to the fish later. Right Now I just don't have the time to devote to it that I need...and I need to go back t work to help pay for all of it. But I thank all of you for the ideas.

dave
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-18-2006, 12:50 PM
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Vinegar may not be a strong enough acid to test with.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-19-2006, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
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ok I won't do that test...i'll go get my local Alien (from mrs. weaver) and cut off a limb...

Either way I really do think that RO water is the best way to go for me right now.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-19-2006, 12:52 PM
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If something in the tank is raising the kH then RO water is not the answer.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-19-2006, 07:03 PM
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It is probably the EC; or unless you have tons of snails dissovling from the high CO2 content. You could wait untill the buffering affect stops, but that could take months.
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