Ph and dolomite question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Ph and dolomite question

My tap water has a high ph of about 8.2 and a fairly high KH as well (20ish degrees). The gh is very low though (1-2 degrees i believe). Ill need to test again to get exact readings on those, but i know theyre in that ballpark. I am making mineralized topsoil and was never able to locate dolomite. I was going to use crushed coral and Epsom salt instead as my base layer, but isn't the primary purpose just to help prevent the soil from dropping ph too drastically? My water has pretty high ph and is well buffered so is it even necessary that I use the crushed coral or can I forgo that entirely?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 09:23 PM
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Hi bpb,

Coral is composed of calcium carbonate, so as it decomposes adding calcium to the water and raising our dGH it is also adding carbonate to the water (and raising the PH/dKH).

What I add depends upon what I want to accomplish. If I want to raise my dGH in a tank I typically add Seachem Equilibrium. Why? Because it increases my dGH by adding calcium and magnesium in the 4:1 ratio that plants seem to prefer and doesn't add carbonates that effect my dKH/PH. If I want to increase my PH/dKH I add baking soda/bicarbonate of soda/NaHCO3 to the water. That way I add the carbonates and increase the PH/dKH but minimize the effect on my dGH.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Double checked our tap water official report. We have odd water. 22 dKh, but 1dGh. It's the bicarbonate in our water that does it. How much/often should I add equilibrium if I wanted to boost the gh some? I've gotta order some more reef salt soon so I figure I'll toss in a bottle of equilibrium with the order
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 01:48 AM
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Hi bpb,

Seachem has an excellent calculator to help you determine the amount of Equilibrium to add based on gallons volume and the amount you want to raise your dGH.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpb View Post
My tap water has a high ph of about 8.2 and a fairly high KH as well (20ish degrees). The gh is very low though (1-2 degrees i believe). Ill need to test again to get exact readings on those, but i know theyre in that ballpark. I am making mineralized topsoil and was never able to locate dolomite. I was going to use crushed coral and Epsom salt instead as my base layer, but isn't the primary purpose just to help prevent the soil from dropping ph too drastically? My water has pretty high ph and is well buffered so is it even necessary that I use the crushed coral or can I forgo that entirely?

I'm not certain on this, but I think one of the reasons that dolomite is recomended is because it is sorta a mix of calcium and magnesium carbonate - calcium is pretty easy to come by, but sometimes sourcing magnesium can be a bit more difficult. I think using dolomite (as opposed to aragonite, etc.) as a mineral source is one way to try and avoid magnesium deficiencies.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 10:42 AM
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You can get dolomite powder from The Vitamin Shoppe.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 03:56 PM
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The big advantage of dolomite is that it dissolves very slowly in the water, compared to calcium carbonate. That lets you slowly increase the hardness of the water instead of it suddenly going up, and it includes magnesium too. You can even use dolomite gravel as a substrate, it dissolves so slowly.

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