6g Eclipse, CO2? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 03:44 AM Thread Starter
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Hi folks,

I am setting up a 6g eclipse. So far I've got 2" sand/laterite under 1" small gravel. The lighting is (for now) the stock T5 fixture (8w/????K).

KH=3
pH=6.0

My question is, do I need CO2? I don't think so, based on this chart:



Since it doesn't show pH below 6.7, I can only extrapolate that the CO2 in the tank now is above 20. Does this seem right?

Thanks in advance!

Ian
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 12:13 PM
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Actually using Chuck's calculator with a pH of 6 and a kH of 3 you would have 90 ppm of CO2 in your tank. I would suspect either your pH kit or your kH kit are bad. And it doesn't seem right. With an Eclipse tank and the Bio-Wheel it would be almost impossible to maintain 90 ppm of CO2.

Now you have to realize that the chart and the calculator are based on the idea that the only buffers in the water are carbonate. If you have used any pH adjusting chemicals then the chart is no longer valid. Where are you getting the water from? I see you are in New Mexico and I can't believe that your water is that soft coming from the tap.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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No, my water isn't that soft from the tap.

This tank is about 50% RO water, as I hope to breed Rams once it is planted... There are a couple of small Anubias transplants in here, as well.

I am a little puzzled though. The RO water has a pH of 7.0, my tap water is about 7.6... How do I get 6.0? The test kit is not old, though it may have spent some time at the LFS. It is the Aquarium Pharamceuticals "Freshwater Master" kit, and I am testing using the low-range pH test.

I tested both params twice, because I was a little surprised.

No, I have never used any sort of buffer solution in here. The dGH is 6, by the by.

I know 90ppm is false - as there is a small group of Corydoras in there now - at 90, they would be toast, right?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 03:59 PM
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You have something very strange going on in your tank. With a pH of 6 and a kH of 3 and a gH of 6 there is no way you could have a pH of 6.0 I suggest getting another pH test kit. If you have a PetCo or PetSmart close by see if they have the Wardley's mid-range pH test kit. Even your LFS might carry it. Also the pH of true RO water is all over the map. Since it should have no buffering ability it can swing a couple of points in either direction.

At 90 ppm the fish should show signs of distress even with good O2 levels in the water. You don't have any driftwood or anything in there do you? What kind of substrate are you using? Are there any rocks in the tank?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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You know, there's something I've been a little concerned about...

Because I only plan to have this one 6g tank as a soft-water habitat, I've been purchasing "RO" water from my local gorcery store (instead of buying an RO system). They have a machine that says it is purifying local tap water via RO, and specifies "no additives". It sounds pretty safe, the fish are healthy, and it's $0.29/gal.

However, if it is true RO, why do I get a dGH of 2, a dKH of 2, and a pH of 7.0, consistently, when I test this water?

Anyway... Currently, no driftwood, no rocks, only HD PlaySand + laterite, under a layer of "blasting sand" (small gravel), which I purchased from my LFS.

I will pick up a mid-range pH tester, today, and get back to you.

Ian
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 09:12 PM
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If it's RO water it should have no kH or gH.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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That's what I thought... Anyway, here are the test results with the new Wardley's mid-range pH kit, and a new Hagen KH kit:

pH: 6.8
dKH: 3

It looks like the carbonate hardness is actually 3, but my pH kit was off. I think it must be from contaminated test tubes. I never know which test tube I am using (I test all at once, put the tubes in a tupperware container, then wash all at once), so even though I wash them, there was probably some residue of the acid reagent from the nitrate kit, which fouled up my pH results. I will be sure to (more) thoroughly rinse each tube after using.

Anyway, pH 6.8 + dKH 3 = ~15ppm CO2, right?

If I can only keep it there, I won't need to mess with buffering the KH up, and adding CO2...

...especially since the lighting is currently so low...

Thanks for the input, Rex. Always a pleasure.

Ian
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-05-2003, 12:42 AM
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If you can keep it there you will be fine.
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