KH, PH and CO2 levels - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
 
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KH, PH and CO2 levels

Hey guys....ok...I think I managed to COMPLETELY confuse myself here. I began adding co2 to my 10g a couple of days ago. When I started, my KH was between 70 and 80 ppm, PH was at around 6.6 - 6.8. I have the co2 going in at about 2.5 - 2.7 bbs.

I measured my parameters today and found the KH to be at around 120 -130 ppm and the PH around 6.2 - 6.3......now.....going by the chart that everyone seems to be using, that would mean that my co2 ppm's are WAY above what I want, like something in the neighbourhood of 107 ppm. That would seem to me that the fish would be dying pretty darn quick...and yet...the zebra danio fry are still swimming around and the 3 otto's don't seem to be breathing quickly at all. I do notice that the otto's hang around near the top of the tank quite a bit though after the co2 has been on for about 3 hours. I'm not using additives, just Aquaplus tap water conditioner and the required amount of API salt with water change.

What am I doing wrong? Should I lower the bbs on the co2?
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 10:38 PM
 
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CO2 addition by itself shouldn't alter your KH at all.

But if you have anything like crushed coral, I have heard that the increased acidity of the water can cause it to dissolve and thus raise KH
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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No....all I have is eco complete as substrate, plants and some driftwood. I'm at a loss here.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-27-2006, 11:19 PM
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You aren't doing anything wrong except expecting the KH/pH/CO2 table to be accurate. It isn't in most cases. Try a "drop checker" per DIY Drop Checker - Aquatic Plant Central- aquascaping...a living art and you can accurately measure your CO2 ppm.

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-28-2006, 04:13 AM
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Well, Hoppy, Just spent an enjoyable 1.5 hrs reading the famous drop checker thread. I just ordered a Red Sea unit to double check my CO2. I've been meaning to do this for a while. I looked here for that thread once and came up blank - no wonder seeing how its over at APC. I would make a DIY, but I really like the teardrop one and will order that later, maybe. Thanks for the link and your efforts!





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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-28-2006, 04:30 AM
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I just got some gas permeable membranes to play with, to see if I can make an even simpler, easier to use version of the drop checker. But, for now I am all consumed by my Murphy Bed project - about half done now.

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-28-2006, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
 
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Murphy bed project???
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-28-2006, 04:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Betowess View Post
Well, Hoppy, Just spent an enjoyable 1.5 hrs reading the famous drop checker thread. I just ordered a Red Sea unit to double check my CO2. I've been meaning to do this for a while. I looked here for that thread once and came up blank - no wonder seeing how its over at APC. I would make a DIY, but I really like the teardrop one and will order that later, maybe. Thanks for the link and your efforts!
I got a cheap ada-like one on ebay...
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-28-2006, 04:13 PM
 
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No....all I have is eco complete as substrate, plants and some driftwood. I'm at a loss here.
sorry back to the topic....is your eco new? Eco, in the beginning, hardens your conditions temporarily. I have KH of 1 out of the tap. When I first added eco, my kh was 7...that is quite a difference. After many water changes and a couple months, it stabilized back to 1-2. This is the norm from what I am now seeing. Be patient, do water changes, and grow your plants.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-28-2006, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Excellent...thanks guys. It sounds like I'm not doing anything wrong. The fish seem happy and aren't stressed so there must be something in there that is creating the artificial reading of 107ppm, I'm sure the fish would be dead if it really were at that level.

Fish newb.... Yes, my eco is fairly new, less than a month old. how much did you pay for your ada? Is it glass?

Thanks everyone
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-29-2006, 02:45 AM
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Yeah back to the topic, thanks FN. I would be surprised if your GH hasn't gone up quite a bit too - with new Eco-complete. Your pH probably would have too, but the CO2 bubble rate is quite high so that's keeping it down. Some batches of Eco have been reported with bits of crushed coral or the like which seems to cause a spike in KH, GH, and pH - initially. And then it settles back down after some time and a number of water changes.

Also, I've had fish way over 120ppm CO2 without any problems.





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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-29-2006, 06:13 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info. you say my bubble rate is quite high, where should it be? I aim for the plants to start pearling a couple of hours after the co2 comes on and this seems to make them happy. Believe it or not, I've noticed a difference in the health of the plants just in the past few days I've started. Is this unusual?

Thanks again
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-30-2006, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well, I was concerned about the ph so I tested again and it's around 6.4 -6.5 now, so it has gone up slightly. Out of curiosity I decided to test my tap water that has ALWAYS been in the 6.8-6.9 range. It is now 6.0

I couldn't believe it. What would cause it to swing that much. They must be doing something to the water. Anyway, that explains why my PH goes does dramatically even with my water changes.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-30-2006, 10:29 PM
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hmm my tap ph changed recently from 6.5 to 7.0 idk what they are doing to the water.

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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-31-2006, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by cherokeetestpilot View Post
Thanks for the info. you say my bubble rate is quite high, where should it be? I aim for the plants to start pearling a couple of hours after the co2 comes on and this seems to make them happy. Believe it or not, I've noticed a difference in the health of the plants just in the past few days I've started. Is this unusual?

Thanks again
My bad on the bubble rate. It's about right. I was actually thinking the CO2 ppm was a bit high when I mentioned the bubble count, but as I said before, I have kept CO2 ppm that high without any problems. I assumed your bubble rate was high with that high of ppm. But 2.5 - 3 bps is a very common rate. Sorry about that. bob

ps. As you know, we have notoriously soft water around here. I'm on well water and until we added an acid nuetralizer (to cure a few pin hole leaks in our copper piping) I had to add MG and Calcium chloride to my water changes. 6.0 out of the tap doesn't surprise me at all. I use to have pH 5.2 (ph 6.3 after standing for 24 hours).





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