Low Kh Question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-29-2006, 05:57 AM Thread Starter
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Low Kh Question

Hey guys, i am a little confused. I have just hooked up a diy yeast injected co2 reactor. I tested my ph and i got a reading between 6.8-7.0. Then i tested my Kh and it turned yellow after 1-2 drops without turning blue first. Which means as of now i have about 1dkh? I was confused on why my water does not turn blue first before it turns yellow. So.... I tested my tap water, and out of the tap i get 2 dkh. When i test this my water turns blue first, then yellow as it should.
I am also currently treating for ich in my tank and am wondering if the malachite green treatment could be affecting my kh testing any.

Using the calculator i have about 4.8 PPM of co2 in my tank right now. I will be adding another co2 reactor.

Why does my tank have a lower degree of kh than my tap water? Shouldnt adding any amount of co2 make my kh increase? How come the test makes the tap water turn blue then yellow, but not the tank water?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-01-2007, 03:29 PM
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I'm curious about this too, as I'm having practically the same problem as you. My tap water has a pH of 7.0, with a kH of 3 degrees. The pH in the tank is 6.2, with a nonexistent kH as far as I can tell. I even tried doubling the kit to 10 ml, and it would appear I don't even have .5 kH. I understand why the pH is lower in the tank, because I'm using Malaysian driftwood and ADA Aquasoil, which are both supposed to lower the pH. I wanted this effect because I want to keep cardinal tetras and a few other Amazonian fish. But, I'm concerned about the apparent lack of kH. I'm using a Hagen Natural Plant system for CO2. So far, it hasn't effected the pH at all, and the kH is still nonexistent. I'd like to know if I should be concerned, or what I should do about this problem. I thought about adding baking soda to raise the kH, but I've heard that won't effect the CO2 levels at all. It looks like we both need some advice on this.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-01-2007, 07:50 PM
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The CO2 is lowering the KH, probably. But you should be fine with a low KH and the plants will do great with a lower KH. Keep monitoring. AS will definately lower KH/pH and GH a little too.

Before I found out how nice low KH is for plants, I was adding crushed coral to my canister filters (or baking soda to change water) to replenish my KH - which is depleted by injecting CO2.





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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-02-2007, 01:53 AM
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Do plant enjoy low GH?

Isn't it possible to get a Ca and Mg deficiency with low GH? If low KH and GH is so great, why not use pure RO water? I ask because i have a plant-only tank.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-02-2007, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justlikeapill View Post
Do plant enjoy low GH?

Isn't it possible to get a Ca and Mg deficiency with low GH? If low KH and GH is so great, why not use pure RO water? I ask because i have a plant-only tank.
Craig/Wolfennxx would reply 'Exactly!' to that question.
Check out this thread on APC Plant Leaves Curling - Lack of Specific Ferts? - Aquatic Plant Central- aquascaping...a living art

It gets pretty interesting after the first page.
I'm on my second week of not adding any Ca/Mg at weekend waterchanges. Too soon to show any real difference. But Wolfennxx grows the best plants I've seen around this forums so I'm thinking he must be right about this one.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-02-2007, 02:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justlikeapill View Post
Do plant enjoy low GH?

Isn't it possible to get a Ca and Mg deficiency with low GH? If low KH and GH is so great, why not use pure RO water? I ask because i have a plant-only tank.

Most folks these days suggest a GH of at least 5-6, even if you have a 1-2 KH. And you can have either a calcium or mg deficiency or both. I use to dose mg and cal. to my near zero GH water, until we added a conditioner in our well house to nuetralize the acidity.





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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-02-2007, 09:21 PM
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If you don't change your water, the KH will shift downwards over time as the nitric acid formed by the nitrification process eats up your KH. Depending on your bioload, the shift can be slow or fast. Fast is not good. Your pH can drop very low, very fast if the KH is low creating the so called "crash" that people talk about.

If you change your water frequently, your KH will be close to the KH of your tap water, and all will be well.

Low KH (or no KH) is not a problem with a light bioload, as the pH will not drop out of the range at which nitrifying bacteria can live very fast, and water changes once a week can suffice. If you have a high bioload, however, low KH can be a real pain.

1 tsp of baking soda will raise about 30 gallons of water about 1 degree KH.

It will also raise your pH, accordingly.

You can buffer your KH this way, but frequent water changes are a better idea.
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