Water Too Soft: What am I missing? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Booger's Avatar
 
PTrader: (27/100%)
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 576
Water Too Soft: What am I missing?

Preface: I used the search button and found a number of ways to increase hardness, but nothing that I'm very comfortable with. Coming from a fish breeding background, I've always been told that trying to alter PH/KH of tap water with chemicals is an exercise in futility for the long term.

I have a high tech tank (4wpg, auto CO2 injection) and am struggling with keeping the water hard enough. The CO2 hardly ever comes on because the PH dives so quickly.

For now, I stuck some crushed coral in my canister filter, but it seems to be having only a minimal effect. Is there a recommended dosage? I only put a handful in. How can I keep a 4-5 degree level of hardness with any level of consistency? I guess I'm looking for something a little more specific than "toss some baking soda or calcium carbonate." Anyone?



My Tap Water:
PH: 7.4
Hardness: 0.5 - 1.0 degrees
TDS: 75ppm

My Tank:
40 Gallon Breeder
4 x 39 watt HO T5 6500k
Eheim 2128 Canister Filter
Pressurized CO2 with Neptune PH Controller
Booger is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 07:30 PM
 
PTrader: (59/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,254
kh is low or gh?
fresh_lynny is offline  
post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Booger's Avatar
 
PTrader: (27/100%)
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 576
Sorry. I tend to (incorrectly) use them interchangably. Both are too low.
Booger is offline  
 
post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 07:51 PM
 
PTrader: (59/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,254
check out Rex's Guide to Planted Tanks
use Baking soda to up it...and you can dose CaCl2 and MgSo4
fresh_lynny is offline  
post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 11:10 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Rex Grigg's Avatar
 
PTrader: (65/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Portland Orygun
Posts: 9,600
Baking soda for kH and the directions are in my Guide.

Calcium chloride and Epsom salts for gH and again the dosing is in my Guide.

Using these basic chemicals it's very easy to raise the hardness. It's very easy to increase the hardness chemically but very hard to lower it.
Rex Grigg is offline  
post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-08-2007, 03:24 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
NeonShrimp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (140/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 1,838
try using either R/O Right or Electro-Right. Google to find out what they do.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
NeonShrimp is offline  
post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-08-2007, 04:11 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (84/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,015
Before you add anything why not ask yourself why you don't want a lower pH. If you add CO2 you can be sure the pH will drop, but the fish aren't affected by that. If your pH dropped to 5.5 it would not be a problem. So, maybe just resetting the pH controller would be the best plan.

Hoppy
Hoppy is offline  
post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Booger's Avatar
 
PTrader: (27/100%)
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 576
Do I need to make baking soda/calcium chloride/epsom salts part of my regular dosing routine or dose only after water changes?
Booger is offline  
post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 12:51 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Jeff5614's Avatar
 
PTrader: (52/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: TN
Posts: 3,603
I'm with Hoppy, just shoot for a lower pH. Set up a drop checker and measure the pH when you reach 30 ppm CO2 and set your monitor to shut off at that pH.
Jeff5614 is offline  
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2007, 02:52 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
Overfloater's Avatar
 
PTrader: (87/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 1,985
Low pH. I have cardinals and crypts in a tank with CO2, 0 kH, 2gH. pH has been down into the low 4's with no ill effects. Nowadays it rests around 5.5 and everything is happy. Don't worry about a low pH unless you are trying to keep fish that need it higher.

Regards,
Robert

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

48G Rimless Mr Aqua
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

37G Oceanic "Cube"
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Overfloater is offline  
post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2007, 05:54 PM
 
PTrader: (59/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,254
I agree as well. I have a kh of 1 and gh of 2 and my pH is 5.9....for over a year now. I have never seen better growth.
fresh_lynny is offline  
post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2007, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Booger's Avatar
 
PTrader: (27/100%)
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 576
Well then, I'll give it a shot. I did a water change last night, and didn't dose for GH or KH. I will leave the crushed coral in my filter, though.
Booger is offline  
post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2007, 06:52 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 249
A KH < 1 and you're asking for problems IMO. The water is susceptible to Ph swings with no buffering. May not be an issue if you're on top of things, but you can't get slack. I would reverse the question and ask why WOULD you keep a Ph in the 5s unless the fish need it? It's pretty darn easy to add some baking soda to raise the Kh.

Ask to when to add the baking soda/calcium chloride/epsom salt, it only needs to be done at water changes. Dose the tank initially to get the Kh & Gh where you want it and then each water change. Does in small amounts till you know how much you need.

I keep my Kh around 5 and Ph around 6.8. To each his own.

David
Aqua Dave is offline  
post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2007, 07:17 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
Overfloater's Avatar
 
PTrader: (87/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 1,985
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Dave View Post
A KH < 1 and you're asking for problems IMO. The water is susceptible to Ph swings with no buffering. May not be an issue if you're on top of things, but you can't get slack. I would reverse the question and ask why WOULD you keep a Ph in the 5s unless the fish need it? It's pretty darn easy to add some baking soda to raise the Kh.

Ask to when to add the baking soda/calcium chloride/epsom salt, it only needs to be done at water changes. Dose the tank initially to get the Kh & Gh where you want it and then each water change. Does in small amounts till you know how much you need.

I keep my Kh around 5 and Ph around 6.8. To each his own.

David
Many South American fish come from water that is very soft and has a low pH. In my case it's easier to use the soft water instead of adding hardness back to it. That's just an extra step that is not necessary. The plants and fish are both natural to this type of water.

Sure fish can adapt to a variety of water conditions, but why would you make them if you already have water that they are evolutionarily adapted to.

If you are concerned about pH swings, I wouldn't be. Soft water requires less CO2 to produce the "required swing" as hard water does therefore overdosing is a near impossibility. Also due to the fact that the soft water will not "bounce" to a higher pH when CO2 is stopped, you can turn the CO2 off at night saving you both money and worry.

Regards,
Robert

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

48G Rimless Mr Aqua
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

37G Oceanic "Cube"
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Overfloater is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome