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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-07-2007, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
 
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frustrated

I use r/o water. I currently use seachems planted additive and baking soda.

I am trying to get the water more livable without using the seachem, it just doesn't disolve nicely in my storage tank. Sometimes I get a big difference between tanks as it is being filled. I don't use as much as they reccommend as I don't want my water that hard

I asked Greg about the gh booster but it has a different kind of calcium then what I read is reccomended. Basically I just want a good trace mineralization and add back the basics... calcium, mag and whatever else is best for my angels and plants. Nothing high tech just the basics.

I have 6ph and like it to hover around 6.5, I don't use co2.

Can someone reccommend something to put this confused person out of her misery?? Simple and basic will work nicely.

I don't have these minerals in my tap water either as it is highly filtered and softened. So mixing water will not give me the needed minerals.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-07-2007, 08:14 PM
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My question is do you HAVE to use RO water? how bad is the water comming out of the tap before going thru the R/O unit? Is your main concern chlorimines? or is there alot of heavy metals in it as well?
could a inline conditioner help? or just some conditioned water with something like prime or amquel+?

Seems kinda weird to me that after going thru the process you still have 6PH water. Unless I'm mistaken it should be a nuteral 7.0


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-07-2007, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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The object of r/o is to have absolutely nothing in the water so 6ph is where it should be.

And yes I do have to use r/o water. and I paid a lot of money to provide this filtering system for myself and for my fish whom like soft low ph water.

We have extremely high levels of chlorimides and tons of mono and poly phoshates as just a few of the additives in the base water supplied by the utility company. I have health issues and can not drink or use this water. The water compainies website warns folks about drinking the water if you have health issues.


So with that being said, I would prefer to find a simple basic way to add the corrrect type of calcium and mag to the dead r/o water, I am currently using the seachem but would prefer something that disolves better and it wouldn't hurt to save a bit of money either.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-07-2007, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolF View Post

Can someone reccommend something to put this confused person out of her misery?? Simple and basic will work nicely.
Without having to go into a ton of detail, (call me lazy, just don't call me late for supper) you don't "need" to add anything to the RO water, the angels will be just fine with that, and would appreciate the clean water much better than they would like having baking soda and/or other chemicals added, they do not need baking soda or calcium to flourish.

If you feel you need to add Ca or Mg, simply add some trace mix such as Plantex, TMG, or Flourish.
http://www.gpodio.com/fert_table.asp

RO water is perfect as is.

Simple and basic enough? and will suffice excellently.

Craig

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2007, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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It is basic and simple enough, but I thought all living creatures needed something in the water including the angels and plants.

My plants definitely need something and I just want to put the right calcium and mag in the water. I do need a slight buffer also so it doesn't drop that is why I put a slight amount of baking soda in.

I don't understand the difference between the two types of calcium I see listed. I have master grow and flourish which I haven't been using lately because of the algea problem.

2 of my planted tanks do just fine with the seachem and a tad of buffering the one tank is algea city/ red dust on substrate, green on the walls and hair like things on the plants. The green water I seem to have cured.

I know there is a dosing schedule is for co2 tanks, but I haven't seen something for low tech and r/o. I have seen lots of comments nothing is needed. Obviously my tank is missing something and it is getting low dose of the seachem.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2007, 12:59 AM
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Are you adding any K+/Potassium/K2S04?
All a low tech tank needs is K+ and trace, with the right balance of fish+food=poop-nitrite/nitrate and the right light you should be set.

You definitely do not need to add buffer especially if you do not inject C02.

Adding baking soda to any tank, does not do it any good, it may not do it much harm, but also not any good, the plants do not need it, and neither do the fish.

Add some Flourish excel to the algae riddled tank for a few weeks while trying to clean that out.

Angels and such thrive in acidic soft to very very soft water, you do know this right?

Craig

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2007, 09:14 AM
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I don't know if this will be useful to you, but I'll tell you want I do, as I use five-stage RO/DI water with absolutely no dissolved minerals in it to start.

The chemicals I use are ACS Calcium Carbonate and ACS Potassium Bicarbonate.

I try to keep the TDS as low as possible, and to mineralize my water, I like to avoid adding chloride or sulfate.

I also dose half the recommended amount of Seachem Fresh Trace during the week which adds calcium and magnesium, along with Flourish and TMG.

I have found via testing that my magnesium levels are around the 15-20 ppm mark as CaCO3. It's been discovered that magnesium levels greater than 40 ppm as CaCO3 can cause complete stunting in some plant species. So I don't want or need to add a magnesium containing compound during water changes at all. To test for magnesium levels, I do a Lamotte GH test then a Lamotte Calcium test, then subtract the Calcium test results from the GH test results.

I change around 16 gallons out of 42 once per week. I add my CaCO3 and KHCO3, then do a GH and KH test, then adjust next week's levels by using percent calculations to achieve my target levels (GH 60 ppm as CaCO3 and KH 40 ppm as CaCO3).

To measure the CaCO3 and KHCO3, I use a gram scale.

I did try Potassium Carbonate (K2CO3) but it seemed to cause stunting. Plants show a very strong positive response to ACS Crystal KHCO3. My only guess as to why that is is that it probably has something to do with K2+ ions vs. K+ ions.

How to get CaCO3 to dissolve? It is insoluble in plain water, but in water with CO2, it forms Calcium Bicarbonate, which can only form in liquid, and is soluble. I stir it up really good in some RO water, then add it to the tank when CO2 injection is on. Water is initially very cloudy, and clears close to 100% within 1 hour and 100% within 2 hours.

Why do I not use Greg Watson CaCO3? It's not really CaCO3, but Dolomite, which has a significant amount of magnesium in it, more than what I want or believe is good.

Where to get ACS chemicals? Many lab suppliers refuse to sell to individuals (even though CaCO3 and KHCO3 aren't even regulated) because if they allowed that they believe their customers would make bombs and drugs. Whatever. There are some who will, such as chemsavers.com, clarksonlab.com, and sciencelab.com (who I don't recommend).

That's my own personal methodology so take it as you will, as some people say, my advice is worth exactly how much you paid for it. It works great for me and I am personally happy with it. I have experimented with different chemicals and levels and I believe I currently have it optimized. I can finally grow Rotala macrandra like the invasive weed it's supposed to be, as opposed to the "very difficult, experts only" aquarium plant classification.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2007, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
 
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Yes I know angels love the soft acid water, that is why I like to keep it in the 6.5 range and I keep it warm. I know they do well at other TDS and ph but it is my personal choice to keep it low, maybe not as low as altums, but then I have regular wilds and domestics.

Thank you for the suggestions and I will get some of the additives, I don't use any individual treatment like the one suggested.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2007, 01:18 PM
 
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i was just at a home brew store yesterday and they had Potassium Carbonate and Calcium carbonate might have to give those a try. by adding Calcium Bicarbonate and potassium Carbonate it will raise both gh and kh but how high will the kh go ???? dont want that to high. and how high will your ph go ??

Last edited by John S; 03-09-2007 at 03:12 AM.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2007, 05:22 PM
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They can't have dry calcium bicarbonate, as there is no such thing. Calcium bicarbonate (Ca[HCO3]2) will only form in liquid. You must mean calcium carbonate.

As I mentioned, I observed a negative response from plants with potassium carbonate - K2CO3. I observed a positive response with potassium bicarbonate - KHCO3, which does have a dry form.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-09-2007, 03:07 AM
 
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oh ya my bad it was Calcium carbonate
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-27-2007, 11:30 AM
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I also used K2CO3 as a source of K exclusively and i also noticed it had stunted my plants. I think the effect is not due to "K2+" ions but it is caused by precipitating Mg in the form of MgCO3 which is hardly soluble in the water.
The more K2CO3 i added the more cloudy was water in my tank. I didn't know what's going on. I mixed MgSO4 and K2CO3 together in one solution and water immediately turned murky and strong sediment was produced and settled on the bottom of the bottle.
I'm not a chemist (so please correct me if i'm wrong) but i think that when MgSO4 and K2CO3 exsist in the solution the following reaction will occur:

K2CO3 + MgSO4 -> MgCO3 + K2SO4

K2CO3 solution has pH of about 11.7 (10% solution). In comparison, KHCO3 has pH of about 8.3. The side effect of using KHCO3 is that it raises KH by one german degree per each 8 ppm K. I though of making K fertilizer by mixing some K2SO4 and KHCO3 so that it wouldn't add too much SO4 and not raise KH too much.

Quote:
How to get CaCO3 to dissolve?
It's easy; just grind CaCO3 by means of a kitchen mortar so that it takes the form of dust. The dust will dissolve even in water devoid of CO2 very quickly (most of it will dissolve immediately after pouring into the water; ther rest will do in a matter of several hours) I use CaCO3 at every water change as i use only RO water.
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