Neutral Regulator and kH - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Question Neutral Regulator and kH

I have a 10 gal, low light tank that is having a pH crash (7.4 to 6.0 in a week), which is causing my crypts to melt, and is thusly giving me a small ammonia spike.

My gH stays nice and stable at 6 degrees, and has been since the tank was setup. Three weeks ago during my weekly water test, I noticed my kH was at zero; so I went out and purchased Seachem's Neutral Regulator to hopefully raise the kH and keep ph stable, but it seems to not be working. I added a level teaspoon to my 5gal hydrotote of RO water. I then did two 25% changes during the week a few days apart. KH seemed unchanged, now pH is crashing faster than the Hindenberg. Fish seem fine(as a matter of fact, my neons are loving it), snails seem fine, crypts are very unhappy.

Did I not add enough? Wrong product? Or just misuse? Ideas?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 11:47 PM
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You can either use baking soda or crushed coral to bolster kh/alkalinity.

You can use this to figure how much:

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 01:33 AM
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Potassium bicarbonate supplies carbonates.
Baking soda supplies carbonates.

Read the label on the product you have. It probably does not contain carbonate or bicarbonate.

Do you have one of the substrates that removes the KH?
Soil Master Select
some of the ADA products
or some other one? (I think one of the shrimp substrates can do this)
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I just looked into it. I'm an idiot. Seachem's Neutral Regulator is a phosphate-based buffering system, not carbonate. The MSDS doesn't list any form of carbonate in their "proprietary blend." Oh well, it probably needs a carbonate kick to get working. At least it will help with the ammonia spike, if nothing else.

My substrate is fluorite. But I do have a rather large piece of Mayalsian driftwood in my tank, and until recently had a large catappa leaf in it. Could those have dropped my kH?

Also, I can't seem to be able to get the dosing calculator to work. Anyone have any practical experience with baking soda?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 02:16 PM
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On the plus side,,,ammonia is not likely to be much worry with pH below 7.0
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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LOL Thank goodness for small miracles.

My crypts look like crap today. Pulled many slimy leaves out of the tank... Blah. Time to whip out the calculator and figure out baking soda dosing.
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