Confused about kH results, maybe different scales? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Confused about kH results, maybe different scales?

Hi guys,

I got my CO2 up and running, so I want to test the water's kH and pH to keep it in the correct green region of the chart shown below.

The pH is easy to do and I don't need any help with it.

The kH test kit from API (one bottle of solution and a test tube) set of instructions has a scale that says 8 drops (that's what my water came out to be) equates to a kH ppm score of 143.2 but that value is not on the chart shown below?

Perhaps there is a difference in scales? kind of like the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales both measuring temperature?

Maybe I'm not reading the chart correctly?

Thanks for what ever help you can give!

Todd
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 07:32 PM
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Hardness can be specified in ppm or in German degrees of hardness. With KH, German degrees of hardness is usually called degrees of hardness or dKH. The charts are all based on degrees of hardness, not ppm.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 07:49 PM
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A KH of 143ppm equates to a KH of 8 on the German scale.
1 deg KH = 17.848 ppm.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Ghia!!!

my pH is just about always 7.6

so on the chart that puts me in the blue with a 6.0, correct?

so is it better to turn down the gas, or add pH decrease?

btw, if it helps in giving the answer, I don't have any fish, only plants and snails

Last edited by tjurhs; 05-23-2014 at 08:37 PM. Reason: corrected my math
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 08:58 PM
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I would turn up the CO2, that should change pH and KH accordingly.
Using pH-minus chemicals I would not advise, as it could render the pH-KH-CO2 chart untrustworthy.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I would turn up the CO2, that should change pH and KH accordingly.
Using pH-minus chemicals I would not advise, as it could render the pH-KH-CO2 chart untrustworthy.
I'm afraid of what it might do to my snails. I have 7 really cool full size snails that my kids have named after the Flinstones. I've read in a couple places that too much CO2 will kill the snails, and that would be bad!
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 01:29 AM
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That chart will not give an accurate reading of how much CO2 is in the water, unless you are one of the very rare people who have water with nothing dissolved in it that affects pH except carbonates and CO2. For almost all of us with real world aquarium water, the chart gives a much too high reading on how much CO2 we have.

Also, CO2 has no effect on KH, only on pH.

I have never seen any information about how sensitive snails are to CO2. Logically they should tolerate CO2 about the same as fish do, even though it might affect how well they can reproduce, as it does with shrimp.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 05:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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That chart will not give an accurate reading of how much CO2 is in the water
What other method do you suggest?

At another $50, I'm not really thrilled by the idea of using a drop checker.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 06:46 AM
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I would not go overboard trying to drop the pH with snails in the tank.
Acidic water erodes their shells. Do not alter the pH with anything except the CO2.

Each drop of the API KH test = 1 German degree of hardness.

With 8dKH I do not think you are going to see much of a drop in pH, even adding CO2. Some, yes. You should see some drop in the pH. If you do not see a drop at all then I would think that your CO2 is not getting well dissolved or distributed.

$50 for a drop checker!! That is outrageous. Make your own!

Perhaps you do not actually have to run more CO2, maybe the answer is to better distribute it throughout the water. What sort of system are you using?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 06:55 PM
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What is your tank size? And what lighting are you using, the type of light, the manufacturer of the light fixture, etc.? The amount of CO2 you need is determined by how much light you use.

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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my tank is a 10gal and it has a variety of 11 plants and seven snails, no fish and no intent to.

The lights are common CFL bulbs from Lowes. I have three. The outer two are 13watt 6500K and the inner bulb is a 23watt 5500K. These are all mounted is common aluminum domes from Lowes, and they are hanging 8 inches aove the water surface.

My CO2 system is a paintball setup with the regulator and solenoid and bubble counter and tubing from AquaTek. The diffuser is a 70mm GLA ceramic that I mount near one of my filters. The current bubble count is 2 bubbles per second.

I have two filters, a MarineLand Penguin rated at 20 that I've highly modified and a stock Fluval AquaClear that's rated for 30. They are oriented 90* to each other.

I've been using the full set of Seachem products for fertilizers.

That's about all of my system as I can think of it.

btw, now my pH is down around 6.7 and it's the same on both ends of the tank. What's too low?

Thanks for your help!

Todd

Last edited by tjurhs; 05-25-2014 at 12:38 AM. Reason: added more information
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 01:26 AM
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If the pH drops about 1.0 after the CO2 has been on for a few hours, from where it was with the CO2 off for several hours, you have what may be enough CO2. At least you are in the ballpark. You can slightly increase the bubble rate and watch the plants for a few days to see if they show signs of better growth, more pearling or faster, better looking new growth. If so, repeat that until you don't see any difference. Then drop the bubble rate back to the last setting and you will have an optimum bubble rate for that tank as it is now.

If you had fish in the tank you would also be watching them to be sure they are not being adversely affected by the increases in bubble rate. With snails, I'm not sure if you can see the effects.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Hoppy!!!

Todd
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