RODI balancing - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-09-2014, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Michigan, United States
Posts: 336
RODI balancing

Hi, after many issues with water parameters I broke down and bought an RODI unit. I know I need to remineralize and balance dGH and dKH, but having issues with this. To a 5g bucket I added 5ml of Replenish which should give me 2.8 dGH, and 5ml of Seachem KH which should give 2.8 dKH. I aerated water, heated and tested. Results were 6dGH and 3dKH, 226 TDS with a pH of 8.8!

Should I use this water or adjust differently? I am concerned with such a high pH and I thought I should match dGH and dKH, but not sure how to get a match without a high pH. Ohh, just had a thought; I should not use both Replenish and Seachem KH, but only Replenish?

My tank is 8dGH and 3 to 4 dKH with a pH of 7.4. I was having issues with pH fluctuating from 7.4 to 8 or more, but added airstones at night and RO water (another source) and may have stabilized now to 7.4.

I am still loosing new fish and really want to get a handle on all of this.

Last edited by All4Fish; 12-09-2014 at 03:51 PM. Reason: add
All4Fish is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-09-2014, 11:28 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 598
I have nothing to add, but wondering which unit did you buy? I am contemplating purchasing one to help soften my water.
psych is offline  
post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 12:29 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
Test a few more things, if you would.

Test the RO water right out of the unit, then after you aerate it overnight:
GH, KH, pH, TDS.
A new RO unit should test so close to zero GH and KH that hobby tests cannot read the tiny trace of stuff. TDS meter might read single digits.
While you would think the pH ought to be 7.0, it often is not.

After sitting overnight the GH, KH and TDS should test the same (hopefully zero, or single digits for the TDS meter).
pH will probably come down (if it was up) as CO2 from the air mixes with the water.

Then be VERY careful and add EXACTLY the amounts called for on the products you are using and see what you get. It is easier to use a reasonable/small amount of product in a larger amount of water rather than a tiny amount of material in a small amount of water.

You can also test baking soda:
1 teaspoon of baking soda added to 30 gallons of water ought to raise the KH by 2 degrees. You could work that formula down to 1/8 tsp in 1 gallon raises the KH by 8 degrees.

When I was using RO I used Seachem Equilibrium for GH and baking soda for KH.
Diana is offline  
 
post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Michigan, United States
Posts: 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by psych View Post
I have nothing to add, but wondering which unit did you buy? I am contemplating purchasing one to help soften my water.
http://www.purewaterproducts.com/
I have had excellent support from this company; have a double counter top filter from them as well. Great range of cartridges and totally customizable based on your needs. I got the countertop RODO unit customized.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Test a few more things, if you would.

Test the RO water right out of the unit, then after you aerate it overnight:
GH, KH, pH, TDS.
A new RO unit should test so close to zero GH and KH that hobby tests cannot read the tiny trace of stuff. TDS meter might read single digits.
While you would think the pH ought to be 7.0, it often is not.

After sitting overnight the GH, KH and TDS should test the same (hopefully zero, or single digits for the TDS meter).
pH will probably come down (if it was up) as CO2 from the air mixes with the water.

Then be VERY careful and add EXACTLY the amounts called for on the products you are using and see what you get. It is easier to use a reasonable/small amount of product in a larger amount of water rather than a tiny amount of material in a small amount of water.

You can also test baking soda:
1 teaspoon of baking soda added to 30 gallons of water ought to raise the KH by 2 degrees. You could work that formula down to 1/8 tsp in 1 gallon raises the KH by 8 degrees.

When I was using RO I used Seachem Equilibrium for GH and baking soda for KH.
Initially, I tested the RO water and it was at 1dGH, 1dKH 6.6 pH and 0 TDS. But I will repeat tomorrow and test again as you suggested.
All4Fish is offline  
post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Michigan, United States
Posts: 336
Hi, I filled a bucket with 4 gallons RODI (does have a prefilter) water and tested again; was at 2dGH, 2dKH, 6.8 pH, 0 TDS. I aerated it and let it sit for 24 hours and tested again. Was still at 2dGH, 2dKH, 6.8+ pH. I added 1/4 t baking soda, aerated and tested again in 24 hours. Results were 2dGH, 4dKH and 8 pH, 73 TDS. I am totally confused now. Does the pH rise because of the baking soda and higher KH or something else? Diana, any comments on what I can do to use this water for my fish mix?
All4Fish is offline  
post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 03:38 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
RO should have nothing that alters the pH, so the 6.8 you are getting after aerating it is typical. RO water will take in CO2 from the air, and the pH will stabilize somewhere under 7.0. Then, adding carbonates (baking soda) will indeed raise the KH and pH.
I am concerned that you are testing 2 degrees each GH and KH in the RO water. Which test kit are you using?
Also, the TDS meter is showing zero, but there is something in there giving you GH and KH readings? Does not sound right. I wonder if the test kits for GH and KH are off.

The pH change with that small dose of baking soda is extreme.
When I dose that much baking soda I am only getting a shift from about 6 to 6.2 (3 different testing kits), and the KH comes up from zero (2 different testing methods) to 2 degrees. This is not quite the same as you got. 1/4 tsp in 7.5 gallons ought to give you 2 degrees of KH. You got twice as much change in KH. Either your 1/4 tsp was mounded up, or the test kit is not accurate.

Oh well, lets say that is just what happens, so far.

Now, do you have any source of peat moss, oak leaves, alder cones or almost any other clean, pure organic matter? Not potting soil that may have other ingredients, and read the label on the peat moss to make sure it has no fertilizers or surfactants.
Add a handful to the 4 gallons and stir. Let it sit overnight and test. The pH should drop. The GH and KH should not, or maybe the GH might come down a little. A small enough change that it is hard to see, in most cases, though I do remember one post from someone who saw a big drop in both GH and KH from adding peat moss.
Diana is offline  
post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 05:40 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Posts: 1,286
Buried down in this thread is a LOT of chemistry that a member was helping me with. It may be a lot (LOT) longer than you want to read, but I learned a lot about PH and buffers when I worked through it.

Long chemistry thread

As to testing RODI for dKH and dGH - just don't. Unless you are not making good RODI water, the test kits just can't really test it. I mean the right answer is zero -- so how do you put in zero drops and get a color change? If you trust your TDS meter and it's zero, you are likely good. PH in RODI water varies all over the place based on temperature and aeration, it will not necessarily be 7.0. Don't worry about it -- the slightest addition of acids or bases will make it swing wildly until you add some buffer.

One thing I'm coming to understand is absent injected CO2, the PH you get is the PH determined primarily by temperature and dKH. Attempting to get lower and higher is somewhat possible but mostly an exercise in frustration. Look at this chart:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...16&postcount=2

Ignore the colors, and look for CO2 values of about 3 which is what you will get in a low tech tank.

So with dKH=2 you are going to be nearly off the chart on the right about 7.5 or so.

This calculator:

http://www.hamzasreef.com/Contents/C...LevelFresh.php

has a bigger range and adjusts for temperature, but it works backwards for a low tech tank. You have to experiment with PH to see when you get about 3ppm CO2.

But the reality that took me ages to get to is that in a straightforward environment -- whatever pH you get by adding the buffer (baking soda) is what you get.

Also the more buffer you add the less the PH swings by night/day cycle and other factors. So too low is not good. Somewhere 2+ is probably easiest to use.

FWIW.

Linwood

Latest tank build:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Linwood is offline  
post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-31-2014, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Michigan, United States
Posts: 336
Interesting, thank you! I have been loosing fish and suspected it was a CO2 issue so I added air stones and tried to keep dKH up with baking soda and peat. pH would not budge from 7.4. I am now thinking with all RO water I should shoot for a 7.2 pH and use acid/alkaline buffers; keep dKH at 7 to 8. Is this correct logic? Or is it even possible to get dKH at that level in RO water?

PS - using the calculator link gives different results! If I enter 7DKH, 7.2pH, 80 degrees I get 11.33 ppm CO2 which is not good. The chart shows 14 which is in an ok range. Is this due to temperature variations? So if temperature is also a critical factor, it seems that until I get my RO balance, my temp of 77 is too low and I should raise it?

Last edited by All4Fish; 12-31-2014 at 05:21 PM. Reason: more information
All4Fish is offline  
post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-31-2014, 05:20 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Posts: 1,286
Quote:
Originally Posted by All4Fish View Post
Interesting, thank you! I have been loosing fish and suspected it was a CO2 issue so I added air stones and tried to keep dKH up with baking soda and peat. pH would not budge from 7.4. I am now thinking with all RO water I should shoot for a 7.2 pH and use acid/alkaline buffers to keep dKH at 7 to 8. Is this correct logic?

PS - using the calculator link gives different results! If I enter 7DKH, 7.2pH, 80 degrees I get 11.33 ppm CO2 which is not good. The chart shows 14 which is in an ok range. Is this due to temperature variations? So if temperature is also a critical factor, it seems that until I get my RO balance, my temp of 77 is too low and I should raise it?
I was mixing Seachem Alkaline and Acid buffers together per their instruction to get PH and it wasn't working. IN that thread above, Joe Roun (clearly a chemistry master of some sort) convinced me that the acid buffer is both a bogus name, and not needed, and wouldn't work. I was convincing myself it wouldn't work, as my tanks always settled in around 7.6-7.8 no matter how I mixed in the acid buffer. Which is pretty consistent with the calculator's results. If you look starting at about post 104 in that thread you'll see that discussion.

And yes, temperature is very relevant.

Linwood

Latest tank build:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Linwood is offline  
post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-31-2014, 06:38 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 213
I worked with another hobbyist for a long time to come up with a way of reconstituting RO water to a Amazon river like parameter set ( I realize there are many Amazon river basin parameters. I can provide specifics if interested). I never liked adding tap water back to RO. I tried some of the pre-mixes; they were expensive and some were really questionable. Others contained buffers that would cause changes in parameters, sometimes days after the chemicals were added.

Now I use a mix of calcium chloride, Epsom salt, marine salt (reef mix), baking soda, and a little bit of lemon juice.


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.
MissileBear is offline  
post #11 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Michigan, United States
Posts: 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linwood View Post
I was mixing Seachem Alkaline and Acid buffers together per their instruction to get PH and it wasn't working. IN that thread above, Joe Roun (clearly a chemistry master of some sort) convinced me that the acid buffer is both a bogus name, and not needed, and wouldn't work. I was convincing myself it wouldn't work, as my tanks always settled in around 7.6-7.8 no matter how I mixed in the acid buffer. Which is pretty consistent with the calculator's results. If you look starting at about post 104 in that thread you'll see that discussion.

And yes, temperature is very relevant.
I read through all your links and tried to absorb it in my diminished brain today! Joe is awesome as well. Your post around #103 sounds just like what I am trying to do. So have you found a way to get the results you want?
All4Fish is offline  
post #12 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Michigan, United States
Posts: 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissileBear View Post
I worked with another hobbyist for a long time to come up with a way of reconstituting RO water to a Amazon river like parameter set ( I realize there are many Amazon river basin parameters. I can provide specifics if interested). I never liked adding tap water back to RO. I tried some of the pre-mixes; they were expensive and some were really questionable. Others contained buffers that would cause changes in parameters, sometimes days after the chemicals were added.

Now I use a mix of calcium chloride, Epsom salt, marine salt (reef mix), baking soda, and a little bit of lemon juice.
Hi, can you share the mix and the resulting water parameters? I need all the information I can find as I am just not getting good results with anything yet. Thank you!
All4Fish is offline  
post #13 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 03:30 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Posts: 1,286
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissileBear View Post
Now I use a mix of calcium chloride, Epsom salt, marine salt (reef mix), baking soda, and a little bit of lemon juice.
If you add a bit of thyme and rosmary, you can also use it for a great turkey brine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by All4Fish View Post
I read through all your links and tried to absorb it in my diminished brain today! Joe is awesome as well. Your post around #103 sounds just like what I am trying to do. So have you found a way to get the results you want?
Yes. Well, and no.

I've convinced myself you cannot have a non-CO2-injected tank with both good buffers (to reduce ph swings) and stay near neutral. I would say Seachem really has misled people with their "acid buffer" in that regard.

So yes, I'm happy living about 7.6-7.8, keeping hardness in the dKH=4 range, and adjusting dGH a bit higher as I like snails and shrimp and think that helps. It's easy to mix, cheap (once I use up my Alkaline Buffer and switch to Baking Soda). Though I'm tempted to still use Equilibrium as mixing that up seems a bit more complex.

But... are you doing fresh or salt? I think MissleBear's formula is for salt, and mine is for fresh.

Linwood

Latest tank build:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Linwood is offline  
post #14 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Michigan, United States
Posts: 336
Linwood, thanks! I forget there are salt people here too; I sold my salt tank years ago and switched to fresh planted as I was feeling guilty about wild caught fish. My tank pH is 7.4 and LFS keeps angels, rams in RO at 6.8; I have lost those fish and am giving up (except 2 GBR still fine so go figure). They keep other tropicals, my furcata, rummynose, cory, at 7.2 tap water so I was trying to get my pH down a bit (as I was loosing fish). They suggested Seachem Neutral Regulator, but I noticed it has phosphates in it, plus it did not budge my pH. So they said to add acid buffer, but Seachem does not recommend acid buffer with Neutral Regulator; need to use Acid Regulator - UGH!!! Back to what you said and just forget trying to buffer. BTW, also tried peat moss and leaves, but hated the color of the water with how much I had to use.

So back to simple; I think I will just keep dKH at 4 with baking soda. Should I be concerned though about the chart results of 5ppm CO2?

I have tried both Equilibrium and Replenish and need to keep testing as I think they both raised pH. I may just settle for ph of 7.4 and forget angels and go with praecox rainbows. What fish do you have?
All4Fish is offline  
post #15 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 04:19 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Posts: 1,286
Short of perhaps imported angels, I think you'll find you can be in the high 7's and everything will be alive and happy. Our water generally in this area is high PH, and most people I've seen keeping and raising angels just use the tap water.

I'm coming around to being a minimalist. There's a lot of "stuff" you need to add to keep a healthy tank, but I do not think it's worth fighting difficult battles. If my hardness aims at mid 7's, I'll be happy there and keep fish who are happy there (and most of what I read is that almost all normal community aquarium fish are).

I have angels, congo tetras, boesemani rainbow, serpae tetra, raphael catfish, lots of bristlenose plecos, one oto (lots of quick deaths when I added those), and a bunch of Siamese algae eaters, plus ramshorn snails, MTS, and ghost shrimp. Everyone is happy and just about everyone of those is actually having babies in the tank.

Linwood

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