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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Question kH?

I've been seeing this and being a little know the tanks (only had a planted 10 for 4 months and a 20 for a few weeks.) I was wondering what kH is? I know what PH and other on my test strips are but I've never heard of kH.
I know that its a little dumb to ask but I've always said its dumber to not ask then it is to ask.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 06:58 PM
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kH = carbonate hardness. Carbonates will buffer (stabilize) the pH in a tank, and different species of fish have different "ideal" ranges of carbonates in the water (some more sensitive than others).





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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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how do you test this?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 07:54 PM
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Test kits are pretty cheap and easy to come by. I use the API drop kit and I think it's about $8 on www.bigalsonline.com for a kH and gH kit. I do recommend drop kits over test strips.





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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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ooo... thanks.. Very helpful!
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 08:07 PM
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You're quite welcome!





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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 09:10 PM
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I'll recommend the Hagen KH/GH test kit. While the KH test is essentially the same, if you find you want to test your GH the Hagen kit is substantially easier to read.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
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I'll recommend the Hagen KH/GH test kit. While the KH test is essentially the same, if you find you want to test your GH the Hagen kit is substantially easier to read.
Ditto

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by erinrobinjade View Post
I've been seeing this and being a little know the tanks (only had a planted 10 for 4 months and a 20 for a few weeks.) I was wondering what kH is? I know what PH and other on my test strips are but I've never heard of kH.
I know that its a little dumb to ask but I've always said its dumber to not ask then it is to ask.
Hi erinrobinjade

This is a very good article about KH and GH. It is called "CO2, carbonate hardness, etc." by George Booth: http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/CO2/khgh.html

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonate_hardness
"Carbonate hardness is the measure of Calcium and Magnesium and other hard ions associated with carbonate (CO32-) and bicarbonate (HCO3-) ions contained in a solution, usually water. It is usually expressed either as parts per million (ppm or mg/L), or in degrees (KH - from the German "Karbonathärte"). One German degree of carbonate hardness is equivalent to about 17.8575 mg/L. Both measurements (mg/L or KH) are usually expressed "as CaCO3" – meaning the amount of hardness expressed as if calcium carbonate was the sole source of hardness. Every bicarbonate ion only counts for half as much carbonate hardness as a carbonate ion does. If a solution contained 1 liter of water and 50 mg NaHCO3 (baking soda), it would have a carbonate hardness of about 18 mg/L as CaCO3. If you had a liter of water containing 50 mg of Na2CO3, it would have a carbonate hardness of about 29 mg/L as CaCO3.

Carbonate hardness supplements non-carbonate (a.k.a "permanent") hardness where hard ions are associated with anions such as Chloride that do not precipitate out of solution when heated.

Carbonate hardness is removed from water through the process of softening. Softening can be achieved by adding lime in the form of Ca(OH)2, which reacts first with CO2 to form calcium carbonate precipitate, reacts next with multi-valent cations to remove carbonate hardness, then reacts with anions to replace the non-carbonate hardness due to multi-valent cations with non-carbonate hardness due to calcium. The process requires recarbonation through the addition of carbon-dioxide to lower the pH which is raised during the initial softening process."

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 10:32 PM
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Carbonate hardness is removed from water through the process of softening. Softening can be achieved by adding lime in the form of Ca(OH)2, which reacts first with CO2 to form calcium carbonate precipitate, reacts next with multi-valent cations to remove carbonate hardness, then reacts with anions to replace the non-carbonate hardness due to multi-valent cations with non-carbonate hardness due to calcium. The process requires recarbonation through the addition of carbon-dioxide to lower the pH which is raised during the initial softening process."

Left C
It should also be noted that most household "water softeners" replace kH with salts. Which really isn't ideal for fish or plants (though I personally still use it).





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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 10:36 PM
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Good point. Wikipedia should include that info.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-02-2008, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, My pet store didn't have the testing kit so I'm going to try a store on friday that might since my credit card is a little maxed out with x-mas gifts... hee hee.

Thank you everyone for the information
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