How important is kh? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-19-2009, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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How important is kh?

I know that to some plants like eriocaulons and toninas, you can't go over a certain kh. Too much and they will die. But what about the opposite? What if ur kh is extremely low? Pretty much zero. Dosing EI it makes it above zero but not at 1 yet.

Is that also bad? Will plants suffer because of it?

I'm not a doctor in real life but I play one on this forum


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-19-2009, 04:18 AM
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As far as I know, the only plants that might suffer from an extremely low KH (low carbonate concentration) would be carbonate eating plants like vals. Generally speaking low to near zero KH isn't a problem.

People used to believe that low KH would lead to pH crash, but it doesn't. The inability of CO2 to dissolve in water beyond a certain ppm stops the pH from ever getting below 4.5 or so (at typical aquarium water temperatures.) That is not low enough to harm anything. And, long before reaching that pH, the fish would suffocate from the CO2 that is lowering the pH.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 03:25 PM
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It is not so much the low kH as the lack of calcium that will cause you a problem. Shouldn't be an issue unless you are using RO'ed water. I have a very low kH and no measurable calcium. Swords and certain Apponogetons don't like that too much, as well as Val, Sag and broadleaf Ludwigia.

Just my 2.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 11:40 PM
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I've yet to have any problem with any plant in RO water with 0 KH. The only Ca/Mg they get is from Tropica's plant fert. I wouldn't worry about it.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 01:58 AM
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Water in New York City is very soft too and I was thinking if I should use equilibrium with water changes...

Ckeck out my photography&travel blog

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