Questions about raising KH with crushed coral - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Questions about raising KH with crushed coral

My tap water comes out at about 0 KH and 6.7 pH, give or take. Since I'm starting CO2 soon, looking at a CO2 table:

6.2pH, 1.5dKH
6.5pH, 3dKH
6.8pH, 6dKH
6.9pH, 7.5dKH

All these parameters give a CO2 level of about 30 ppm which is what I'm told I should be aiming for.

So I added a handful of crushed coral in my filter and overnight it went from 0 to 1 dKH. I want the KH to increase a little more. If I leave that batch of crushed coral in the filter longer, will the KH continue to go up or will it level off at a certain point, requiring me to add more? Thanks.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 08:23 PM
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Hi Codzilla,

Our Northwest / Wet Coast water is very soft...other folks wish they had our problems. Yes, if you leave the crushed coral in longer the dKH will continue to climb. When Tom Barr visited GSAS (and VAHS) in 2010 I asked him about water hardness parameters since he has softer water in the Bay Area similar to ours. He said that he typically doesn't worry about dKH as long as it stays above 2.0 or so. He did say he adds GH Booster and tries to maintain a dGH of about 5.0. Hope this helps!

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 08:34 PM
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Crushed coral is imprecise, 'slow', and contributes to multiple aspects of the water parameters that cannot be controlled independently. So when adding new water, why not add sodium bicarbonate to specifically/precisely/immediately increase the KH, and a GH booster to specifically/precisely/immediately increase the GH?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi Codzilla,

Our Northwest / Wet Coast water is very soft...other folks wish they had our problems. Yes, if you leave the crushed coral in longer the dKH will continue to climb. When Tom Barr visited GSAS (and VAHS) in 2010 I asked him about water hardness parameters since he has softer water in the Bay Area similar to ours. He said that he typically doesn't worry about dKH as long as it stays above 2.0 or so. He did say he adds GH Booster and tries to maintain a dGH of about 5.0. Hope this helps!
Thanks for the info! If the the KH keeps rising, should I keep the coral in the filter when injecting CO2 then? I know it's supposed to act as a buffer so I don't get wild pH swings. My pH in the tank went from 6.7 to 7.2 already.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefy View Post
Crushed coral is imprecise, 'slow', and contributes to multiple aspects of the water parameters that cannot be controlled independently. So when adding new water, why not add sodium bicarbonate to specifically/precisely/immediately increase the KH, and a GH booster to specifically/precisely/immediately increase the GH?
That...makes a lot of sense -_-

So any baking soda will do?
Is there a guideline to how much baking soda to use to raise KH by 1 dKH in x number of gallons?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 09:15 PM
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Hi Codzilla,

I would check the dKH now, if it is 2.0-3.0 or higher I would discontinue using it - that should supply sufficient carbonates to avoid 'PH crash'. Keep in mind that when you do start injecting CO2 you will have PH fluctuations, that is normal.

Any Baking Soda (NOT Baking Powder) will do just fine; 1/16 teaspoon of Baking Soda will raise 3 gallons of water 1.0 dKH. Since I have the same soft water as you, I add Baking Soda and GH Booster after doing water changes to bring up my hardness. Also, for every 3 gallons of water 1/2 teaspoon of Equilibrium (GH Booster) to raise the dGH 1.0 degrees.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-08-2015, 01:20 AM
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The formula for KH is linear. That is, multiply it out, divide it whatever you need to do, and the same ratio will raise the KH the same amount.

1 tsp/30 gallons (actually it was a 29 gallon tank + canister) = 2 degrees KH. When the pH in this (and other tanks) was below 6 (took lab equipment to determine it was 5.8) the pH came up to 6.2.
Same recipe in tanks from 10 gallon to 88 gallon shows the same effect on the KH.
pH is a bit variable, depending on what else is in the tank, but does rise a bit.
1/3 tsp in the 10 gallon = 2dKH
1 scant tablespoon in the 88= 2dKH

If you already have fish in the tank, then I would do these increases slowly, a degree or two every few days so the fish can adapt to it.

If you keep the coral sand, oyster shell grit, dolomite sand, limestone sand, aragonite or other material in a nylon stocking in the filter then you can easily remove it if it is not doing what you want. It is slow acting, so you will have plenty of warning if it is sending the parameters too high.

Prep the water for a water change ahead of time and run a pump to make sure the Equilibrium is well dissolved.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2015, 08:07 PM
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Can someone dumb this down. I have a hard time figureing this stuff out as I'm new.

How I'd like it dumbed down is to tell me exactly what I should do :P

My Co2 drop checker is now yellow so I turned it off. My ph is not reading so its below 6 it was at 6.4 before I started co2.

I have crushed coral but I'm not sure if I should us it.

My KG and GH are the same which is 2 drops or 35.8.

What is the best way to get my KH to 3? I have GH booster from nicolg coming today so my GH should be fine.

My tank is a 75 gallon High light CO2 injected. I just set it up yesterday, and I'm very concerned I'm messing up. I'd like my PH to be more stable.

I guess my question is should I use baking soda or the crushed coral?
or is there a better/easier way?
Thanks in advance

Bump: Also my substrate is ada amazonia malaya so this may be part of the problem. When do I need to be very concerned about my PH levels. I'd think that it being unreadable by my test kit would be considered freak out time. That being said will my ph being so low increase or cause melting of the plants?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2015, 08:33 PM
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Baking soda, 1 teaspoon per 30 gallons will raise KH by 2 degrees

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2015, 09:13 PM
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Baking soda, 1 teaspoon per 30 gallons will raise KH by 2 degrees

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Okay cool I will just use 2 and a half teaspoons then and leave the crushed coral out I guess.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2015, 09:17 PM
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Yeah, you can't really control the oh level by using crushed coral, could be less, could be more, might take some time. Least the baking soda is exact, and cheap ^^

I wouldn't be too worried about the oh being under 6 when the co2 is going. Malaya usually buffers to ~5-5.5 as-is, and the oh drop from co2 isn't truely lowering the ph the same way as it actually being lower. Once the co2 is degassed it'll return to whatever you had it before co2. Still definitely understand the need to get it higher tho ^^ some plants can have issues that low but there are quite a few that prefer it as well, either way they should be fine.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2015, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HolyAngel View Post
Yeah, you can't really control the oh level by using crushed coral, could be less, could be more, might take some time. Least the baking soda is exact, and cheap ^^

I wouldn't be too worried about the oh being under 6 when the co2 is going. Malaya usually buffers to ~5-5.5 as-is, and the oh drop from co2 isn't truely lowering the ph the same way as it actually being lower. Once the co2 is degassed it'll return to whatever you had it before co2. Still definitely understand the need to get it higher tho ^^ some plants can have issues that low but there are quite a few that prefer it as well, either way they should be fine.

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Perfect I needed to know this info thanks.
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