Increasing KH, change to RO water - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2015, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Increasing KH, change to RO water

I am finally getting ready to make the switch to RO water. Still a lil confused and want to be sure I get this right. I will be using Equilibrium.

Then, if I need to increase to KH using baking soda, how much per gallon is needed to increase by 1 degree?

Will the above be all I need?

Also, I was given the instructions on how to do several water changes mixing the RO with the spring water to make this change gradual. Is there anyway I can make this change safely without using the spring water?

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2015, 08:50 PM
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Forget the whole spring water thing. I'm pretty sure spring water is a fancy word for tap water now a days. What are your current tank parameters? Switching to RO is easy. You want the RO to match your current tank parameters. You only need Equilibrium and maybe some baking soda. Follow the directions on the Equilibrium until the GH's match. Baking soda I add a little then test, add a little then test so on and so forth until the PH/KH match the tank. Do small water changes over several days instead of adding "spring water". When switching water sources its better to do it in small increments over several water changes.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2015, 09:05 PM
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Baking soda:
1 teaspoon added to 30 gallons will raise the KH by 2 German degrees of hardness.
This is straight line math: you can scale the dose per gallon any way you want to get the results you want.

Double the baking soda: 2 teaspoons per 30 gallons = 4dKH
Divide the water volume and baking soda by 8: 1/8 tsp per 3.75 gallons = 2dKH
To cut the results in half: 1dKH = 1 tsp/60 gal.
To cut the results in half: 1dKH = .5 tsp/30 gal.
To cut the results in half: 1dKH = .25 tsp/15 gal.

How to make the change safely for the fish:
Method #1:
Make the mix you ultimately want for the tank and do a few smaller water changes, then larger ones so the water gradually shifts to its new parameters. This allows the fish about a month to adapt.
If the tank needs larger or more water changes make the new water match the parameters the tank is showing on the day you want to make that larger water change.
First week: do 2 water changes of 10% each
Second week: do 2 water changes of 25% each
Third week: do 2 water changes of 50% each
Fourth week: do 2 water changes of 75% each.
After this the tank is close enough to its final parameters that whatever water changes it needs are OK by the fish.

Method #2:
Do the math each time, and make a different blend of water each time so that the end result after each water change is that the parameters (GH, KH, TDS) drop by no more than 10% for the most delicate fish, perhaps 15% for the sturdier fish.
Do 2 of these water changes per week. You can do very large water changes, if needed, but the new water will be just a little bit softer than the current water. Or you can do smaller water changes, with much softer water.
Example:
Lets say you are starting with a TDS of 500.
Your first water change goal is to finish with a TDS of 450. (10% less than 500)
If you did a 100% water change then you would set up the new water with TDS 450.
If you did a 50% water change you could start with new water with TDS 400. When you mix this with the water remaining in the tank the end result is TDS 450.
If you did a 10% water change your new water could be TDS 0 and the end result would still be TDS 450.

The next water change starts with a TDS of 450, so the goal is a new TDS of 405 (10% less than 500).

Over a period of about a month the water will get softer with each water change.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2015, 09:06 PM
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+1 What Greaser84 said.

A good starting point for baking soda is for 10 gallons you need about a gram per dKH. Adjust as needed after testing (after mixing for several hours to aerate). As a more realistic amount, say you are changing 15 gallons at a time, it takes about 1 teaspoon to get a dKH of about 4.

So if you are trying for low PH (i.e. low dKH), and have a small tank, it is VERY LITTLE. But not zero.

I'd also agree with just mixing RO water straight the first time, BUT the first time match your tank parameters, and if you want to change do it slowly over several water changes.

Despite indications otherwise, the Equilibrium does have some impact on dKH, so if you are going for a fairly high dGH, expect to even use a bit less baking soda. But not zero!

Bump: pS. Sorry, Diana and I were writing at the same time, hope it's similar! If not listen to her.

Bump: Incidentally this may be completely obvious but just in case: Mix water for water changes. Use RO water straight for top off due to evaporation. This keeps you from building up dissolved solids due to evaporation.

Linwood

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2015, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linwood View Post
+1 What Greaser84 said.

A good starting point for baking soda is for 10 gallons you need about a gram per dKH. Adjust as needed after testing (after mixing for several hours to aerate). As a more realistic amount, say you are changing 15 gallons at a time, it takes about 1 teaspoon to get a dKH of about 4.

So if you are trying for low PH (i.e. low dKH), and have a small tank, it is VERY LITTLE. But not zero.

I'd also agree with just mixing RO water straight the first time, BUT the first time match your tank parameters, and if you want to change do it slowly over several water changes.

Despite indications otherwise, the Equilibrium does have some impact on dKH, so if you are going for a fairly high dGH, expect to even use a bit less baking soda. But not zero!

Bump: pS. Sorry, Diana and I were writing at the same time, hope it's similar! If not listen to her.

Bump: Incidentally this may be completely obvious but just in case: Mix water for water changes. Use RO water straight for top off due to evaporation. This keeps you from building up dissolved solids due to evaporation.
She said the same thing as us but used basic arithmetic which goes over my head most of the time. haha


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2015, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greaser84 View Post
Forget the whole spring water thing. I'm pretty sure spring water is a fancy word for tap water now a days. What are your current tank parameters? Switching to RO is easy. You want the RO to match your current tank parameters. You only need Equilibrium and maybe some baking soda. Follow the directions on the Equilibrium until the GH's match. Baking soda I add a little then test, add a little then test so on and so forth until the PH/KH match the tank. Do small water changes over several days instead of adding "spring water". When switching water sources its better to do it in small increments over several water changes.
Thanks..my water parameters are all over the board...I am sure it has to do with the bottled water. Lately the only thing I have been checking is ammonia and nitrites, I will start checking everything once I start the change.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Baking soda:
1 teaspoon added to 30 gallons will raise the KH by 2 German degrees of hardness.
This is straight line math: you can scale the dose per gallon any way you want to get the results you want.

Double the baking soda: 2 teaspoons per 30 gallons = 4dKH
Divide the water volume and baking soda by 8: 1/8 tsp per 3.75 gallons = 2dKH
To cut the results in half: 1dKH = 1 tsp/60 gal.
To cut the results in half: 1dKH = .5 tsp/30 gal.
To cut the results in half: 1dKH = .25 tsp/15 gal.

How to make the change safely for the fish:
Method #1:
Make the mix you ultimately want for the tank and do a few smaller water changes, then larger ones so the water gradually shifts to its new parameters. This allows the fish about a month to adapt.
If the tank needs larger or more water changes make the new water match the parameters the tank is showing on the day you want to make that larger water change.
First week: do 2 water changes of 10% each
Second week: do 2 water changes of 25% each
Third week: do 2 water changes of 50% each
Fourth week: do 2 water changes of 75% each.
After this the tank is close enough to its final parameters that whatever water changes it needs are OK by the fish.

Method #2:
Do the math each time, and make a different blend of water each time so that the end result after each water change is that the parameters (GH, KH, TDS) drop by no more than 10% for the most delicate fish, perhaps 15% for the sturdier fish.
Do 2 of these water changes per week. You can do very large water changes, if needed, but the new water will be just a little bit softer than the current water. Or you can do smaller water changes, with much softer water.
Example:
Lets say you are starting with a TDS of 500.
Your first water change goal is to finish with a TDS of 450. (10% less than 500)
If you did a 100% water change then you would set up the new water with TDS 450.
If you did a 50% water change you could start with new water with TDS 400. When you mix this with the water remaining in the tank the end result is TDS 450.
If you did a 10% water change your new water could be TDS 0 and the end result would still be TDS 450.

The next water change starts with a TDS of 450, so the goal is a new TDS of 405 (10% less than 500).

Over a period of about a month the water will get softer with each water change.
Thanks once again for the help. I am going to do Method #1

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2015, 11:05 PM
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I am switching over to powdered Calcium Carbonate instead of Sodium Bicarbonate to cut down on sodium input into my tank.. But my final parameters are pretty hard and I felt like I was adding too much baking soda over time.

2 teaspoons (~4g) in my 55g will change it 1 degree in gH/kH


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