Confused about kH - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
stevenlau's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 65
Confused about kH

Hello,

I'm new to this forum and nice to know you all.

Ok, I have a couple of question regarding kH (carbonate Hardness) as follow. Recently I've just tested my ground water's kH value is 2-3 dkH using 'Sera' test kit and according to 'Sera', kH values between 5-10dkH ensure a stable pH and vigorous plant growth fromm its leaflet brochures, and also from the article of JBL's http://jbl.de/factmanager/index.php?lang=en and also from the article of Scott Charles http://www.aquahobby.com/articles/e_parameters.php. So my ground water's kH have not reach the suggested values range (thinking I'm going to use some pH or kH plus/minus to bring it to the desired level).

Also, I'm planning on re-scape all over my currently planted tank and going to replace my substrate with ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia II (due to being not successfull on growing Hemianthus 'Cuba' ) and I've just read on ADA's website and found about a big confusion http://www.aquajournal.net/na/notes/001/aqua_soil.html and http://www.aquajournal.net/na/notes/001/index.html According to ADA, Amazonia II has the capability to lower pH and kH to minimum level (in the links I show you can read it's <1) and my only question is will it not lead to pH crash?, especially regarding that my ground water's kH values is already low wnough 2-3dkH? Apparently, the more I read the more confuse I am. Please, someone will kindly explain this water chemistry parameter for me? What's the solution if I still want to use my ground water?

Thank you very much in advance.
stevenlau is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 09:18 PM
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (195/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,636
Many plants and fish actually appreciate low kH at 2 or 3, but if you are concerned you could add some baking soda (not baking powder) to raise it up to 4 or 5, but not really necessary. I wish my tap water would be softer

If you do regular water changes, and frequent water changes in the first weeks after adding aquasoil, there shouldn't be a problem. Again, you can use baking soda to carefully raise up your kH a bit.


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.

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.

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.
Wasserpest is offline  
post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 01:20 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Cape Coral FL
Posts: 904
Send a message via MSN to jjp2
+1 on wishing my Kh was lower. Mine is 4-5 and I would love it to be 2-3.

John



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
jjp2 is offline  
 
post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 01:54 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (84/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,012
pH crash is a myth. Adding CO2 is the only thing that would make the pH drop significantly, and long before CO2 could drop the pH to where it would harm fish or plants, the fish would all be dead from CO2 poisoning. Enjoy your low KH.

Hoppy
Hoppy is offline  
post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
stevenlau's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 65
Wow..this is a great forum. Thank you for answering so fast.

Hmm...seeing all of you posting the same idea, I think I just continue to use my ground water. Oh yeah, before I forget, I also noticed in the first day of my initial setup when I just filled up the tank, the pH was 5.9 and after 4 days later it went up to 6.9-7.0, is it a sign of pH fluctuation cause by too low kH or is it just my ground water need time to dissolve or something to blend itself with O2 or any other thing?

Thank you again...
stevenlau is offline  
post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 08:24 PM
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (195/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,636
Couple of possibly related thoughts...

Large pH swings like that should only happen if the kH (--> buffer capacity) of the water is near zero. Now if your ground/tap water contains a large quantity of dissolved CO2 it would explain the low pH, and after a while it would balance with the atmospheric level and the pH would stabilize in your tank.

You can test this simply by putting some of your tap water into a glass, measure the pH, and then either let it stand 24 hours and repeat your measurement, or, if you are impatient like me, just shake the heck out of it for a while which should have the same effect.

If you are not set on your substrate yet maybe don't use one that further lowers pH and kH. Or, if you do want it, just monitor kH and adjust if necessary using baking soda. pH up/down products are not recommended.

Check out the pH/kH/CO2 chart, very helpful, even though some say it is not precise. If you know two variables, you can look up the third. Like if your pH is 7, and you don't add any CO2, then your kH will be around 1.5, because the atmospheric CO2 results in a level between 3 and 4 ppm.


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.

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.

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.
Wasserpest is offline  
post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
stevenlau's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
Couple of possibly related thoughts...

Large pH swings like that should only happen if the kH (--> buffer capacity) of the water is near zero. Now if your ground/tap water contains a large quantity of dissolved CO2 it would explain the low pH, and after a while it would balance with the atmospheric level and the pH would stabilize in your tank.

You can test this simply by putting some of your tap water into a glass, measure the pH, and then either let it stand 24 hours and repeat your measurement, or, if you are impatient like me, just shake the heck out of it for a while which should have the same effect.

If you are not set on your substrate yet maybe don't use one that further lowers pH and kH. Or, if you do want it, just monitor kH and adjust if necessary using baking soda. pH up/down products are not recommended.

Check out the pH/kH/CO2 chart, very helpful, even though some say it is not precise. If you know two variables, you can look up the third. Like if your pH is 7, and you don't add any CO2, then your kH will be around 1.5, because the atmospheric CO2 results in a level between 3 and 4 ppm.
Thank you very much, Wasserpest. Now I think I got the pictures. I will test my pH and kH like you mentioned before. Let's see if there's a fluctuation or not on the following next and next day. Again, thank you very much.
stevenlau is offline  
post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 04:30 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
ch3fb0yrdee's Avatar
 
PTrader: (59/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: SkrimpVille, CA
Posts: 1,035
Not to thread jack, but what is the benefits of having a lower kH, Lets say somewhere around 4 kH


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
ch3fb0yrdee is offline  
post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 06:14 PM
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (195/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,636
Many plants and fish come from areas with soft water (low kH/TDS). The majority of them can adapt well to harder water, but some really don't.

Think Amazon rainforest... blackwater... soft acidic water. Of course there are others coming from regions with very hard water.

Plus it is simpler/cheaper to increase hardness than reducing it.


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.

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.

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.
Wasserpest is offline  
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 06:23 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
jaidexl's Avatar
 
PTrader: (42/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 33919
Posts: 3,500
Just wanted to add that I also have tap water at 2 - 3 dKH. I spent some time in the beginning chasing a higher number with bicarb, but eventually gave in and allowed the tanks to match. No problems in years, even in high tech tanks pumped full of CO2. I don't even use tap anymore but still reconstitute my RO water with very little bicarb, and an adequate amount of GH booster, of course.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
jaidexl is offline  
post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
stevenlau's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaidexl View Post
Just wanted to add that I also have tap water at 2 - 3 dKH. I spent some time in the beginning chasing a higher number with bicarb, but eventually gave in and allowed the tanks to match. No problems in years, even in high tech tanks pumped full of CO2. I don't even use tap anymore but still reconstitute my RO water with very little bicarb, and an adequate amount of GH booster, of course.
What is bicarb anyway? Thanks
stevenlau is offline  
post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 09:50 PM
Children Boogie
 
mistergreen's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 16,743
bicarbonates like sodium bicardonate, baking soda


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
mistergreen is offline  
post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-05-2009, 01:08 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
jaidexl's Avatar
 
PTrader: (42/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 33919
Posts: 3,500
Sorry, that's an old pool guy habit. Thanks MrG.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
jaidexl is offline  
post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
stevenlau's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 65
Oic... Thanks
stevenlau 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