Water parameters for planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-27-2015, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Water parameters for planted tank

Hi everyone,

Can anyone give me pointers on the parameters for a planted tank?

Also how quickly should you raise kh in a tank with fish and shrimp (rcs and crs)

Thanks
Adam
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-27-2015, 01:22 PM
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Most plants can grow in a pretty wide variety of water conditions, only a few are really picky about needing ultra-soft water, etc. Generally speaking, you should be able to work with your tap water -- that helps you because one of the main things you need to do is big, regular water changes. working with the water available to you makes it fast and easy.

Do you have a water quality report from your local supplier? Most cities have websites with that information. Post it here, people can guide you on the particulars more easily.

Why are you needing to raise your KH? Is there a specific problem? Don't do it unless you really need to -- Keep things simpler and more stable for the critters!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-27-2015, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Kh is 0. I'm starting with co2 and have been advised I need to run 4 kh to buffer ph
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-27-2015, 01:53 PM
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What is the GH in the water?

I would raise the KH in 2 steps.
Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda per 30 gallons, let it circulate and test the next day.
If something in the tank is removing carbonates then the KH may hit zero again. This would be a slightly different problem.

If the tap water has zero dKH, then adding the baking soda ought to stay stable overnight. The day after that, add some more. This gives the fish and livestock a few days to acclimate to the rising levels. Then, each time you prepare water for a water change, bring the KH up to 4 degrees before you add the water to the tank.

Continue to monitor it, when you are adding CO2 there may be an interaction, and you might need to add a bit more between water changes.

Alternate idea:
Add coral sand, oyster shell grit, limestone sand or other material to the filter. These will dissolve over time and help maintain the KH in the tank. They do add calcium and magnesium, too, raising the GH. You would still need to prep the new water to the right levels.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-27-2015, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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I should say during the day my tank sits at 6.4ph which I feel is a little low
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-27-2015, 11:46 PM
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pH of 6.4 is pretty low. By raising the KH by 2 degrees you will probably increase the pH to the upper 6s, then another 2 degrees could bring it to the low to mid 7s. Pretty good place to start introducing CO2.

However, I was asking about General Hardness, GH. Often, water that has low KH also has low GH.
GH is the minerals Calcium and Magnesium, which are required by fish and plants.

IF your water has low GH and low KH, then you can help stabilize the situation by adding some of the materials I listed earlier in this thread. They contain both minerals and carbonates. The more acidic the water (the more CO2 you add) the faster these materials dissolve, and add their minerals to the water. As the pH rises from the carbonates, the slower they dissolve. Net result is that the minerals levels, carbonate levels and pH are more stable.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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Gh is shocking here its 0 or 1. But tds is high. As I want to keep shrimp I'm going to re mineralise ro with gh booster for planted tanks and acclimatise. I started the tank with 5 gh with all of the rock it is now sitting at 13 gh last test but it's still cycling so I will adjust after the cycle is over

Oh and I have started water changing the existing tank with 5 gh water at 10 % rate

Last edited by Darkblade48; 07-20-2015 at 09:28 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep the forums cleaner
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