Seachem buffers confusing me. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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Seachem buffers confusing me.

For the Seachem buffers (Acid and Alkaline Buffer), I'm using RO/DI water to mix up 10 gallons of replacement water at a time. Tank residents are/will be Microdevario kubotai, Boraras brigittae, Brachydanio/Danio tinwini, and Coydoras pygmaeus, and cherry shrimp. At the moment, I'm trying to figure out how to mix the buffers to get a stable pH of 7.0 (to be turned to 6.5 once I figure this stuff out and get the first two species which favor more acidic water). Do I mix the buffers at a ratio of weights? Or do I mix the buffers per dosage? For example, the Alk Buffer says to add 1 tsp/10 gallons to raise the pH, and the Acid Buffer says to add 1/4 tsp/20 gallons to lower the pH. The ratio on the cans says 2 parts alkaline buffer to 1 part acid buffer for a target pH of 7.0. Does this mean that for 10 gallons, I add 2 tsp Alk buffer to 1/8 tsp Acid Buffer (what I've been doing for about the past year with the danios, shrimp, and corydoras)? Or does this mean that I need to use 2 tsp Alk buffer to 1 tsp Acid buffer?

Additionally, since I need to keep the KH and GH high enough to prevent rapid changes in pH, what's a good target alkalinity (I'm assuming GH which also has KH included) to aim for with these low alkalinity fish?

So many fish to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 04:36 AM
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Put the buffers back on the shelf. I never use them.

GH and KH measure different things. GH is calcium and magnesium. KH is carbonates and bicarbonates.
If you have a combination product, test it to see what it will do for you, and make sure it does not have any salt (sodium chloride) in it.

I use separate materials to set each KH and GH to the levels I want for the livestock.

Set the GH using Seachem Equilibrium to suit the fish and shrimp. You are listing several soft water fish, so lets start with 3 German degrees of hardness (just about 60ppm)

Then add potassium bicarbonate or sodium bicarbonate to make the KH equal the GH.

Run the tank that way and see how stable it is. Do not worry about what the pH actually is, just that it stays stable.
Stable, in a planted tank, is a pH that varies through the day as the plants use the CO2 through the day (pH rises), then add it back through the night (pH drops). The change through 24 hours should be about 1 unit- so if the pH is 7.5 in the mid afternoon, then it should be 6.5 in the early AM before the lights come on.
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