First tank with Oil Dri... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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First tank with Oil Dri...

Ive been planning on setting up my first planted tank, and am going to soil+oil dri route. However, I needed a tank up in a hurry for a frog I rescued, so I decided to just use the Oil Dri for his tank. I rinsed it for about 30 mins, got rid of the cloudiness and set the tank up. The problem is, my PH comes out of the tap at 7.5. I've done water changes, added massive amounts of baking soda, but the KH still keeps getting drained from this tank like no tomorrow. I dosed from 6 to 7.5 with baking soda last night, woke up this morning and it read 6 again. Can I safely house anything in this environment? I dont think I should... What do i do?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 05:32 PM
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Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a type of salt so please be careful on the amount you add unless you are doing regular water changes. Especially on small tanks. When water evaporates salt stays and unless you are doing water changes you could eventually end up with a very salty tank.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 06:33 PM
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I just setup a 2.5g with safe T. Have not test ph or kh yet, been 2 days now.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Ive been changing water like mad, trying to get it to buffer properly. I do a water change and add baking soda right after. I was suggested to use crushed coral, so I'm trying that now.

I wonder if Safe T Sorb has the same effects? I will assume so, since it also has a high CEC. I have Safe T Sorb as well, ill probably use it in my next tank because I like how it looks so much.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 07:06 PM
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A trick from the SW side of the hobby:

If your tank runs at a lower than desired PH, bake the baking soda on a cookie sheet for about 3 hours at 350. The baking process drives CO2 out of the baking soda and dosing it in solution will increase PH. You need to do lots of subtle fiddling with dosage to see what works for you.

As cautioned above, it is a form of salt so you really have to be careful with it. Just as a suggestion, you should question the readings from your test kits as well. None are foolproof.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushkill View Post
As cautioned above, it is a form of salt so you really have to be careful with it. Just as a suggestion, you should question the readings from your test kits as well. None are foolproof.
Well, from what I can tell, the buffers are just being sucked out by the Oil Dri since its a high cec substrate. Others are telling me it will settle eventually, but I'm looking how best to combat the situation and keep the PH at a stable level.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 11:24 PM
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I just did some test and here it is.

At 3:50

Tap
Kh- 2-4 drop
Ph- 7.6 higher
H. Ph- dark purple
Gh- 5-6 drop

Tank water
Treat with prime, dose n.p.k
Ph- 6.0 under
Kh- 4-6 drop
Gh- 15-20 drop
H. Ph- bright yellow

Tap
Treat with prime, been site for 3hr
Ph- 7.6 higher
Kh- 4-5 drop
Gh- 4-5 drop

Oil dry has lower the ph by many and also bump the gh up by 10-15 drop.
The kh seem to stay around 4-6 drop.

All test are call by the color I see, some might see it differ that's y I put 4-5 drop.
Will do a water change on satday and retest on Sunday.

Will do another test tomorrow using bake soda, lime.
See how the ph hold up.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 02:41 AM
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Add any of the following to the tank:
Coral Sand (Aquarium store)
Crushed limestone (Rock yard, soils, masonry, brick... )
Oystershell grit. (Sold for caged birds like Budgies)

You can add them to the filter in a nylon stocking, or mix them with the substrate.

I did about a 50/50 blend with Turface (another material that does this) and the tank was stable.

I have a LOT of tadpoles in some tanks that were filled with rain water. I do not think the low pH and lack of minerals is bothering them. They are growing like crazy.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
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I made a ball of crushed coral using a hair net and a handful of it. Stuck it in the back of the tank and since I did this, the PH has been stable at 7.5. Its only been a few hours, but I hope it this is the solution! I figured making a small sack out of the coral was better than mixing it into the Oil Dri, just in case I needed to remove it.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 12:14 PM
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I have naturally soft acidic water straight from me well. The tank that I'm using the Safe-T-Absorbent is holding these parms and even with DIY CO2 injection.

My pH is < 6 and kH/gH ~ 1. I currently house a group of Otos and a few CRS in there.

All are doing really well.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 08:00 PM
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seem like the safe T didnt bother to drop your well water a bit. hmmmm
wonder why in tap it drop so much.

how do you tell if it soft or hard water?
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 08:53 PM
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if you are using a canister, you can put it in a bag and put it in there.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 12:02 AM
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I did another test. This time i bake the Oil dry for 30 min after washing it ton of time.

I bake it at 450F for 30 min, toss some in a small jar add water and treat with prime. Did 2 test, 3 hr apart.

first test was blue, 2nd test was light blue. Cant really say baking the oil dry work.
I'll have to test some out of the bag and see if the ph will drop.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 10:01 AM
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The dropping of the kh is only temporary...just keep adding kh booster or crushed coral in a filter bag and eventually the oil dri will saturate and become stable...no need to freak out...
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 05:20 AM
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if you wash it and let it dry you can see the dust still.
no way to removed it all.
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