PH, Florabase, CO2 and Fertilizing - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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PH, Florabase, CO2 and Fertilizing

Hi there. I am new to the forum. I currently have a 58G tank that was planted but some misfortunes happened during my vacation. Too long to explain. I am redoing everything this time. I currently have a florabase substrate. I am reading a PH of around 6.2-6.4. Tap water comes out around 7.4-7.6. I think those readings on the PH are not accurate. A few questions:

1. Are these PH readings accurate in my tank? I have used two kits and also went to a LFS.
2. I am scared to introduce C02 to my tank having the PH to drop more and kill my fish...do you think this will happen?
3. What fertilizers do you recommend?What quantities for a well planted tank with around 2.5-3 wpg?
4. Are Seachem products good?

Thanks
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
1. Are these PH readings accurate in my tank? I have used two kits and also went to a LFS.
Well if your two tests and the LFS all agree on the pH range why would you question it? Also when testing tap water you need to test it after it has rested for 24 hours.

Quote:
2. I am scared to introduce C02 to my tank having the PH to drop more and kill my fish...do you think this will happen?
It's always possible. What is the kH of your water?

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3. What fertilizers do you recommend?What quantities for a well planted tank with around 2.5-3 wpg?
www.gregwatson.com and use the search function. This is a subject that has been covered many times in this forum and in my Guide.

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4. Are Seachem products good?
Define good. They are excellent products if you ask the Seachem people or their acolytes. IMHO they are for the most part over priced for what they deliver. I prefer to use bulk nutrients.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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I will measure my tank Kh, read your page and post questions, measurements.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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I have my water parameters.(ppm)
The following are for my tank:

PH - 6.2
Hardness - 120
Alkalinity - 0
Nitrite - 0
Ammonia - 0
Nitrates - 20

For my tap water:
PH - 7.6
Hardness - 120
Alkalinity - 120


The Florabase says on the bag that it maintains ph between 6.5-7.
I also have a driftwood piece in there. Might this be lowering my ph too much?
Should I remove it? What to do with my PH and KH? I do not think with this readings I can add a CO2 system.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 12:18 AM
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I'm wondering where the kH in your tank is going. I guess it's possible that it's being broken down by the Florabase and the driftwood.

How often do you do water changes and now much water do you change?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 04:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
I'm wondering where the kH in your tank is going. I guess it's possible that it's being broken down by the Florabase and the driftwood.
That is exactly what is happening. If you read the print on the bag it mentions that it maintains a pH of 6.5-6.7 or something of that nature. FloraBase is a peat based substrate not unlike ADA Aquasoil and works to lower the KH of the tank and in turn the pH as well. This will also skew the KH/pH relationship so CO2 can be injected, but must be done by feel. This is why all the ADA tank specs measure CO2 by bubbles/sec.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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I do 30-50% water change every week.

can you explin more on what you mean by feel? how do I know which what amount of C02 to start? how many bubbles? this might lower my ph?
anything I can do to raise my ph/kh naturally?
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 06:44 PM
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You can use baking soda to raise the kH. But if your substrate is removing the kH you will have a constant battle on your hands.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Do you think I can use the CO2 in my tank?
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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What if I used crushed coral for raising the KH of the water?
What quantities do you recommend?

Should I start another thread with this question?
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 09:26 PM
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Crushed coral is not something that I can tell you to add X to get Y. You just have to add some to the filter and test. That's why I like baking soda. I can tell you to add X and get Y.

If it were my tank........I would get rid of the FloraBase and put in some Eco-Complete and solve the problem that way.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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The Eco-complete thing sounds great...but it means spending a lot of $$$ and what do I do with my fish until the water clears out?Dump them inside there my 58G tank? I only have a 10G quarantine tank at the moment.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-28-2005, 04:38 AM
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That's the nice thing about Eco-Complete. It's very clean. Put the fish in buckets for a short while. Dump in the Eco-Complete. Fill the tank, put the fish in. Make sure you have a good seeded filter and lots of fast growing plants though.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-28-2005, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Where can I find a goodprice on the Eco_complete online? I am moving this month and have to move the tank. Want to see how many bags I need for a 58G tank and if I have the budget to do it. This willbe a good time to do so.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-28-2005, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milalic
Do you think I can use the CO2 in my tank?
Yes indeed.
Florabase is a damn fine substrate, it would be sad to trade it out for anything else, it is better than EC or Flourite for growing the more demanding plants, and all other plants, unlike EC, etc. ( Although EC and Flourite are good subs)
Not sure how you were testing for alkalinity, but a kh kit may be better, Florabase will lower the hardness/kh but not to zero, Florabase is designed to make the water acidic,
I have used it while injecting C02 and keeping fish without error, yet it is challenging, due to the makeup of FB. (C02 off with lights, keeping kh 3 or above etc) I would suggest a better kit for testing kh if you are unsure, and then it would need to be used in conjuction with ( as GMOP stated) a feel, meaning, knowing what the tank is doing/needs just by looking at it, which is something that comes from experience.
However I do not keep fish it in at this time, strictly because I can't, I use 90percent RO water with C02 and a kh of 0~2 a very low ph, for the plants that demand an acidic environment to flourish.
Therefore, the water is to acidic for fish and invert's.

So I think it really depends on what you want, how long have you had the FB? and if you trade it out, what would you sell it for?

Craig

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