Means of lowering hardness (was hardness measurement conversion) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2006, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Means of lowering hardness (was hardness measurement conversion)

Hi

I wonder if anyone can help me with hardness measurement conversion formula for mg/L (lab measurement) to gH and kH (the measurement system which is commonly used in planted tank hobby).

I have my tap parameter as

hardness (CaCO3) : 80mg/L

I guess this is the kH or carbonate hardness. I dont know the gH or general hardness (so I can find out what is the level of magnesium) because it is not measured in drinking water test.

Thanks for any help!


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Last edited by medicineman; 03-01-2006 at 04:34 PM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 12:04 AM
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Divide by 17.9
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
Divide by 17.9
Ah.... thanks mr Rex

80 divided by 17.9 is 4.47

kH value of 4.47 is considered medium-soft, so there should be no problem with calcium level and my water is usable staright from the tap (that is except for some plants like vallisneria which improves significantly by adding a bit more calcium)

Now comes my new gH test kit and see how it reads...


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medicineman
Hi

I wonder if anyone can help me with hardness measurement conversion formula for mg/L (lab measurement) to gH and kH (the measurement system which is commonly used in planted tank hobby).

I have my tap parameter as

hardness (CaCO3) : 80mg/L

I guess this is the kH or carbonate hardness. I dont know the gH or general hardness (so I can find out what is the level of magnesium) because it is not measured in drinking water test.

Thanks for any help!
Hardness is your GH reading. Alkalinity is the KH reading. The hardness is the combined effect of all the magnesium, calcium, and to a lesser extent, iron in the water - the CaCO3 equivalent is a convenient way to add all three together. Alkalinity (kH) should also be in the water suppliers test results.

Kevin

Kevin

72g bowfront planted, CO2, 4x - T5HO, Eheim 2213 and 2217, 2 angels, pristella tetras, blue tetras, betta, albino bristlenose pleco, albino cories. Sword, vals, hygros, ludwigias, java moss and fern, anubias

2g Mac-quarium. Clown gravel, fluorescent plastic plants, and 2 guppies.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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I figured it out from having a new test kit today.

params from tap :
kH 9
gH 12

params from tank :
kH 10
gH 14

I found the cause to most of my problems now. My water is too hard, I think. It could be the test kit, but I doubt it. Labs here goes undependable because of the human resources and the reagents they are using.

Any chemicals usable other than staining with peat and using some RO?


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 04:23 PM
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if the report u got says hardness is 4.47 what are u adding to the tank to get 14 if u arent adding anything it sounds maybe u got a bad test kit
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John S
if the report u got says hardness is 4.47 what are u adding to the tank to get 14 if u arent adding anything it sounds maybe u got a bad test kit
Reports says (tap water) gH=4.47, test kit says (tap water) gH=12

I trust the test kit because my stem plants are slowly going to die or never turns into a weed ever since I started this hobby. No, I'm not missing anything so far except for one basic thing.. hardness. If the proof is not enough you can all see how I've been doing so far. ll plants that cope well in hard water like vals, crypts, amazon swords are in well condition. Nothing beats that indicator and it is clear enough that my water is way too hard.

So now I'm turning this thread into "means of lowering water hardness"!


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Ok... since now (I think) I know what I need to do next to achieve the ultimate grow..

Lets talk about means of lowering water hardness.

First of all lets see the background of the problem.
My tap measures at gH=12 and kH=9
My tank measures at gH=14 and kH=10

So it is obvious that I need immediate help and really quick in lowering those levels into gH=3-8 and kH=3-6. Since it is easy to see that my tap water is softer than the tank, then a 50% WC will help a bit.

I have heard of using peat to lower hardness, but unfortunately I have too much stain in the water, so any excess tannins for permanent is not desireable.

Using RO water is an option, even a 50-50 mix with tap water will give me a very good result in lowering hardness up to half the initial level. But it is not easily doable since 50-50 mix is already some 80 gallon+. More wise thinking I have two 260 gallon tanks, so doing so is definately quite a task.

I have heard of ion exchange softener and chemical ways. Please keep those infos coming!


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by medicineman
So it is obvious that I need immediate help and really quick in lowering those levels into gH=3-8 and kH=3-6.
First you need to ask yourself if you really need immediate help, or if a little selectivity with regards to your plants will go a long way. Many plants do quite well in kH10, actually...

If you are set on achieving lower levels, from what I have read RO/DI is the only way to go. Water softeners, ion exchangers, chemicals and extracts don't do much good except offsetting balances and making it harder to grow plants.


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
If you are set on achieving lower levels, from what I have read RO/DI is the only way to go. Water softeners, ion exchangers, chemicals and extracts don't do much good except offsetting balances and making it harder to grow plants
Doh.... am I going to hit a solid wall now....
I still have to own at least one tank that can grow those weeds... I mean I cant even grow hygro poliserma! And for me that is a shame and I will never get away with that. The dream will keep on haunting me.....

Chemicals and water softeners perhaps will do some upsetting and damage, but ion exchange (demineralized water)? The one that use some charged resins to trap hardness. This method is commonly used in industry, even in pharmacy business as far as I know.

Really, I'm not asking too much of this. All I want is around 4-6 in kH and gH and it can be doable in some least painfull way? I'm not aiming those super soft plants, something got to give and I know I cannot have everything from soft to hard ones under one tank.


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 12:49 PM
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If u want softer water, u could boil it - leave it to cool, and suck 80% from the top - thus leaving the hardnessmakers (Ca, Mg) in the buttom.

Using demineralized (ionchanged) water or distilled water, is far better, since no hardness is found there...

I wouldnt recomment chemicals...
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anti-Pjerrot
If u want softer water, u could boil it - leave it to cool, and suck 80% from the top - thus leaving the hardnessmakers (Ca, Mg) in the buttom.

Using demineralized (ionchanged) water or distilled water, is far better, since no hardness is found there...

I wouldnt recomment chemicals...
I'm not so sure that these suggestions are reasonable considering the monstrous proportions of water changes he will be doing.

If you HAVE to keep the dream alive . . . . .

option #1: invest in a really high capactiy R.O. machine.

option #2: get a smaller tank for the "delicate" species, and get a much cheaper R.O. unit!
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 04:38 PM
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med what brand of test kit did u use
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esarkipato
I'm not so sure that these suggestions are reasonable considering the monstrous proportions of water changes he will be doing.

If you HAVE to keep the dream alive . . . . .

option #1: invest in a really high capactiy R.O. machine.

option #2: get a smaller tank for the "delicate" species, and get a much cheaper R.O. unit!
That sounds the most reasonable and sane way considering so far I have seen RO units that cost me an arm and a leg (more expensive than the tank and all stuff inside it), even though some non-drinking RO/DI units seems to be ridiculously cheap (as I have seen in USA for $100 ).

Anyway... life must go on


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