Need Help was Told Not to Inject CO2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Need Help was Told Not to Inject CO2

I spoke with the lab this morning for my cities tap water and received the following parameters for my tap water, which are different than the readings my test kits have been giving me. They are as follows:

PH: 8.9-9.4
KH 40
GH: 14.5 milligrams per liter, very soft he said.
Phosphate: 0.012 ppm
Nitrate: 0.006 ppm
Potassium: 911 parts per billion - chemist said it was under
Iron: 14.5 milligrams per liter

When I test my tank water, this is what I get:

PH: 6.6
KH 80
Hardness is usually about 100 or moderate
Nitrate: 10
Nitrite: 0
Amonia 0

I just received a Secham Phosphate test kit today but have not used it yet. I've also ordered ferts and a new CO2 system - the Milwaukee all in one. Now I'm not sure what to do. I have been injecting DIYCO2 since the middle of November, but I've been told I may not be getting enough. I use 1 liter bottle.

My tank is a 29 gallon planted with a 90% Flourite subtrate. Lighting is a 1x55 watt Bright Kit from AH Supply w/6700K.

What should I do now, just give up and go back to fake plants or even low light plants without CO2? I am so depressed, I've worked so hard for all these months and spent a lot of money only to find out that my water is messed up. How come my fish do not show any signs of stress now, I'm injecting CO2?

Is there anything I can do to make my water right and can anyone suggest a really good testing kit. Right now for PH, I'm using Aquarium Pharmaceuticals PH Test Kit (the drops) and for KH, Jungle Labs test strips. For the rest, I use the 5 in 1 but I forget the brand.

Thoughts?


I was told that my KH or GH is too low to inject CO2 but wasn't given an alternative.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 06:45 PM
 
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with a ph that is 8.9 sure is hard to think the kh is that low i would still hook up that co2 i think all it would do is lower your ph and if its that high any ways oh ya what did they test the charles river lol
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 06:49 PM
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Add a little Ca and Mg to your water to raise the GH and go ahead and inject CO2. You can add some (a little) baking soda to raise your KH. Add these things to some water outside of your tank and add a little to the tank then test the GH and KH to make sure you don't over do it.

I used to live in MA, the rain falls on a granite mountain, runs down to a granite lined reservoir and is delivered to your house with nothing in it. Even the ground water tends to be pumped up softer than heck. Everyone wanted to keep african rift lake cichlids.

Sean

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 06:53 PM
 
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Generally speaking from my knowledge of chemistry so many years ago in college.

Soft water is normally acidic.. Lower PH


Hard water is normally alkaline.. Higher PH.

Linda one thing that you can do is to add some (amount can varry) baking soda to the water you are using for the new weater in a water change, before you do your water changes.. this will buffer the water and raise the KH. Once an established KH is met and as long as it is kept, injecting CO2 will benefit the plants, not hurt the fish, and keep the PH within a normal daily/nightly cycle.

The readings your city water lab gave you is... strange and contradicting.

I would go with the readings of the aged tap water that you pull.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 06:53 PM
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My water is very close to yours so hopefully I can be of help. My tap is KH=40 (2.24 °dKH), GH=80, pH is about 7. I went from DIY CO2 to pressurized with no problem, my pH now stays around 6.45 to 6.55 (I keep apistos and cardinals). I tested for KH once or twice a week when I first setup the pressurized CO2 and I have a pH probe displaying the pH 24/7 (not connected to the CO2). Now I only test for KH every week or two and add a little baking soda to keep it around 2.5-3.0 °dKH. Buffering the water to keep the pH stable is dead easy to do with baking soda. Just make sure your KH test hasn't expired. Of course, if you don't want your pH to be so low you can use the pH/KH/CO2 table to know how much you need to bring up your KH to reach a target pH (assuming you always want ~30ppm CO2 and the flow of CO2 is pretty much always the same).

GH is less of a concern because if your GH is too low it's not going to kill your fish, you'll just need to supplement Calcium and Magnesium to prevent nutrient deficiencies showing up in your plants (or in the shells of snails).
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 07:01 PM
 
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Crushed coral works well for this as well. I use 1/3 cup for my 90 gallon. It last about 2 months.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 08:09 PM
 
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Crushed Coral will supply calcium, but magnesium also? If not, epsom salt from the grocery store works great for Mg, and it's REALLY cheap!

BTW, have you tested your tap water after it's sat out for 24 hours? I'd be curious to see THAT pH!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esarkipato
BTW, have you tested your tap water after it's sat out for 24 hours? I'd be curious to see THAT pH!
I tested my water the other day after leaving it out all night on my kitchen table and the PH was a little higher than 7.0 and KH was 120.

I am so grateful for this website, I was nearly in tears thinking that all the work I've put into my tank this far was all for nothing. I sincerely thought that I would not be able to inject CO2 in my tank for fear that 14.5 GH was too soft. I'm not really up on chemisty and was told that a GH of 14.5 is less than 1dkh which is not enough buffering for CO2. You've all given me hope!

Thank you and keep those suggestions coming, I'm learning so much from all of you.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 09:41 PM
 
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I was referring to CC as a means to increase KH, as this would buffer pH when CO2 is injected.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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How do you add it to the tank, do you put it in your filter? I have an aqua clear powerfilter, which has the baskets for the media, I think I've heard others say they've added it to the basket, is this correct?
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 10:00 PM
 
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Yes, you can do that. I put it in a filter bag and then into my XP3. Do not use too much, for your 30 gallon you are looking at about 1/10 of a cup. Not sure how many tblspns. that is.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 10:14 PM
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You are actually lucky, it's a lot easier to increase hardness than it is to decrease it. Plus there are some plants like Tonina that require low kH (around 3 or less) to do well.

-Craig
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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You are actually lucky, it's a lot easier to increase hardness than it is to decrease it. Plus there are some plants like Tonina that require low kH (around 3 or less) to do well.

Well that's good news, best I've heard today! Tonnia, is that a foreground, it's not ringing a bell right now?

The readings your city water lab gave you is... strange and contradicting.

I would go with the readings of the aged tap water that you pull.


Funny you should say that, the chemist told me they test the water right away, this was after I told him my PH readings after leaving my water out all night.

I feel so much better now and once again have hope. It's just been a long road trying to stablize my tank. Thank you so much!
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-06-2006, 03:42 PM
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Okay, I've only scanned this thread, so it may be here somewhere, but I vaguely remember reading somewhere that municipal water supplies frequently add "something" (dunno what) to the water to raise the PH so that acidic water won't leach copper and "stuff" from plumbing. They didn't used to do this. I know way back when our water was very acidic (assuming the test kits at the time were fairly accurate) at 6.5 or thereabouts, but these days it'll read 8.+ out of the tap. Same water sources (surface water.) This is why you can have soft water (mine is around 2 KH 5-6 GH) and and still have a high PH. But, this is just hearsay since I've not actually called and asked if they put something in the water to raise the PH values.

Sláinte!
Cindy



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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-06-2006, 05:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaC
GH: 14.5 milligrams per liter, very soft he said.
Iron: 14.5 milligrams per liter
What are the odds of getting two exactly identical and such precise readings down to the ten-thousandth of a gram for two totally different tests?
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