Raising KH - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Raising KH

I know all the baking soda and crushed coral tricks.

I was wondering about certain rocks like sandstone,limestone etc.. calcium carbonate based.

It seems to me they would be decorative and help with KH.

Would they slowly dissolve and help KH or would it be to quick of a jump in KH?

I have less than 1 ppm of KH and would like to raise it slowly to stabalize my tanks.

I can't find any crushed coral in less than 20 lb increments.

Its not even that I want the KH to rise. I just want it to not run out. Water changes don't help because the water going in isn't much higher than whats in the tank to begin with.

I just want something to be constantly adding slowly so there is always something there.

What type of rocks do you recommend based on looks, KH affect, and availability?
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 11:48 PM
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Depending on the size of your tank and the amount of water you change a week, slow release rocks won't help. For instance, I use EI and change 50% of the water in my hi-tech 20 gallon. To buffer KH/GH I added a "tufa" rock. It's working wonderfully, keeping my normally KH/GH = 2/2 water at about 4/5 or so.

In my 125, the rocks are doing nothing, because in that much water, not enough rock is dissolving over that period of time.

The crushed oyster shells will have higher surface area which would allow more rapid dissolution, I think.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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75 gallon and a 55 gallon both which get 50% water changes weekly and a 20 gallon that gets 25 % water changes weekly.

The 20 gallon isn't planted so it doesn't get ferts and it only has a breeding pair of convicts so the bioload is low most of the time.

I was pointed towards Texas Holey rock on another forum.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 12:21 AM
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CaribSea sells a product called Moon Rock for African Cichlid tanks. It is a form of calcium carbonate. It's mostly fist sized or bigger rocks that are a medium grey color. I don't know if this is what you are looking for but, here it is. It's 25 pounds to a box and a box is approximately 12" x 9" x 12".
CaribSea's African Cichlid Aquascaping Rock

That Fish Place carries it.
Moon Rock 25lb (Carib Sea)
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 12:41 AM
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Baking soda is cheap, it works, and it's controllable.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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With baking soda I'd have to test daily to make sure the KH isn't being eaten away quicker than I'm adding it.

I'm trying to keep it stable as possible and not worry about bouncing.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 03:56 AM
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Why would your kH be eaten away? Normally kH is quite stable.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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My KH is lower than 1. 1st drop of a test kit and the water changes color.

Normal biofilter actions eat KH, mostly nitrifying bacteria (atleast that is what I've been told). Plus I understand some plants might use the carbonates from KH to help them grow.

edit:

If I decided to go baking soda I've read in your guide that 1 tsp raises it 4 ppm per 13 gallons. So I figure thats 5 tsps for my 75 gallon tank counting water displacement. I don't really want to raise it 4 ppm so I'll probably go lower to maybe 3 tps.

How fast will it rise?

Would it be better to just add 1 tsp every other day?
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 12:51 PM
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The rise will take place almost instantly.

Add 1 tsp every day.

Run it up to 3-4 degrees. Then with each weekly water change just bring it back up. You will be fine.

Plants that do biogenic decalcification only do so if there is no CO2 in the water.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IceH2O View Post
My KH is lower than 1. 1st drop of a test kit and the water changes color...
Is the color that it changes to the end color? Which KH test kit are you using?

I use the Hagen KH test kit. The solution in the bottle is a yellow color. The first drop added to the water sample is blue and I keep adding drops until it changes to the yellow end color.

The reason that I'm asking about the end color and telling you how my test kit works is because many people get confused using titration test kits when they get a color change on the first drop. The end color should be near the same color of the test solution in the kit.

I'm not saying that you are incorrect in your testing and saying your KH is less than 1 but, your response makes me want to ask my questions.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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I use Tetras KH test and its supposed to go from blue to yellow.

The 1st drop is yellow, faint but yellow and definetly not blue.

Ok so 1 tsp every other day and then when I do a 50% water change whatever it takes to get it back to what it was. Probably 1 - 1.5 tsps...

Thanks for the input.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 06:05 PM
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Does your Tetra KH test kit use 5 ml or 10 ml test vials?

My KH test kits use 5 ml vials.

If I want to be little bit closer to the actual value that the KH is, I use a 10 ml vial and then divide the drops by two.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 06:39 PM
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Don't suddenly add several tsp of baking soda to a tank!!! Rapid changes in KH are not enjoyed by the fish. Instead, if you really want a higher KH, raise the KH about 1 degree per day with baking soda. I don't bother with KH in my tank - my tap water is below 1 dKH too, but I haven't seen any problem with ignoring it.

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left C View Post
Does your Tetra KH test kit use 5 ml or 10 ml test vials?

My KH test kits use 5 ml vials.

If I want to be little bit closer to the actual value that the KH is, I use a 10 ml vial and then divide the drops by two.
I can go 5 or 10 with my kit. I've nevered bother doing 10 since it changes color at 5 with 1 drop.

Hoppy... I had already noted it would be 1 tsp every other day.

Honestly I haven't noticed any problem either with the low KH. I just don't like that my water out of the tap after 24 hours is 6.8 and my tank sits below 6. Though water straight from the tap is also under 6.

The tank used to rebound back up to 6.8 after gassing off. Its well water so maybe the summer rain softens the water more. Maybe I'll just keep it as is and see what happens once winter sets back in.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 07:47 PM
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Yes, I did notice that you weren't talking about dumping in a lot of baking soda at once, but when others read these posts they might forget that KH needs to change slowly, not abruptly. I have to admit that I have raised my KH by 2 degrees all at once, and no fish suffering was evident. But, I was still very under aware at that time. Sorry if I seemed to be questioning your judgement.

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