Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Long Island, NY
Raising kh for co2 in planted discus tank
I was wondering if anyone can provide some advice for my situation. I have a 30g cube tank which is heavily planted, I am currently running DYI co2 via yeast and sugar solution and the tank also houses a few small discus. So far I have been able to keep the ph levels stable at about a 7.2 - I know this ph is not exactly ideal for discus - however the discus are used to this ph level and do not mind the slightly higher than ideal ph. However, I am running into a problem with keeping the kh high enough for co2 diffusion and what would be ideal for my plants (mainly swords and annubias). The kh and gh out of my tap is 2 dkh - so my tap water is already soft but carries a stable ph of 7.2. - My main problem here is raising the kh high enough for co2 without having a major ph impact - in other words I dont want to destabilize the ph or even have a higher stabilized ph - as that would definitely be bad for the discus. - another issue is that within a short time of doing a water change - the kh in my tank lowers to 0-1 dkh. I have a couple of ideas but I'm just not sure which will work best for my needs.
Option #1 is to use alkaline buffer to raise the kh during small water changes to slowly raise the kh without having a major ph increase on the entire tank - I have tried this before and the problem is that it eventually reaches a point where the ph in the tank rises too much.
Option #2 is to use a combination of alkaline buffer and discus buffer to raise the kh but buffer the ph at a more acidic level - the only problem I foresee here is that the discus buffer is going to begin to soften the water - depleting the kh and gh - which brings me back to square one with very soft acidic water
Option #3 is to use a combination of alkaline buffer and acid buffer to raise the kh but buffer the ph at a more acidic level - this is also an option that would benefit the plants since acid buffer helps to create co2 - my only reservation with this option is that acid buffer is very strong and is easily misused. - also the problem I am having is trying to avoid using a method that requires using two competing products (such as acid and alkaline buffer) in my experience this leads to kind of a tug of war between the products and I am constantly regulating ph levels - in other words the ph is not stabilized well and crashes easily. - Please help - anyone - your advice would be greatly appreciated - I would love to finally get a handle on this situation - Thank You!!!!