The Planted Tank Forum banner

21 - 32 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,233 Posts
Tap water is a hit or miss depending on location. Some places add chemicals that buffer the water pH only to expire later in your tank and crash it. I wouldn't be able to tell you whether or not this is the case.

Do me a favor and test the water out of the tap. Record those numbers and test again after you dechlorinate but before you treat it.

Instead of using an akaline buffer, you could raise both kH and gH at the same time in a solution through a variety of means and add that when you do water changes. You can also add stuff like crushed coral and various minerals, to your tank but that is harder to regulate.

You can also do what was suggested, and raise your gH with mineral powders.

If you MUST regulate your pH by buffering your kH you should raise gH in relation to it, just don't let them get too high.

I agree you are dosing a little heavy, I wonder where your algae is?

"Easy Green Contains: N 2.66% , P 0.46%, K 9.21%, Mg 0.7%, S 0.80%, B 0.015%, Cu 0.00%, Fe 0.13%, Mn 0.036%, Mo 0.00%, Zn 0.072%
NPK 2.66 - 0.46 -9.21"

I dose less than that, do a 10-20% water change every week, and I always have a little bit of algae.

My tap water is very hard and comes out at pH 8, kH 5-6, gH 6-8. After a few days it's pH 7, kH 6, gH 8.

You prompted me to test my water,
pH 7.2-7.4
Ammonia 0.20ppm
Nitrite slightly darker than 0 ppm
Nitrate maybe 3 or 4 ppm
kH 3 drops
gH 5 or 6 drops

Pardon the mess, this is a grow out tank I'm in the process of replanting
1026382


Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
@BH

Thanks man, I appreciate your support!

For a big ugly fish, he is beautiful. Stunning when he puts his fun all the way up!

Thank you again!

@STP

Should I dose that in addition to the normal dosing? I’ll have to find the chemicals but I’ll do it if it’s what I need, even if it doesn’t help the problem, I want the absolute best water I can have for the whole tank to thrive.

@AVN

Give me a bit of time, I’ll get you a panel as you requested soon.

Please tell me how you would raise the kh and gh without the booster, I’m open to new ideas for sure.

My algae is minimal. A spot or two on the glass is all I ever get. I do have a lot of workers in my livestock combating any algae over growth I suppose, or maybe like the plants, it just can’t thrive.. I’m really not sure why I’m not having more algae, but I guess I’m happy about that lol.

Your tank is beautiful. I see the potential for sure. Thanks for sharing your experiences with me!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,233 Posts
You're welcome. That image is to show you that you can have a variance in parameters as long as they are in balance with each other. If you're raising kH to buffer pH then gH should rise as well. I'm using it to grow plants and fish for a display tank I'll be setting up so it's just a jumble of things.

This is a good read if you want to refine your knowledge-base on the topic.

PH, KH, GH
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
Yes, @DeewNikoms420, dose the GH boosting compounds in addition to the normal dosing. The 1 3/8 tsp CaSO4.2H2O and 3/4 tsp MgSO4.7H2O is an initial dose to give your water a little more backbone for the volumn of the tank. Then dose half as much at 50% water change. You could dose 3/4 tsp Calcium Sulfate or Calcium Chloride and 3/8 tsp Magnesium Sulfate (epsom salt) at 50% water change and probably be fine. The reason I suggest this is because you are right at 4 dGH and your KH is high. I have reservations about going to the bank with a test result of 4 dGH. Our testing is not that precise so give it a bump to be sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
OK I got some new readings today.

(Strips)
TANK
gh <25
no3 25
cl2 0
kh 0d
ph 6.5

TAP WATER
gh <25
no3 0
cl2 0 (I'm blown away by this, did 2 strips, and it barely shows any color at all.. Something is up)
kh 0
ph <6.4 (very odd when meter says 7.5)

(Drops)
TANK
gh Never turn orange. 1st drop looks clear, 2nd the slightest green tint, 3rd still barely green
kh 9.5
ph 6.9 (metered)
co2 36ppm (Having consistency issues with the bubble counter, got a bit high today, also since the ph is dropping I suppose)

TAP WATER
gh Same as above, never orange, only clear then green.
kh 4
ph 7.5 (metered)
co2 3.8

Im sure in a couple days the ph will be even lower meaning ill have to dial back the co2 as well right? I'll have to add more alkaline buffer to get it back up in the 7s.

What are your thoughts?

Also, what floaters are those with the beautiful roots?

Also I remembered I have some Cal/Mag that Ive used for my other plants, so I added 50ml to the water column to see if that helps any at all. Ill do another test in an hour or so to see if gh improves. Im really hopeful that it helps, I'm running out of things to test for lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,233 Posts
Methinks your tap water might be pH regulated because of how acidic it is. Hard to really say what's going on with your water source without direct information.

I can tell you that tap water severely lacks dissolved minerals, that kH reading is probably from an additive used to buffer the pH to neutral levels so it could explain why it expires in your tank and crashes the pH. You adding an alkaline buffer is kinda just repeating that mini-cycle.

You should do what we recommended, mix a solution to raise the kH and gH, and introduce that with water changes. Over time cutting your use of the temporary buffer down to zero.

If you can bring your kH and gH ppm into balance with each other pH will stabilize

Those roots you see are just common floaters. Dwarf water lettuce and frogbit. I have duckweed and red root floaters sprinkled in but you can't see those. The roots actually block out light and I throw away a bucket a week. If you like I could ship some to you. They are an amazing nitrogen sink.

Anyway, review the thread. Boost your gH, balance it with your chosen kH, and your pH will be easier to control

Btw pH 6.8 isn't that bad... optimal pH range for the absorbtion of trace mineral ions
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #28
Actually it isn’t acidic out of the tap. 7.5 until it hits my tank, that’s when we loose ground.. or am I misunderstanding something?

I feel like we are on the same page, I’m excited to see what raising the gh will do. I’ve never been too concerned with it since it’s technically in a safe range.. but I see what you mean by the relationship between the two, I’m hopeful to see a change as quick as I can get it raised. I’m hopeful to find this has been the issue here, and in other growing attempts that haven’t thrived as well.

I would consider you my best aquatic friend if you shipped me your waste lol especially the lettuce, my favorite floaters are the water lettuce and the red root floaters. I just can’t keep them alive lol. I also love the frogbit too, but haven’t ever had the duckweed. To be honest I’ve spent over 100$ on plain water lettuce only to watch it shrink up to muck as all the plants did before the co2. (The co2 is undeniably helping my plants at least stay alive.) Hopefully due to a calcium or magnesium or iron deficiency. If this cal/mag works, I’m going to be tickled pink! I have struggled with everything my tap water feeds.. if things improve here, it means it can improve everywhere.

6.8 from now on! 😉

Thanks again for all the work to help give me a better understanding of what’s going on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #29
So for anyone who’ ever stumbles upon this thread, do not put that much cal/mag in your tank.

The instructions said 3-5ml per gallon. Well I took the conservative 3 x my 55 gallons and as I was pouring the 165ml, I decided to stop at 50 because that’s just a lot. So glad I did.

An hour later I’m 20 drops into my gh test and I realize it’s time for a big water change. 50ml was way too damn much!

It’s gonna be an interesting night!

Well here we are a few hours later.. A 50% tank change, followed by a gh test followed by another 60% tank change, plus 20ml of cal/mag and I’m finally where I want to be.

ph 6.8
gh 8
kh 2.5
cl2 0
Co2 11ppm (co2 is off for the night, will rise again tomorrow)

Wow what a ride! Hopefully tomorrow I can get a perfect panel. Goodnight everyone!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
So for anyone who’ ever stumbles upon this thread, do not put that much cal/mag in your tank.

The instructions said 3-5ml per gallon. Well I took the conservative 3 x my 55 gallons and as I was pouring the 165ml, I decided to stop at 50 because that’s just a lot. So glad I did.

An hour later I’m 20 drops into my gh test and I realize it’s time for a big water change. 50ml was way too damn much!

It’s gonna be an interesting night!
I have had several interesting nights in the past three months. First my Nitrate was over a hundred, then I put in Ammonia trying to cycle the tank and ended up again with more Nitrate than I wanted. Now I have too many TDS that I'm trying to get out. Sometimes if something is only a little too high I'll let it go until the next water change and just not dose it. The TDS problem is going to take several weeks of aggressive water management to fix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,233 Posts
Yeah that is a lot. Dunno where you got those numbers from but they might be instructions for distilled water with 0 kH and 0 gH? I usually don't hit 70-80% of the recommended dose on most instructions and I always like to add a bit and check before adding more. It's easier to season the pot slowly than to have to rebuild the whole soup yknow?

Anyway, I will ship you a box of floaters the next time I toss them out, better in someone's tank than the trash.

@STP some purigen would solve that organics TDS issue over a few days, remove it afterwards though
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
Thanks @AVN , I have a big RO water treatment project in developement that's definitely going to lower the tds. I will look up Purigen and read about it. I think I had a Purigen pillow once. It had to be soaked in salt water to recharge the cations.
 
21 - 32 of 32 Posts
Top