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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I know, I know. Another post about GH / KH. Believe, at this point I feel like I have read them all. Yet I still don't know what to believe.

My parameters are:GH-11, KH-7 PH-7.3, TDS-200. That is tap water and with CO2 injection, aquasoil and seiryu stones. The aquarium (25gallon) is a week old in terms of water and planted heavily.

I am not sure if I should keep my water as is, and just continue using my tap water. this is of course the simplest of routes. Or buy RO in jugs and supplement it into my water changes accordingly to drop my GH KH values.

I hear having low KH is good for CO2 injection, and I have been finding that I have to keep boosting my CO2 bubble count up to get that sweet sweet lime green on the drop checker. roughly 2-2.5 bps now. But on the other end, I hear the range I am in is completely fine and not to worry. I planted heavy from the get go so I dont want to screw it up and lose plants.

Anyone want to chime in and offer their experience?
 

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Not a lot of experience here, but are you measuring the pH drop in addition to looking at what the drop checker says?

Also, are those parameters what's in the tank or what's coming out of the tap? Knowing both would prob help more.

I'm not sure about a low KH being "good" for CO2 as much as it's good for the softwater plants and fuana that inhabit most tanks. But a lot of that depends on your goals (Amazonian tank vs. African cichlid and so on). Also, AS will strip the water of KH and lower pH, but only until it runs out of its buffering capacity.

Just my two cents, but there's more experienced people who can help answer your question.
 

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Ditto on the above—most plants just grow better at KH’s 4 and below. Some plants like some toninas, eriocaulons, and plants in the lythracae family (some Rotalas and ammanias) need KHs below three to grow at all or not stunt heavily. So it depends on the plants you want to keep, if you’re keeping easier more generic plants it isn’t really necessary.

In terms of CO2, the KH level does not affect how much CO2 you have in your tank at any given time. It just makes it easier for plants to photosynthesize and access the CO2 when the KH is lower. If you’re having trouble getting the drop checker to be green/lime green, that’s an issue with your CO2 set up and diffusion and unrelated to your KH.

Buying RO water for a 25 gallon sounds like a headache to me. If I were you, I would look into easily installable and removable RO units like the RO buddie - AQUATIC LIFE RO Buddie Four Stage Osmosis System, 50-gal - Chewy.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also, are those parameters what's in the tank or what's coming out of the tap? Knowing both would prob help more.
Those parameters are my tank water. My tap water as of last night was kh 8, gh 13. Is was higher than my tank water which I was a little surprised by, but I guess the aqua soil could have a hand in that.

For the RO water question, would doing a 1/4 RO and 3/4 Tap, or whatever I choose be enough? Ideally I wouldn't want to go with all RO as it becomes more of a pain.

For plants I have:
Christmas moss
dwarf hair grass
monte carlo
bolbitis heudeiotii
cyperus helferi
microsorum trident
hygrophila pinnatifida
bucephalandra kedagang
Cryptocoryne parva
 

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You have two forces fighting each other.

The aquasoil buffers the soil reducing dKH, while the seiryu stones are raising it.

I would test dKH every other day for a couple of weeks and see how it changes. If it varies a lot, then pH drop method is not going to work for you.

If you want to keep CO2 levels stable, you might look into getting a flow meter. It would help keep CO2 flow rate constant.

And by the way none of the plants you listed are particularly sensitive to dKH levels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You have two forces fighting each other.

The aquasoil buffers the soil reducing dKH, while the seiryu stones are raising it.

I would test dKH every other day for a couple of weeks and see how it changes. If it varies a lot, then pH drop method is not going to work for you.

If you want to keep CO2 levels stable, you might look into getting a flow meter. It would help keep CO2 flow rate constant.

And by the way none of the plants you listed are particularly sensitive to dKH levels.
great to hear! i dont plan on adding anymore more the time being.

I just did some research on the RO buddy. seems legit, and I will likely go this route to mix RO / tap water for my water changes. I want to avoid supplements for raising KH/GH so I plan to find a process that allows me to bring it down to the desired levels.

I will look at what the flow meter does, I am unfamiliar with it..
 

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great to hear! i dont plan on adding anymore more the time being.

I just did some research on the RO buddy. seems legit, and I will likely go this route to mix RO / tap water for my water changes. I want to avoid supplements for raising KH/GH so I plan to find a process that allows me to bring it down to the desired levels.

I will look at what the flow meter does, I am unfamiliar with it..
Dwyer RMA-151-SSV.

Let's you dial in a flow rate without trying to count bubbles.

Flow Meter
 

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Those parameters are my tank water. My tap water as of last night was kh 8, gh 13. Is was higher than my tank water which I was a little surprised by, but I guess the aqua soil could have a hand in that.
What kind of Aquasoil do you have btw?

The AS will definitely lower it, at least until it's buffering capacity runs out. My tap dKH is 3 and in my tank it's usually 1 or lower. And as Freshfishguy stated, many plants require a low KH and AS is designed to create such an environment.

A dKH of 7 doesn't sound terrible, but at the same time isn't optimal. But again, it all depends on the plants you're keeping. Try researching the water parameters your plants prefer and maybe talk to people who have experience keeping plants in moderately hard water.

Obviously buying an RO unit is the best solution, but it can be pricey of course. Mixing will help, but might be a PITA overtime. Even a quarter mix is 3 gallons a week for 50 percent WC. Probably the best thing you can do is stay consistent with your parameters, whatever you decide on, and allow things to adapt accordingly.

Oops! Missed some of the responses above. Wouldn't have responded again if I saw those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A dKH of 7 doesn't sound terrible, but at the same time isn't optimal. But again, it all depends on the plants you're keeping. Try researching the water parameters your plants prefer and maybe talk to people who have experience keeping plants in moderately hard water.
Im running ADA amazonia II.

what exactly isnt optimal about having a kh at that level?
 
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