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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After looking through some of the other posts on the site and having curiousity get the best of me I've run a trial of rinsed vs unrinsed pH over time for Soilmaster Select Red.

The trial is as simple as it appears, the first unrinsed sample is approximately 1/2 cup of soilmaster select red in a cup of water (approx 200 ml). Nothing else was done to the sample. The rinsed sample was run under water, stirred, the water dumped and repeated until the water was absolutely clear. This took approximately 15 rinses.

My tapwater has a KH of 7, a GH of 11 and a pH of 8.2 straight out of the tap. Full parameters can be found here:

http://www.calgary.ca/docgallery/BU...ity/annual_water_quality_summary_bearspaw.pdf

pH was read with a recently purchased and calibrated Milwaukee pH controller. The sample were stirred prior to each measurement and covered between measurements to reduce evaporation. The covering of the samples began on day two and I think caused some of the irregularity in the pH curves.

Photos of the sample and cups I used:

http://lh3.google.com/image/colin.d...AAAAAAAoE/z5qqTxvtXNs/DSC_2331.JPG?imgmax=640

http://lh4.google.com/image/colin.d...AAAAAAAoM/tnON8NKs-r0/DSC_2345.JPG?imgmax=640

The results:



The bottom line is that rinsing the substrate prior to use will save you somewhere from 0.2 to 0.4 points of pH decrease. Unfortunately I wasn't able to measure a final KH after forgetting to cover the samples after a measurement. The water evaporated and the answer remains a mystery!

If you've problems accessing the pics see:
Picasa Web Albums - Colin - Soilmaster
 

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Very helpful to actually run a test. Thanks. Unfortunately I get an error message that I do not have permission to access the site for your links. I'd love to be able to view these.
Thanks again.
 

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I had also noticed this my Soilmaster I have the charcoal and always rinse it. My gH is very high here but the kH is really low so it buffers really easy and the difference in pH between the tap and tank 7.5 tap and about 6.1 ish in the tank.
 

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I've read a lot of threads regarding the lowering of KH and pH by Soilmaster. I wonder if there is a difference between the red and the charcoal colors?

I confess I actually read this to find out which one lowers the pH more because that would appeal to me most. My water is already soft with a KH of 2 degrees. I've used Aquasoil Amazonia in a couple of tanks now and they always did best when the tank was new and the KH was 0 and the pH was in the 5's. So long as you don't have fish that need alkaline water I would assume that the lowered KH and pH initially would give a great boost to the plants.

I know a lot of people will disagree with me regarding running one's KH at 0 degrees and injecting CO2, but it can be done without crashes and the results are amazing.
 

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Oh, do not worry, it comes out in the 8 range, but after it ages a little it comes down a little... I'm about ready to go all Ro and just forget the crappy city water!
 

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I'm about to use Soilmaster Select Charcoal for the first time next week to replace brown Flourite and was wondering - so what's the conclusion on the least messy least time and effort method for putting the Soilmaster in the tank - 1) no rinse, just place in bottom, cover with plastic and carefully fill
2) rinse the heck out of it and then place in tank (which would be very costly in terms of time and very messy from my experience with Flourite).
 

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If you don't rinse, do you know how long it takes for the tank to become stabilized?

Mine has been in the tank for about 2.5 weeks now, well planted. (My plants are doing very well, but the "test" cherry didn't like it in there so I took him out.)
I need to bring my test kit from home this weekend to test my tank waters, but was wondering how long it takes for most other people.
 

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Took me a couple of months in a 33 flatback hex. I just added enough baking soda at water change to bring PH up to high 6's for a whiel, and eventually it balanced itself out.
 

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Just saw this. I'm surprised since my source water is 3dKH and I saw virtually no pH drop. I use charcoal, though, maybe red's different. I rinsed for about 30 min, mainly to let it lose air before going in. I don't notice any decrease in alkalinity before weekly WCs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've just added Fluorite to my new tank and started to do a similar test on it. They both started out roughly neutral at 7.0 and there was no difference between the rinsed and unrinsed, neither changed over a few days so I quit the exercise.
 
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