efficient KH-using plants

tedr108

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Nov 21, 2007
514
0
16
Los Angeles, CA
Any of you plant gurus out there able to list a few of the plants (for a non-CO2 tank) that are efficient KH users for getting carbon? I'm thinking that these would be easy plants to keep in a non-CO2 tank because I can easily add baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to keep them "fed" with carbon.

Checked my KH yesterday in my non-CO2s, and it was zero. This makes me fairly certain that vals (corkscrew variety) are big KH users as that is the most prolific plant in my non-CO2 tanks. I would definitely be interested in a few others to add some variety to my tanks.

Thanks in advance...
 

Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
5,623
20
38
South Florida
Ted,

I could well be wrong (and probably am) but I had heard that Elodea was very good at this. However, it does appreciate cooler temps as well from what I have read.

Hope this helps.
 

tedr108

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Nov 21, 2007
514
0
16
Los Angeles, CA
I suppose that another important question I should ask is...

When a plant uses sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) as a carbon source, what remains after the process? I read the following:

"Above 70 °C, it [NaHCO3] gradually decomposes into sodium carbonate, water and carbon dioxide -- 2NaHCO3 → Na2CO3 + H2O + CO2."

[Perhaps a different reaction occurs when a plant uses the carbon.]

If this is the case, is the effect of Na2CO3 [sodium carbonate] good, bad or indifferent in an aquarium? Perhaps more water changes are needed because of it?
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
3,011
94
48
85
Sacramento, CA
Since the KH drops to near zero, the end product can't be sodium carbonate. So, it is sodium ions plus some anions, but I don't know which ones.
 

tedr108

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Nov 21, 2007
514
0
16
Los Angeles, CA
Duuhhhh... That's a little embarrassing -- of course sodium carbonate would register in KH (carbonate hardness). Thanks for the reality check, Hoppy.