GH and KH are 1

30king

Junior Poster
Jun 15, 2008
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Rocklin, CA
Hi everyone,

I've recently set up a 90 gal and am wading through all the info about water parameters. I'm hoping to get an answer for two questions (for now:) )

First, my water here in Rocklin, CA is testing ~1 degree GH and KH (one drop in the API test tube) with a corresponding pH of 7.6-7.8 . How important is it to increase my GH?

Second, I'm using pressurized CO2 with an inline reactor and a pH controller. I've read enough to see that using Chuck's CO2 chart might not be that accurate, and seem to get the impression that a one degree drop in pH should give me adequate CO2 levels. Do I have this right?

One more question.....Is it normal to have a bunch of fine mist bubbles blowing out of the discharge from the reactor? (Mine is about 20" tall) It is pretty significant and distracting when viewing the tank.

Thanks in advance
Adam
 

ccLansman

Guru Class Expert
Jan 22, 2008
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Vista, Ca
30king;27214 said:
First, my water here in Rocklin, CA is testing ~1 degree GH and KH (one drop in the API test tube) with a corresponding pH of 7.6-7.8 . How important is it to increase my GH?
Adam

I would add a tiny bit of baking soda to some water from your tank and test again, if it has not gone up significantly then something is wrong with the test kit. Im no expert but gh and levels of disolvable co2 go hand in hand, so to get enough co2 disolved say 30ppm i believe you need a gh of 4-5.

30king;27214 said:
Second, I'm using pressurized CO2 with an inline reactor and a pH controller. I've read enough to see that using Chuck's CO2 chart might not be that accurate, and seem to get the impression that a one degree drop in pH should give me adequate CO2 levels. Do I have this right?
Adam

Depends, if you look at all the charts across the internet its a mix between the hardness and the ph not just the drop in ph.

30king;27214 said:
One more question.....Is it normal to have a bunch of fine mist bubbles blowing out of the discharge from the reactor? (Mine is about 20" tall) It is pretty significant and distracting when viewing the tank.
Adam

I had a intank venturi that was only 4" long and it would not mist all that much as long as i had the power head blowing towards the top of the tube. So with a 20" tall reactor i dont see why you would have any mist, other then later in the day when co2 levels were elevated. However without a picture its hard to see why it is happening.

Side note: I just built the DIY dual venturi reactor last night and simply put it inline with the eheim 2026 filter. It has done 2 amazing things so far.
1) No more ugly reactor in my tank.... yippie!!
2) this sucker churns up the bubbles soo much there is no mist on the outlet back into my tank. (also sounds kind of cool, you can hear the bubbles rolling up and down. When i first turned it on with a full tube of air it tore through them in about min. so dissolve rate is intense.)

Hope this helps!
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
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30king;27214 said:
Hi everyone,

I've recently set up a 90 gal and am wading through all the info about water parameters. I'm hoping to get an answer for two questions (for now:) )

First, my water here in Rocklin, CA is testing ~1 degree GH and KH (one drop in the API test tube) with a corresponding pH of 7.6-7.8 . How important is it to increase my GH?

Second, I'm using pressurized CO2 with an inline reactor and a pH controller. I've read enough to see that using Chuck's CO2 chart might not be that accurate, and seem to get the impression that a one degree drop in pH should give me adequate CO2 levels. Do I have this right?

One more question.....Is it normal to have a bunch of fine mist bubbles blowing out of the discharge from the reactor? (Mine is about 20" tall) It is pretty significant and distracting when viewing the tank.

Thanks in advance
Adam

Hi Adam,

Make life simple, come to the SAPS meeting. You are local.
Then you can get all the info you'd like and ask us directly.

We have AR water, as you can see, very high quality. You can add GH via a GH booster. I'd increase it to about 2-3 each week after a water change.
Ca and Mg are both nutrients, you will need to add it to get better plant growth.

As far as the KH chart etc, if the KH is 1 degree or less, then there's not much error in the amount of alklalinity that will be non carbonate, 1 degree off will be the most:)

But it's likely much smaller.
So you can add say 1 degree via baking soda and assume that to be pretty close to the pH/KH chart.

However, pH controllers often have the aquarists assume many things that are not the end all many think that pH controllers are.

You need high flow through the CO2 reactor and good in tank mixing and there is a lag response time between this process.

Many folks have a tiny pump running the reactor, poor flow in their tank and wonder why they have algae even though they claim and are certain that the pH/CO2 is "perfect".

Don't make this mistake.
Algae never lies, nor does poor plant growth etc.

There is no good reason to add CO2 at night also, this can stress fish and reduce the amount you could add when you actually need it: the light peroid only.

Check out the SAPS meetings.
I'll be speaking sometime at SAS also on scaping.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

30king

Junior Poster
Jun 15, 2008
20
0
1
Rocklin, CA
Thanks for the replies. I've just joined SAPS (I was the one giving away the free tank on the group page). I'm hoping to make to to the Aug meeting at Tom's.

Thanks
Adam
 

ccLansman

Guru Class Expert
Jan 22, 2008
375
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Vista, Ca
sorry to hijack the thread, but along the line of what you said Tom, what is considered "good" flow through a tank? I have a 60gal with a ehiem 2060 and a sparay bar moving things around. How do i know if i have enough flow?
 

VaughnH

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Jan 24, 2005
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A goal of having good water circulation is to keep available to every part of every plant the CO2 and other nutrients in the water. So, you can always get an idea about how good your flow is by looking to see if every leaf on every plant is moving a bit in the water. That is a hard goal to meet.
 

rich815

Guru Class Expert
Jun 26, 2008
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Albany, California
ccLansman;27228 said:
sorry to hijack the thread, but along the line of what you said Tom, what is considered "good" flow through a tank? I have a 60gal with a ehiem 2060 and a sparay bar moving things around. How do i know if i have enough flow?

I have a 72 gal with a 2028 eheim, spray bar, and what I thought was good movement and flow. I then added a 2026 in order to attach an in-line CO2 reactor. This not only added more flow (which I did not realize was needed) but the tank is now CRYSTAL clear, and I thought it was clear before. I was wrong. However, even with that I now have MUCH better plant growth. This in itself has created a few dead spots from the increase in growth and leaves resulting in some GSA and BBA in some areas. I now added a Koralia 1 circulation pump and may add another, pointed towards some areas the eheim spray bars do not seem to affect as much.
 

30king

Junior Poster
Jun 15, 2008
20
0
1
Rocklin, CA
I have some GH booster in the mail, and have upped my KH with some baking soda to about 3 dKH.

I have another question. I've noticed my pH slowly climbing, to currently about 7.9 It's 7.6 coming out of the tap (using my pH controller). This increase was prior to me raising the KH. Is this likely due to my press. CO2, my macro dosing, or possibly a few large slate rock (orangish and purpleish) used as decoration? Is rock generally a culprit?

My system is set up using a 20gal sump below the tank. I have a PVC style CO2 reactor with the press CO2 and a pH controller. I've really had to crank up the bubbles to about 60/min to get the pH to drop, and I can only reach 7.1 (from 7.9 start in the AM). Is this due to the low GH?

I was hoping to get an overall critique of my setup. I thoiught I had a good handle on understanding the intricasies(sp?) of a CO2 system before I started, but "putting the rubber on the road" has thrown me a few curves.

I know, I know.....go to the SAPS meeting. I'm planning on attending, but it is a few weeks away, and I don't want to spin my wheels until then.

Thanks for any advice
Adam
 

Mooner

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Jun 9, 2006
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Colorado
Hi Adam.

30king;27411 said:
My system is set up using a 20gal sump below the tank. I have a PVC style CO2 reactor with the press CO2 and a pH controller. I've really had to crank up the bubbles to about 60/min to get the pH to drop, and I can only reach 7.1 (from 7.9 start in the AM). Is this due to the low GH?

1 bps isn't that much. Do you have the sump sealed as best you can? My guess is that you're not adding enough CO2 and maybe degassing at the sump or overflow. Do you have a drop checker to see if you are in the ball park on CO2? Stop the baking soda and wait for the GH booster. Personally (have many DIY reactors) would for go the PH controller. The reactor can be set easily for the light on hrs. Also start CO2 about 1-2 hrs before lights on and off 1 hr before lights off. This method works well for many.

PS You are darn lucking to be able to go to the SAPS meetings. Only wish I could.
 

guy tillmans

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Jul 29, 2008
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Maastricht-Netherlands
Is it neccesary to add gh booster if my gh is 6 (and sometimes higher)?
Can i get a deficiancy of ca and mg with this rate? Can it do harm to add, unless my gh of 6/7 , gh booster.
thanks
 

Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
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Sep 23, 2007
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I think you are okay with the levels you have.

A bit shouldn't hurt. You can always try it for a couple of weeks and see if it makes any difference.

Your plant coloration may be better for it......