high kH and sensitive plants

ccLansman

Guru Class Expert
Jan 22, 2008
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just purchased the SERA peat and put it in one of my filters. Here are my thoughts/results::

The damn stuff is half large granules half small so some of it made it out of my filter and floated around the top of my tank. It did not turn my water brown like many suggested. It did take my KH from 200ppm down to about 80ppm so im happy there. It lowered my ph to 6.5 from 7. it did not touch my GH but the box said it would. Overall i would recommend using RO, its less messy, and easier to manage and its almost free compared to the $10 bucks i wasted.


update: It did turn my water brown! So i tossed the stuff in a bag, $5 + what is still dry if anyone wants it.. I picked up 14 gals of RO for $2.10 and i am much happier.
 

Patchworks

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Feb 21, 2009
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Ok guys, I found this thread after looking on the Internet for a solution to my high KH!!!

I'm a DIY'er so I'm interested in this method of using HCL (8% Pool Acid) to lower the HK.

Tom, I found a post on APC for a while back where you seemed to not like the idea of using HCL, but the post was from 2006 I think.

Also, here is an article about how to do it safely and dosing instructions and such for a KOI pond.

Access ERROR

Anyway, I'm not interested in hearing everyone's "You will burn your arm off" comments. I'm more interested in hearing from anyone who has used this method successfully!!!

Thanks,

g
 

Tom Barr

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Buy a RO unit if you want less KH.
Cost less, easier to use etc etc.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Patchworks

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Feb 21, 2009
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Actually from what I'm reading, a small bottle of HCL 8% is like $5 at a pool supply. That should last years! How could you get cheaper and easier than that?

g
 

Soggy

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Jun 27, 2007
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I ran across this device that applies strong electro-magnetic fields to rearrange the polarity of bicarbonate ions in such a way that they no longer coagulate to form lime. It results in "softer" water where soap lathers easily.

An ad of the device here -> Limescale, lime scale problems, limescale remover– Scalewatcher

If my understanding serves me right, it causes calcium carbonate molecules to precipitate out of solution into very small particles that do not form lime. !?!

Anyone tried this? It sounds too good to be true. hehehe
 

VaughnH

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Soggy;34307 said:
I ran across this device that applies strong electro-magnetic fields to rearrange the polarity of bicarbonate ions in such a way that they no longer coagulate to form lime. It results in "softer" water where soap lathers easily.

An ad of the device here -> Limescale, lime scale problems, limescale remover– Scalewatcher

If my understanding serves me right, it causes calcium carbonate molecules to precipitate out of solution into very small particles that do not form lime. !?!

Anyone tried this? It sounds too good to be true. hehehe

I haven't tried this, but it is a very exciting concept. As I see it, all I have to do is make a big coil of insulated wire, which will completely surround my aquarium. Then I add a quality audio tone generator, capable of ultrasonic frequencies, add a big amplifier and connect that to the big coil. I should then have some good soft water in my tank. Foolproof, right? Am I overlooking something, perhaps? Hmmmm, maybe if it just turn up the volume and treble control on my stereo system.....
 

Tom Barr

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Patchworks;34225 said:
Actually from what I'm reading, a small bottle of HCL 8% is like $5 at a pool supply. That should last years! How could you get cheaper and easier than that?

g

I turn a valve on, the RO is made.
They make autofloat switchs for make up water.

Another simple question is why doesn't everone do this?

If you change a fair amount of water also, adding a fair amount of really smelly acid does not sit well with other folks in the house. RO has never burned anyone I'm aware off, HCL most certainly has. Doing many water changes each week adds up, then you have to pre mix it prior to adding it to the tank.
You cannot add HCL to the tank with fish.

No reason not to if you are okay with the trade offs.
Personally, I'd not bother and just live with hard water.

Given the trade offs, most do not bother. I really do not know of anyone that messes with it except maybe one or two times.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Tom Barr

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Soggy;34307 said:
I ran across this device that applies strong electro-magnetic fields to rearrange the polarity of bicarbonate ions in such a way that they no longer coagulate to form lime. It results in "softer" water where soap lathers easily.

An ad of the device here -> Limescale, lime scale problems, limescale remover– Scalewatcher

If my understanding serves me right, it causes calcium carbonate molecules to precipitate out of solution into very small particles that do not form lime. !?!

Anyone tried this? It sounds too good to be true. hehehe

Yes, it is too good to be true.


Magnetic water treatment pseudoscience

As soon as you start reading.........the mumbo they start saying, leads you really question how many folks really know much about it(Astrophysist, maybe a few engineers- 0.01% of the population on a good day), not a single citation of any sort.

Activated carbon, RO water filters etc, these things work and work well.
They are proven, rather cheap(see ebay, 50-60$).

Spend your time looking there.
Large scale lime/hard water removale is done via the pH preciptation.
They raise the pH up to about 10, and the CaCO3 falls out.
Then they have poorly buffered water. They sometimes add CO2 back, to drop the pH, then blend it with the unsoftened tap to hit a target CaCo3 level.

I can find 101 things to lower hardness and likely always will because there ar so many methods and hucksters selling these products.

Read and think. Think diet pill and viagra scams;)
You will not go wrong there.
I delete about 20 such post per week from spambots on this web site hocking this same crap.



Regards,
Tom Barr
 

ccLansman

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Jan 22, 2008
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Patchworks;34207 said:
Ok guys, I found this thread after looking on the Internet for a solution to my high KH!!!

I'm a DIY'er so I'm interested in this method of using HCL (8% Pool Acid) to lower the HK.

Tom, I found a post on APC for a while back where you seemed to not like the idea of using HCL, but the post was from 2006 I think.

Also, here is an article about how to do it safely and dosing instructions and such for a KOI pond.

Access ERROR

Anyway, I'm not interested in hearing everyone's "You will burn your arm off" comments. I'm more interested in hearing from anyone who has used this method successfully!!!

Thanks,

g

Your going to burn you and your fishes faces off.. :p

"Concentrated hydrochloric acid (fuming hydrochloric acid) forms acidic mists. Both the mist and the solution have a corrosive effect on human tissue, with the potential to damage respiratory organs, eyes, skin, and intestines. Upon mixing hydrochloric acid with common oxidizing chemicals, such as sodium hypochlorite (bleach, NaClO) or permanganate (KMnO4), the toxic gas chlorine is produced. Personal protective equipment such as rubber or PVC gloves, protective eye goggles, and chemical-resistant clothing and shoes are used to minimize risks when handling hydrochloric acid.[1]

The hazards of solutions of hydrochloric acid depend on the concentration. The following table lists the EU classification of hydrochloric acid solutions.[16]"

Why in the world would you even think of adding this junk to an aquarium? Get two 7 gal buckets from walmart for 6 bucks, go to a cheap water unit outside a super market and be done with it...
 

Patchworks

Junior Poster
Feb 21, 2009
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ccLansman;34315 said:
Your going to burn you and your fishes faces off.. :p

"Concentrated hydrochloric acid (fuming hydrochloric acid) forms acidic mists. Both the mist and the solution have a corrosive effect on human tissue, with the potential to damage respiratory organs, eyes, skin, and intestines. Upon mixing hydrochloric acid with common oxidizing chemicals, such as sodium hypochlorite (bleach, NaClO) or permanganate (KMnO4), the toxic gas chlorine is produced. Personal protective equipment such as rubber or PVC gloves, protective eye goggles, and chemical-resistant clothing and shoes are used to minimize risks when handling hydrochloric acid.[1]

The hazards of solutions of hydrochloric acid depend on the concentration. The following table lists the EU classification of hydrochloric acid solutions.[16]"

Why in the world would you even think of adding this junk to an aquarium? Get two 7 gal buckets from walmart for 6 bucks, go to a cheap water unit outside a super market and be done with it...

I understand! I've read this a million times "YOU WILL BURN YOUR HAND OR FISH", but there are also quite a few people saying that this stuff isn't near as bad as most people claim in the weaker forms.

There is a very weak 8% solution that most people use in the pools. Based on the Roark's Article (Link), 10 mL of 8.7% HCl acid will reduce 425 gallons of water by 5 ppm. In my 150 Gallon aquarium I would need 10 drops to lower the KH in my tank about 40ppm. I can get a 6oz bottle for $5 which will last years. After all, when simple CO2 dissolves in water it turns to an acid, which is why it affects the PH.

When I do the math; this seems better than buying buckets, RO Units, Ongoing yearly replacements of filters, etc.

If I'm not a dipshit with a shaky hand, this method seems worth some merit to me. I think I'm going to try a test on some normal tap water.

g
 

VaughnH

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And, are your eyes still intact, and the lungs working?:D I know we get over concerned about the use of acids in an aquarium. After all, those of us who have or have had swimming pools are used to dumping whole gallon jugs of HCl into the pool, with no ill effects.

However, it is still, as a general rule, not advisable to use acids to alter the properties of our aquarium water. That is primarily because once you start doing that you have to continue doing it with every water change, always trying to match the properties of the existing water. It just makes life so much easier if we can use our tap water as is, with only the minimum of added chemicals to alter its properties. If we do have to alter our tap water it is best to use the method that involves the minimum of chemical additions.

But, I'm still interested in how this acid addition method is working. I always want to learn about new ways to do things.
 

Tom Barr

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Any strong acid might work just fine........it's the transferring that's the problem. I have grave doubts that most aquarist are that careful with chemicals, they spill everything on themselves...........

My significant other would have a cow with HCL, a few good burns....and after a few times, this method will get really really old. It's the same argument of DIY CO2 vs Gas tanks. Yea, you can do it.........but if you are serious, why bother when there's a good solution that is much less hassle and much more stable?

Also, where are you going to add the HCL in the meantime prior to adding it to the tank? Might as well get an RO tank and be done with it, then use the RO for drinking water as well. There is a reason concentrated acids are considered "hazardous". It makes Excel look like lemonade.

I hate working with H2SO4 and HCL at the lab, I avoid it like the plague.
And........That's under ideal conditions, not at home. There are simpler, much safer and better methods and they do not cost that much either over time.

Heck, I'd live with it and not bother with the dozen or so plants that like lower KH vs using HCL etc. Same with the fish issue.

If you reason that you want to reduce water changes, then some Egeria and non CO2, or go to test kits etc use RO at the store 1-2x and then top off with a little RO store bought here and there.

In virtually all cases, I really see little reason to use it and a lot more good sound and logical reasons not. The trade offs clearly point to other smarter methods to reduce KH.

I pay to have my truck Transmission repaired versus doing it myself. Why? I've replaced 3 transmissions over the years, and it's worth the $ I pay the mechanic
Same for RO water. The cost benefit is well worth it.

Having taught lab classes(15 semester's worth) and having helped aquarists for 30 some odd years, I know.....I do not think, speculate or otherwise have no experience with this same type of thing, someone will mess up and burn themselves. I use to use it for cleaning rocks and to reduce KH.

It got real old real fast.
I use RO now.




Regards,
Tom Barr