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How to mantain low Gh and Kh for plants if I only have hard water???

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by Brian20, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

    well I have a new (10 days old) aquarium in the backyard. It receives light sun directly a few hour in day. Well I have experience in that tipe of tank.

    The problem that I use the waste water from RO filter. before it enter the Ro filter it pass by a water softener filter but still is hard water for plants. the pH is 7.6 i will cheke the kh and the gh tomorrow. I know that it is hard water by the white crust (calcium I think). Well I know many quemicals, acid buffer from seachem, water softener pillows by API. I can use this quemicals but what other quemicals I can use? peat? I dont want brown water

    please help, Brian Soto:)
     
  2. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    pH 7.6

    Hi Brian,

    It would be nice to know the GH and KH, but a pH of 7.6 isn't all that bad, a lot lower than my pH out of the tap and unless you have some real nasties in your water I really don't know any reason the tap water shouldn't work.:)

    I have a tank that for part of the year anyway is in the sun. I have had no real problems. If you are using CO2 that brings pH down. I use peat in a number of my tanks and it does darken the water. I don't really use it to soften the water, it is part of my roll-your-own substrates.:eek:

    Biollante
     
  3. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Water softening pillows use an ion exchange resin that takes out the existing minerals and replaces them with sodium. Sodium is not exactly a favorable substitute since it's more toxic to plants than what it's replacing.

    Buffering with acids is something that can be done, but it's generally more work to maintain a correct pH this way.

    If you want to skip the brown water, you could try ADA amazonia aquasoil I. The tap water here runs about 7.8-8.3 and it brings the water in the tank down to around 6.7-7.1 in non-co2 tanks. I'd imagine the KH has dropped similarly, though I haven't checked closely yet.

    -Philosophos
     
  4. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

    thanks for the reply. I dont make the test today because I make a w/c and a trim. I will make the test tomorrow. All th plants are doing very well, more than my other tanks. a trim in 10 days old tank!!!! the plant are growing a lot. I not use CO2, instead use excel but I not have more excel, I run out of it yesterday. Im not using CO2 but the substrate (home made also I sell it) are acid (pH 5-6) so I think that it lower the pH a little with time. i will take out the resins and use acid buffer or something like that. The problem is that I going to plant downoi and in the future plant eriocaulons and toninas. Acid buffer lower pH and Kh but what resin or quemical lower GH?

    Brian
     
  5. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Philos, do you (or anybody) know what there is in the ADA product that reduces the pH or KH? Thanks.

    Bill
     
  6. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

    there are a natural way to download pH??? I know about peat, there are a media that absorb tannins? so I can use peat and the other media:D
     
  7. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    In The Land of DI

    Hi Brian,

    I don’t think the downoi should be much of a problem.

    I think you are in the land of RO/DI water, my friend, with the Eriocaulons/Toninas. I don’t know that the use of acids to reduce the pH are actually going to get you where your plants want to be.:eek:

    However, I have been wrong before!:eek:

    I have read of people succeeding at higher GH and KH than yours with one of the ADA substrates.;) I will see if I can find the name.;)

    Your substrate mixture might pull it off. Me, I would add a layer of peat, I might even run peat in the filter, if you don't want brown water that is out, I suppose.

    Good luck,
    Biollante
     
  8. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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  9. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Nothing solid, but there is a bit of conjecture I've got. Akadama (the clay ADA AAS is made of) it nutrient loads using ion exchange; it does a nice job soaking up nutrients, and it exchanges with H+... I've kind of wondered if that doesn't have something to do with it. Perhaps the alkaline minerals contributing are being sequestered in some way.

    The other possibility, and perhaps more likely, would be the tannic acids. While not a conclusive test, one smell of the soil sure makes me think that it's got a heavy load of tannins to it. If the acids are relatively pure, they won't have any of the compounds that discolor the water, but will still yield the same effects as peat moss.


    -Philosophos
     
  10. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Akadama

    Hi Philosophos,

    I read with interest http://www.barrreport.com/general-plant-topics/3990-could-aquasoil-really-akadama-disguise.html which I am not sure it raeched any conclusion.

    Have you used Akadama? Is this the baked (high firing temperature) or unbaked Akadama? If yes, please expand on your experience.

    Tom Barr's An Analysis of Sediments, seems to support your hypothesis. I suspect the high CEC in particular in the high temperature firing (2100 F+,1150 C+).

    I think the problems cited in the above thread may be with the unbaked variety.

    Thanks,:)
    Biollante
     
  11. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I haven't used akadama my self, just done the reading. I've seen reports of it being used both by bonsai tree growers and in planted tanks; the results are generally positive. Googling will return you a few good results.

    Typically akadama is fired, not doing so would probably make for a spectacular mess in an aquarium.

    If it isn't akadama, there are harder, higher grade japanese soils sold for the same purpose that behave in similar ways. These do not look the same as aqua soil though.

    To be honest, I imagine that what ever ADA AAS is, it's not too far ahead of the curve. Unless Amano hired some chemists to do the work, I honestly can't see him pulling it off on his own.

    Besides, Oliver Knott just put out his own substrate that's stunningly similar to ADA AAS. It's a clay base, provides nutrients, the big difference is that it doesn't drop out KH/PH.

    -Philosophos
     
  12. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Philosophos,

    I have ordered some Akadama, the fired variety and some Calcined Clay, fired as well.

    Thanks for your help and research.

    Biollante
     

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