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Ideal KH levels

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by dealt, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. dealt

    dealt Prolific Poster

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    Hi! Small amount of decorative white sand (beach sand) was used in a 5g planted tank. It raised the KH to 8dKH. The tank is on its 3rd day and so far all seems ok. But comparing it to my 50g tank which only reads 3dKH, it seems that the KH level in my other tank is too high. What are your thoughts on this? Will this work? If not, is there a 'practical' way of lowering KH? Thanks!
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Use white silica sand, not Dolomite or aragonite...................
    It'll make adding CO2 more trouble.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. dealt

    dealt Prolific Poster

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    Hi sir. I'm not sure where I can get silica sand, LFSs here just sell two kinds of substrate- river sand or beach sand. Anyway, my drop checker (using 4dHK solution) shows yellow-green so it seems c02 is ok. What are the effects of High KH anyway? Thanks!
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    It seems to mess with plant metabolism and transport of trace metals mostly.
    CO2 seems to be affected some as well.

    Plants adapt, but if you do water changes, it drops back down so the KH is always moving...........and that's not stable.

    I used Onyx sand for a long time, I liked it, but I never liked the KH issue.
    I use Black flourite today which does not have that issue and is more aesthetic.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    There appears to be two grades of black flourite - regular and sand. Is that true? If so, which do you use? I tried the Seachem website and they haven't updated it to include black flourite. On one webstore site I saw a writeup that seems to be from Seachem, and it says Flourite Black Sand is specifically meant for planted tanks, which tells me the grain size is 1-2 mm.
     
  6. dealt

    dealt Prolific Poster

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    Oh ... so I guess I have to do away with the white sand I've right now. It's sad to tear up this tank, I'm quite pleased with how it looked after playing with some hardscape:

    upload.jpg

    Is there any other way to pull this off? Thanks!
     
  7. DisgruntledUser

    DisgruntledUser Junior Poster

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    hi dealt,

    I'm no expert but It looks good to me. One thing I notice is the depth of the sand is pretty high, so the volume of sand to water is a greater percent. Recently on my 29g I put sand in the front but only enough to cover the bottom, maybe 1/2" deep. I like the visual effect of the sand, plus my blue rams really enjoy grazing the sand. Less depth of the sand and substrate also allows for a greated water volume or more room for rocks, wood and of course plants. The lesser volume of sand in relation to water would possibly result in less of an effect on the kh? Just some ideas I thought I'd share. More than likely time is the only way to tell if it will actually work or not.

    Kai
     
  8. rusticitas

    rusticitas Lifetime Charter Member
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    Black flourite?

    I have checked ThatPetPlace.com (close by, too) and DrsFosterSmith.com and neither carry Black Flourite. Only "original" and "red." Neither does the Seachem.com web site mention it (as noted above).

    Where did the Black Flourite come from? Sounds interesting? Hmm, I bet Tom has an inside track and contact at Seachem. :)

    Tom, you also mention the Alkalinity altering capacity of Onyx Sand. I did not realize it did this. And dangit, I just set up a tank with it. And my tap water is very soft, so I can see that swinging the KH levels all over the place during water changes...

    There really is no idea substrate, is there? (I've not tried any of the ADA one's yet, and I cannot find any explanation of the differences between them that give any technical details.)

    -Jason
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    SeaChem Onyx sand and grey coast calcite are the same thing, iron rich CaCO3.

    The Black flourite is already available from most any SeaChem distributor............ask them to order it for you.

    There is a slightly larger normal sized Flourite that's all black and then the finer onyx sand grain size.

    The Plain black flourite is slightly smaller than flourite regular.

    Also, you can easily simply siphon out that CaCO3 sand, or dolomite, and replace with silica sand.

    No need to mess anything up.

    Aesthetic sand should be a thin shallow layer also, sloped or use a hedge/wood/rock etc to lift up the planted sections with sediment.

    regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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