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Interesting discussion on 0 KH at APC

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by Vidar Vekve, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. Vidar Vekve

    Vidar Vekve Lifetime Charter Member
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  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Interesting discussion on 0 KH at APC

    I no longer go to APC, so I do not even read it.

    I've discussed KH=0 sometime ago.
    Perhaps those post of mine have been altered or removed? :rolleyes:

    Oh well.

    If you have a specific question, I'll gladly answer it here.

    I'll be doing an articel on KH specifical or perhaps an addendum for the DIC article I did.

    Randy from RC forums did a good article on KH/Alkalinity/Testing etc, but it's more geared to Marine systems.

    KH= 0 is a theoretical issue, I am one, if not the only person that gave a method to measure CO2 without any KH.
    I used an old trick we used for getting the peat/tannins effect out of the equation to do so.

    There are two ways a hobbyist can figure that one out, but KH=0 can be complicated also by peat/tannins/fluvics/humics.

    It's interesting to me, and the chemistry behind it, but I not sure hwo much folks might get out it. Perhaps later I'll do an article on tannins.humics in freshwaters.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Vidar Vekve

    Vidar Vekve Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Interesting discussion on 0 KH at APC

    The basics in the discussion is that if you got a KH at 0 from your tap its better to keep it that way rather than buffer it. In that way its easier to keep stability.

    Generally Edward talks about the fact that fish don't care about the pH (which has been stated several times here also) and it's the amount of Co2 that has to be watched carefully.

    I have a tap at 2 dKH and lately has been buffering it to 3,5 - 4 with NaCo3.

    I am moving my tanks to my new home in a week or two and the tap there has 0 dKH.

    If I can skip the NaCo3, I have one less thing to dose......
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Interesting discussion on 0 KH at APC

    Well would messing with a KH of 2 and changing it to 4 all time when you do water changes be good?

    No, this is nothing to do KH= 0, it's to do with changing the KH, not something you want to put the fish through.

    Oh my my, where ever did he hear that? :gw
    I'd mentioned this some years ago.
    He might confirm it, but a lot of folks before figured this one out and it's common knowledge.

    Don't bother, 1-2 KH works fine.

    I'd try it and see, you can measure the CO2 when you need to or when you first start things up by doing a week's KH at 2 or 1 and then seeing what pH range suits you.

    Then maintain that same CO2 bubble rate and drop the KH.
    It's best if you only raise the KH to 1 for this.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. Skyfish

    Skyfish Prolific Poster

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    Re: Interesting discussion on 0 KH at APC

    I just switched to AS/PS, my Ph dropped to 6.2 and KH to 0.9. Ph after two days dropped again to 6.0 and after 50% WC to 5.7. Morning it comes back to 6.0/6.2. I added bicarbonate of soda and got a reading of 2.3 KH but it has dropped back to 0.9 since then.

    I have no idea what my Co2 is now. 3-4 bps through the Rex inline reactor. I do see a stream of bubbles from the Anubias at full blow light (288watts).

    Plants seem to be picking up. From what I read at APC, in line with the discussion here, 0 KH is not a problem, nor is low PH, just work on the Co2. I hope I come out alright.

    Rising the Kh is not working coz it drops back down. So how do you really check your Co2?
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Interesting discussion on 0 KH at APC

    You can do it a few different ways.

    A simple one, take the water sample from the tank out(say 4-8oz mls).
    Let it sit for 24 hours.

    Measure it's pH.
    Write that pH down.

    Next add enough CO2 to the tank to reduce the pH to 1.0 units.
    This should give you 30ppm and a pH drop due entirely to CO2 gas.

    You might dail things in from here with your eyes and add a tad more/less depending on how you dose CO2 and the look you are after.

    The pH is impossible to measure at KH=0, but generally, some KH is present and other buffers exist besides bicarbonates.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. Skyfish

    Skyfish Prolific Poster

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    Re: Interesting discussion on 0 KH at APC

    I'm not sure I understand. You ask to let the water sit then measure the PH and make a note.

    So let's say it reads 7.1/7.2, (while the tank water measurers 6.2) I should add CO2 in the tank to drop 1.0, in comparision to the aged water (7.1) or the tank water (6.2)

    Just to note that I see a lot of bubbles behind all my java fern and my bolbitus as of today. This seems like a good sign that CO2 is doing well in the tank?
     
  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Interesting discussion on 0 KH at APC

    I think you have no fish or shrimp in the tank now. Right? If so, why don't you increase the CO2 by a lot, just to see what high CO2 looks like as far as pearling, plant growth, etc. are concerned. Plants aren't harmed by CO2 levels as high as we can get them. Once you know what a really high CO2 level does, you can back down on the bubble rate until you no longer get all those good effects. Then, check to see what the pH, KH, outgassed tank water pH are, and use that to guess how much CO2 you have in the tank at what will be the optimum bubble rate. Once you get fish and shrimp in the tank you can start with a lower bubble rate and very slowly, a little bit every day or even every week, raise the bubble rate to see if you can safely use the optimum bubble rate you found above.
     
  9. Wet

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    Re: Interesting discussion on 0 KH at APC

    I have a 2dKH tank (my tap is 5.5-6dKH) using Aquasoil and RO/DI mixed with tap. It is 10gals and I use 2 1L bottles on a staggered schedule feeding CO2 mist. My pH test shows a funky color below 6.2 (the lower limit of my test kit). I am inquisitve by nature and like numbers and seeing differences.

    FWIW, I've found there's only one practical method for measuring CO2 in the tank: enough and not enough.

    More interesting to me is: If Fe falls out of solution faster as KH rises, at 0 KH how long does Fe stay available? Is there any observable difference/deficiency shown in a high-light tank with trace hungry plants with once a week trace dosing?
     
  10. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Interesting discussion on 0 KH at APC

    Nobody seemed to answer your question -- its between the aged water (7.1) and the final tank water (which you want to be 6.0 to 6.1).
     
  11. PeterGwee

    PeterGwee Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Interesting discussion on 0 KH at APC

    Well, just take a sample of the tank water as tom mentioned and let it stand for 24-48hrs before taking the pH measurement. Using that pH measured, drop it down by about 1.0 using CO2 gas and you should hit an approximate value of 30ppm. You can then fine tune it further to max the plants out without harming the fish via visual response.

    Eg. pH of tank water after standing for 24-48hrs = 6.1 (Likely to be the case since ADA aquasoil has peat in it which will reduce the pH).

    For 30ppm of CO2, drop the pH down to 5.1 using CO2 gas only.

    Regards
    Peter Gwee
     
  12. Skyfish

    Skyfish Prolific Poster

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    Re: Interesting discussion on 0 KH at APC

    Thanks VaughnH, I get the idea and I have cranked up my CO2 and have also kept a little tank water sitting to check the PH after 24 hours. I'm experimenting now.
     
  13. Skyfish

    Skyfish Prolific Poster

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    Re: Interesting discussion on 0 KH at APC

    Quenton/PeterG, thanks for clarifying this. I got it now, I was just not sure if I had to compare to the aged water. It's clear now, I have the water sitting, will test tomorrow. Since I have no fish, I can crank up the CO2 safely. I do however have seen snails in there, which look fine in this high ammonia tank. If they die, I'll know.

    I have had good success with EI and Co2 in basic gravel, now with AS/PS it's all a new dimension and it’s intriguing, like venturing into a new adventure and solving the mystery, but it all boils down to the same thing in the end, keeping track of things and keeping algae at bay, while the plants flourish.
     
  14. PeterGwee

    PeterGwee Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Interesting discussion on 0 KH at APC

    If the ammonia is indeed that high in the tank, you would have a nasty algae bloom of many species namely greenwater, staghorn and etc. I suspect a bad test kit.

    Overdoing the CO2 can have effects on bacteria as well. Don't go overboard.

    Regards
    Peter Gwee
     
  15. Skyfish

    Skyfish Prolific Poster

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    Re: Interesting discussion on 0 KH at APC

    PeterG,

    Ap Freshwater Master Kit, less then a year old, BUT I will try another brand and check again today. You could be right.

    Not really overdosing the Co2 as such, just doubling from 3bps to 6bps (assuming,, as you can't count streaming that fast), it's a 75G tank. I'll update later today.
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Interesting discussion on 0 KH at APC

    I'd not worry too much, the EI/AS combo is very forgiving if you run it rich or leaner.

    The plants will draw more from the AS if you run it leaner, but I've seen no algae issues other than the first 1-2 weeks and that was due to the NH4 most likely and was very minor.

    A water change, adding enough plants from the start and cleaning takes care of that part.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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