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kh co2 etc

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by dielectric, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. dielectric

    dielectric Guest

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    if i change 50 gallons of water weekly using straight R/O (our tap water is really, really, really bad) how much baking soda would you add? and how much GH booster?

    if 4.5 grams raises 4 gallon of water to 4dkh, and i add roughly 50 grams of NaCHO3, why do i get KH readings of 7? shouldnt 56.25 grams give me a reading of 4?

    i know co2 charts are bogus but assuming my kh is 7 and my ph is 6.4 - 6.2 with inadequate co2 levels what ph would you shoot for? i've been fiddleing with my co2 and noticed when i really ramp it up and the ph drops to 6.0, the pearling really increases but when it hits 5.9 my discus show their stress bars, turn darkish, and hide/hover near the suface. is 6.0 my target? or am i decreasing it too fast?

    i've been adding 12 grams of gh booster per 5 gallons of water. so every week ive been adding 120 grams of gh booster. this just seems like way too much, and yet my ramshorns are still having problems with their shells.

    what gives?
     
  2. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Got Electrolytes

    Are you using some sort of electrolyte to your water RO water and oxygenating it first?

    Biollante
     
  3. dielectric

    dielectric Guest

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    no. what effects will this have?
     
  4. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    First, I apologize, I should have answered completely in the first post and I am having some system problems and am not able to bring up information, as I should.:eek:

    I suspect that the direct use of RO is part of the problem. I know someone will buzz in and say they’ve been using RO for 47 years without a hitch, fine great if you got no problems you have got no problem.:cool:

    Here we have a problem. GH booster, a quality one anyway will act to balance much of the electrolyte deficiency.

    Generally, I would never add a significant amount of RO or DI water directly to an aquarium, plant, pet, farm animal or person without aerating and adding back some electrolytes’.

    I recommend any of the commercially available ones; I know Seachem and Kent Marine make fine products to replace electrolytes’, there is a product called Electro-Right by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals that I have used. These give a convenient base from which to begin our dosing.

    Alternatively, we can build it back up ourselves, in a container or two mix your water in advance including your initial dosing of fertilizers and GH booster, aerate, some sources I would normally cite say up to 48 hours, I rarely, and I don’t think ever, intentionally, have done that. Usually I give it a good mix, throw in a couple of air stones for an hour or two then pump it into the tanks.

    Next, how sure are you of those numbers you gave? How are you measuring pH? Are you sure of your KH reading? (I suppose this is my tactful way of asking; have you calibrated your testers?)

    I do think we can be carried away with CO2 in these systems, gently on the adjustments. To be honest Discus ought to be able to handle the lower pH. Your biological filter is another matter. I like ph 6.4 or better, just me, in general. I have a tank I keep around 5.6 or so, biological filtration isn't particularly effective.

    The ramshorn may not like the low pH put they certainly prefer hard water.

    Biollante
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    RO does not remove all the KH?
    Do you have a TDS/Ec meter?
    Or test the KH from the RO...........that will answer that.
    RO should remove almost all the GH however.

    Most folks simply blend the RO wityh tap so they reduce the KH to some target level(say2-4 degree range). This waste much less water(RO waste 90% of the final water produced).

    Snails have a coating that protects their shells.
    Once broken, they do poorly, and the older the snail, the more likely they have had holes(fish picking at them, being mashed when pruning, rocks etc).
    It's not a lack of Ca, or CO3.
    They live in super soft water in natural systems and have no problems........

    They also get plenty of Ca and CO3 in their diet.
    However, most shell formers produce the shell via -OH and this causes a rise in the pH and the CaCO3 to form(pH of about 10.1 or so) and deposit in a very specific way to make their shell. No one has a pH this high, same for the ocean etc, yet they do just fine.

    From your observations, I'd say 6.0-6.1 is the target range, it's a mix of fish and plant health to find it, we use test etc to get close, then tweak slowly from there.

    Dark Discus is a sign you are adding too much, however..........(here's the part many over looked when talking about too much CO2), you also can add more O2 by increasing the circulation and turn over by the water(Filtration, surface skimming, water flow from powerheads , spray bar, surface movement, various flow patterns, aquascaping designs that allow for better mixing etc)

    I add enough current on the surface to cause ripples, but not break the surface.
    If you did not add plants etc, would you not add a good current along the surface for good O2?

    Why would this change for a planted tank which has much less mixing due to all the plants and wood/Rock blocking the flows etc? We can always add a bit more CO2 to make up for any loss and in general, this is not significant unless we start breaking the water's surface and getting a lot of degassing.

    We wanta good current to balance the O2 demand from the fish and also enough CO2 for the plants, in otherwords, high O2 and high CO2. If you have high CO2, but low O2, this is terrible for the fish and means you cannot add as much CO2 as you'd like, even if you can, your fish will be stressed and breathing harder than they should.

    This issue with low O2 is really a problem that is pervasive through the planted hobby unfortunately. It's not just a function of adding too much CO2.

    Respiration is both CO2 and O2 concentration, same for us.

    I'd target say a KH of 3 with blended water, add about 1 teaspoon of Gh booster after each water per 50-60 Gal. My tap is a KH of 1-2 and a GH of 3, I add about 1 teaspoon after the water change per 60 Gal on aquarium.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. dielectric

    dielectric Guest

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    this is how i do my water changes:

    my r/o tank only holds 10 gallons (it was bought because our tap water is nasty, did not have fish tank in mind when purchasing) so....
    throughout the week i fill up (10) 5 gallon bottles of r/o add around 5 grams of baking soda to each along with 12 grams of Barr's GH Booster. on sunday (water change day) i warm them up if needed, usually dont have to, roll them around, shake them etc. so that what hasnt dissolved is suspened in the water, then pour into tank. i can not mix tap water because of our sodium softener. before we had the softener, i attempted to test GH and gave up somewhere in the 30's. now tap water has an extremely high kh and zero gh. i have tested our r/o water and both kh and gh test 0. i do not not have a TDS meter, but the water never freezes clear, it is still white, just not as white as without r/o. i am using 2 different test kits for KH & GH... Sera & API. both give about the same responses.

    R/O water has a PH of 6. before adding soda. tank has an ambient PH of around 6.4. i am using a (calibrated) milwaukee ph controller/meter. when i first re-set this tank up the SMS/turface dropped the ph to about 4.0 for a few weeks, could it be releasing everything it sucked up? does barr's gh booster supply electrolytes?
    so tom, you're saying i only need to add 1 tsp for every 50 gallons changed? wow. i am really over doing it. and if i notice any stunting, just increase a little more?
    i have virtually no surface agitaion, it is almost still. so o2 does not displace co2 or vice versa? so even when my plants are absolutely covered in bubbles, this is still not enough o2 being dissolved? i run an airstone at night because of gasping, and co2 is on 24/7. if i did not have the plants my surface would be rippling.

    as for filtration i have 2 XP3's. #1 is hooked up to a large (about 2 feet) rex style reactor then the hose t's off before entering the tank and water exits out through 2 spraybars (the rena ones) on the back glass at opposite ends of the tank, pointing downish. i have a pump coming in the mail hopefully next week to free up this xp3. #2 is plumbed with PVC and water exits a pvc spray bar thats attatched to the right glass, running just above the substrate. it has multiple rows of holes that blow water straight forwards and straight up (and everything in between).
    once pump arrives i will pvc xp3 #1 in a similar manner. i have 2 powerheads in the center back glass, blowing forwards but at opposite angles. i also have a powerhead along left glass blowing forward, which will be moved after pvc job.

    so i guess i will agitate the surface a little bit and see what happens. since i fiddled with co2, it barely needs to turn on now, before it ran all day and never shut itself off. is this good or bad?
     
  7. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I seem to have snail infestations die off with lower KH values and low pH, showing underdeveloped shells in the juveniles for their size. The difference is quite visible, and I've used the method for handling it my self.

    If it's not CaCO3 reduction or an increase in OH- (-OH is the base for alcohols I believe) then what could be causing it? These same snails will take over a tank when grown in the local tap water and no CO2.

    -Philosophos
     
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