New To Planted, Testing For Kh?

Kyle Bausch

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May 8, 2019
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Hey guys,

First time poster, hopefully I've posted in the right section.

This is a simple question i hope. Ive been using pressurized Co2 and ive started to get blackbeard algae. After reading around, i found that maybe i haven't been providing enough Co2. So i used the sticky on this site with the Co2 chart to test my parameters.

I found that, in the last hour before my Co2 switches off (when i get home from work), my PH was 6.0 (using API test kit). But my KH from the tap and the tank at the time both were a barely yellow/clear color after one drop? What does this reading mean? It never went blue, just straight to basically clear water with slight tinge of yellow. Should the yellow be more pronounced?

Apologies for the wall of text. Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

Phishless

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You could use a 10ml sample and each drop if worth .5dKH

6.0 pH @ lights off, correct?
Grab a de-gassed sample of pH.
Use an airstone in a cup of tank water for 15-20 minutes and test pH.
Looking for @ least a 1.0 drop in pH.
 
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Kyle Bausch

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May 8, 2019
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Interesting, so if i put one drop into 10ml tank water, that makes the drop worth half of what it usually does?

No sorry it was 6.0 @ lights on! So the airstone in the cup will degass it, correct? Excuse my ignorance, but when you say im looking for a 1.0 drop in ph, i want to be at 5.9? Is that for my plants to get the right amount of co2 or to get an accurate reading of co2?

Thanks again
 

Phishless

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I found that, in the last hour before my Co2 switches off (when i get home from work), my PH was 6.0

So the airstone in the cup will degass it, correct?
Yes! 15-20 minutes will surely remove all CO2 from the sample.

Typically CO2 comes on before photo-period, approximately 1-2 hours prior.
Hoping that the 1st hour of photo-period has 30ppm of CO2 in the water column.
30ppm is estimated as a 1.0 drop in pH, most of us strive for more if the phish can handle it.
This would be a drop from 7.0 to 6.0, or 7.3 to 6.3 etc....
 
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Kyle Bausch

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Yes! 15-20 minutes will surely remove all CO2 from the sample.

Typically CO2 comes on before photo-period, approximately 1-2 hours prior.
Hoping that the 1st hour of photo-period has 30ppm of CO2 in the water column.
30ppm is estimated as a 1.0 drop in pH, most of us strive for more if the phish can handle it.
This would be a drop from 7.0 to 6.0, or 7.3 to 6.3 etc....
Thanks a lot! Makes more sense now.
My Co2 has been comming on an hour before lights and goes off an hour before the lights go off. So if my degassed sample measures 7.0 and my first test i mentioned above is 6.0, im on the money?
 

Kyle Bausch

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May 8, 2019
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@ least a 1.0pH drop, sounds good!
So i tested my ph straight from my tank this morning before lights. It read exactly the same, 6.0! Ive got a medium size piece of driftwood, which i assumeis keeping the water low. I put it in the tank around the time i added co2.

Im going to get a PH probe to see just how low it is. If i get some sort of PH booster will this allow for more co2? Also, KH still comes up clear yellow at .5
 

Phishless

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I target 1dKH in my tanks but do I really need too, I'm not sure.

If you want to raise your KH I would not recommend baking soda.
CaCO3 would work and there a few other compounds.

What are you GH levels?

pH pen will help clarify this.
 

Devisissy

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Oct 21, 2019
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I use salifert ALK test (marketed for salt). How salifert works is you keep adding regent until you get a deep pink color. When it goes pink, it's usually a drop beyond to get the darker pink. It's easier and more accurate, (API is low end stuff), and if you ask Salifert they will send a test regent to calibrate your test kit to. Also, it's cheap and considering how low alkalinity is in planted tanks this test lasts forever. You just put unused regent back in the bottle.