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Question regarding PH, KH, GH

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by travdawg, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. travdawg

    travdawg Guru Class Expert

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    I finally found a GH/KH test kit at one of the LFS, so I brought it home & ran my weekly test.

    Ammo/Nitrites 0
    Nitrates 20
    PH : 6
    GH : 60-80
    KH : less than 10

    My PH seems low to me, & I am wondering if the small chunk of planted DW may be the culprit? However, my other question is concerning my GH & KH... I have no real idea what these mean, other than my KH being really low. I plan on dosing Co2 when I get my bigger tank, & from what I understand, I need to achieve a certain balance with the PH/KH/GH triumverate.

    Can someone give me a blow by blow on what these numbers mean... talk slow & use small words! :p
     
  2. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Question regarding PH, KH, GH

    I'm a bit confused by the figures you've quoted there. Are they in German degrees hardness or mg/l (ppm). Most hardness kits I've used work on the basis of one drop per degree on the test solution.

    If you have quoted in degrees, which is the normal way then the numbers are high on both the Dh and Kh. If quoted in milligrams per litre they are low, especially Kh which equates to 0.5 degrees. 1 degree = 17.9 mg/litre.

    Ian
     
  3. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Question regarding PH, KH, GH

    If those measurements are in degrees, with a GH of 60-80, he's got liquid rock for water :)

    Bill
     
  4. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Question regarding PH, KH, GH

    That's what I was thinking Bill. :)

    Ian
     
  5. travdawg

    travdawg Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Question regarding PH, KH, GH

    No, I am fairly certain they are in PPM. And yes, from what I read, the KH would translate to a little over .5 deg.
     
  6. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Question regarding PH, KH, GH

    You will want to boost your KH to 5 degrees or 90ppm and the GH to 7-9 degrees or 125-160ppm for plants. This is a rough estimate, not carved in stone. Use good ol baking soda for the KH and Calcium Chloride for the GH (just got mine not long ago from Greg!). I've noticed a difference in my plant
    growth, more robust, using the CaCL2 already. My KH is 90ppm right outa the
    tap so don't need the baking soda.

    Bill
     
  7. travdawg

    travdawg Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Question regarding PH, KH, GH

    How does one dose baking soda? And do I add it once per change, or what?
     
  8. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Question regarding PH, KH, GH

    Dose it to a gallon of your tapwater. Go with a quarter teaspoonful, measure,
    dose again 1/4 tsp till you hit your target of 90ppm. Keep track how much it
    takes to raise it to 90ppm. If you have holding tanks for your changewater,
    you can then dose it with baking soda, in a wholesale way.

    Bill
     
  9. travdawg

    travdawg Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Question regarding PH, KH, GH

    I would assume that this would best be done over a matter of days?

    Also, is t ok to raise the KH, & GH seperately, or should I order from Greg & do them both at the same time?
     
  10. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Question regarding PH, KH, GH

    Travdawg, are you using wellwater? Curious. If not, get the county or municipal report on what's in your water. You may want to dose 4:1 ratio
    of CaCl2 to MgSO4 for your GH. Your low KH reminds me of the hassles I had
    trying to grow plants on Maine wellwater (combined hardness
     
  11. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Question regarding PH, KH, GH

    Edit: Doesn't have to be as CaCl2 dissolves almost as quickly as baking soda,
    as compared to calicium carbonate. Watching that dissolve is almost as much fun as staring at coal to become a diamond :) After you get all the
    water parameters sussed out, I would definitely pretreat my changewater
    ahead of time to the levels you want.

    Bill
     
  12. travdawg

    travdawg Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Question regarding PH, KH, GH

    Argh, pretreating water for a 10 gall is no big deal... But when I get my 75 gallon tank, that wont happen. lol My wife is at odds with me as is over the hobby, & the fact that I am putting back upwards of $1000.00 towards the tank/lights/heating/filter/substrate/co2.

    Would putting in something like a limestone, or other calcerous rock be a good idea, or is that going to release at too random of a rate to be dependable for anything other than adding an x factor to my water?


    ps: Tomorrow I will just call you, lol. Seems we both have time on our hands at the same time.
     
  13. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Question regarding PH, KH, GH

    Travdawg,
    I could do a 75g on half that money! I'm leaning towards a 65g (48x18x17hi)
    that will be CO2 with ummm, probably medium light. The tank I'll get from
    Glasscages.com for 90 bucks. I can drive up to Nashville area from Huntsville and save on the freight. I'm working tomorrow, but if you want my cell
    phone# just pm me. My wife wouldn't let me spend a K on a setup, but then,
    we're saving money for a house in Thailand. :)

    Bill
     
  14. travdawg

    travdawg Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Question regarding PH, KH, GH

    Well, I am loooking at :

    75 gallon tank, wood stand, & glass top from a LFS for around $350

    A 4x65 watt JBJ light kit from aquariumplant.com with 4 lights for around $250

    I found an inline heater on ebay for around $50

    Lookin at around $100 for my XP3 canister

    Likely around $100 for substrate (I need clarification on how many lbs per gallon to reach the 2-3" recommended depth)

    Then I will need around $100 to spend on plants, fish, & wood...

    I would like to get a few cypress kness to try to express some verticality in my tank, or a nice driftwood stump.... I figure the stump will be impossible to find in my price range, so looking at the knees.
     
  15. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Question regarding PH, KH, GH

    Well, I would make my own stand and hood, and using "designer substrate"
    would be optional. You're paying "boutique" prices for your stuff. Lighting
    would probably be AH Supply kits, Via Aqua canister, and I'm still waiting
    to peruse Tom's external CO2 reactor :)

    Bill
     
  16. travdawg

    travdawg Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Question regarding PH, KH, GH

    Well, I was going to go with AH supply light kits, until about a week ago that was my plan. However, for what I was going to pay for 2 of Kims 2x55watt PC kits, & bulbs, I could get the JBJ Formosa 4x65 watt strip light, already together, for about $30 less.... Which I would likely pay for materials to build the hood. Now, granted I am going to pay about $20 extra for the legs on the lights, but I really like the low profile of the kit, as opposed to having a large full canopy sitting over the tank.

    I think the idea would also be more attractive to me if I had any tools to make my own canopy, but I dont... And I would be uncomfortable making my own stand... afraid of its structural integrity, with sitting half a ton or so of fragile equipment on top of it.... so I am kinda out in the cold.

    How much are the Via Aqua canisters that you are referring to, & can you send me a link? My reactor will be homemade for around $10.00... From what I see, it will be ugly, but its inline, & outside of the tank so it wont be seen.

    I welcome any comments on this stuff Bill, & appreciate your input!
     
  17. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Question regarding PH, KH, GH

    I know you don't want to build your own stand, but:

    http://www.garf.org/

    Click on the DIY pages, then "Stands" nice program that factors materials
    list to boot.

    Bigalsonline.com has the Via Aqua 230 for $44.99.

    Gotta run,

    Bill
     
  18. travdawg

    travdawg Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Question regarding PH, KH, GH

    Didnt give stats, but it seems on the smallish side for a 75 gallon? I did a cursory search for it (didnt look REALLY hard) but didnt look like they were carried anywhere domestic... From the links I found on some other forums, it looked like the size I would be needing was similar in price to the Rena XP 3 ($99.00). I could be wrong about the size I would need.
     
  19. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Question regarding PH, KH, GH

    Oh deary me, I believe we've gotten offthread:

    http://ah-supply.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=581

    This is not Kim's site, obviously, but there's a 316gph Via Aqua for $79.95.

    You can surf n' smurf the net for a cheaper one, several outfits stock
    VAs.

    Bill
     
  20. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Question regarding PH, KH, GH

    Also, I think I'll throw in with Scott Hieber of APD: when providing filtration
    for 4 foot and longer tanks, it's better to go with 2 smaller canisters than
    having one large one being the sole phalanx for filtration, yeah I'm paraphrasing, but that's the gist. If one craps out, you still got one...I think I'll go with 2 of those $45 VA230s. YMMV, always, :D

    Bill
     
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