Water Parameter Choices

Steven

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Aug 5, 2009
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Hello all,

I have a simple question, which water parameter according to you is better for keeping aquatic plants?

Sample #1 :
kH : 0-1 dkH
gH : 0-1 dgH
pH : 6.8-6.9
NH4, NO2, NO3, Fe and PO4 are 0 ppm.

Sample #2 :
kH : 3 dkH
gH : 3 dgH
pH : 8.0-8.1
NH4, NO2, NO3 and Fe are 0 ppm except for PO4 is 1 ppm.

I will be keeping HC, HM, Java fern "narrow", Ludwigia, Downoi, mosses and anubias and will add CO2. Thank you very much.
 

Tug

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Short answer

Sample #2 with a few changes
With CO2 enriched tanks pH should drop with 3-4dKH.
Add some GH booster (+1ppm) when you change the water
NO3 and K+ would be better off between 10-20ppm
Fe between 0.1-0.5ppm would be better then none.

Q. What are you dosing and are you adding trace?
 

Steven

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Thank you Tug but I am curious what is the bad if it's 0 dkH? I will not be able to add gH booster as I don't know where to buy it and I think it's too troublesome to add it for everytime I do the wc.

I'm dosing KNO3, KH2PO4, K2SO4 and Seachem Flourish.

If your choice is Sample #2, will you give me the reason why?

Tug, I have a question, Say that I test my water that have let it sit for 24 hours before adding it to the tank, the pH is 7.3. After add it to the tank, the pH drop to say 6.8 for my substrate is ADA AS II and after I turn my CO2 on, the pH drop further to say 5.7. In this case, all plants and fishes actually live in the water that has pH of 7.3 or 6.8 or 5.7?

Thank you very much.
 

DaBub

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Oct 18, 2009
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I am not that dreamy Tug, nor nearly as bright, I am but a mere waif of a barefooted pilgrim girl, so my reply may not be suitable. :eek:

I think Tug's answer, given the choices offered is obvious. :cool:

The main processes of biological filtration tend to add nitric acid and of course the addition of CO2 adds carbonic acid. Regarding the KH, 0 dKH leaves no alkalinity, no buffering, the chance of a total pH crash are great. This is not good for fish or plants. ;)

That does not even get into the needs of the plants.

GH boosters are 3:3:1 KSO4:CaSO4:MgSO4 (Barr's GH Booster anyway. http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/index.asp and http://www.rexgrigg.com/index.html are 2 of many places to get good chemicals.

GH boosters will do nothing for KH. I think it is a teaspoon of baking soda to 50 liters of water raises the dKH 4.

The fish and plants are living in whatever the pH of the water is, assuming your test method is accurate that is what they live in.

Much confusion comes over 'natural' pH swings of say adding CO2 versus adding salts. pH swings of i degree caused by biological activity and CO2 seem to have little consequence. pH swings induced by addition of salts seem to cause problems above .2 and .5 degree per day, depending on who you read.

IME .4/day pH change or better is dangerous to sensitive critters.

Your iron and phosphate levels seem ridiculously low as well.
 

Tug

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Seachem offers a product called Equillbrium. If you are using their Flourish product you should be able to find some to boost GH. Or make your own,
DaBub;45379 said:
GH boosters are 3:3:1 KSO4:CaSO4:MgSO4

In your question you offer choice #1 or choice #2. How about the water you start with, the water from your faucet. What is the KH from your tap? What about the GH, how do you propose going from 0.0ppm to 3ppm? The more information you provide the simpler the answer can be. Not the other way around. Simple questions often get simplified answers and can go wrong.

Steven;45378 said:
what is the bad if it's 0 dkH?
My tap water has 4 dKH and IME, KH helps buffer the pH when adding CO2. I never worry about my pH or KH, never. Sorry, I know this is not an answer. Only, I know it works, so I do nothing to change it, (except in a brackish water tank I have). Calling all gurus.
 

Steven

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We still don't have tap water supplied in our area, we usually use ground water for our other purposes and usually we buy the water from the local drinking water depot as our ground water has some slight bad smell and discoloration.

I buy the water from the drinking water depot to keep fish and plant. I have 2 choices of water parameter that I've tested them like above from 6 depots.

It appears that Sample #1 is RO water since it get nothing in it and Sample #2 is filtered water so it contains PO4 of 1 ppm and the kH and gH is 3. Now you got it? :)

I think I will pick sample #1 over #2 but will work my best to obtain CaSO4 and MgSO4 for some gh boost...but I'm afraid that I will not be able to get CaSO4 but instead of CaNO3, will it be ok? Does CaNO3 contains nitrate? I feel I don't need KSO4 as I will dose K2SO4. Thank you very much Tug and DaBub
 

BigFlusher

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Can you describe the 'smell' and the discoloration?

Would you share with us where you live?

Will you share information about your tank, size lighting and so on?

Ca(NO3)2 does have Nitrate, that is the NO3 part.

The MgSO4 (actually it is MgSO4.7H2O) is Epsom Salt, easy to find most places and usually cheap.

Do try to get the GH booster if using the RO water.

Another trick with RO is to mix it stir it up well to aerate, before adding to the aquarium.

It appears you also need chelated iron and phosphate as well.

Joe
 

Steven

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It smells a little rusty and the color is slightly brownish.

I live in Indonesia (do you know where is it?) :)

My tank size is 80x30x40cm with T5NO 4x21 watts (currently only turn on with 2 bulbs only), pressurized CO2 injected and dissolve by a reactor and ADA AS II substrate.

Yes, I dose macro with KNO3, KH2PO4 and K2SO4. The micro is Seachem Flourish and Iron.
 

Biollante

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Tug

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Steven;45406 said:
I think I will pick sample #1 over #2 but will work my best to obtain CaSO4 and MgSO4 for some gh boost...but I'm afraid that I will not be able to get CaSO4 but instead of CaNO3, will it be ok? Does CaNO3 contains nitrate? I feel I don't need KSO4 as I will dose K2SO4. Thank you very much Tug and DaBub
Think about what you are saying. You say, you want to start with a water with 0 dGH. Only, you are going to add GH back into the water. Seams unnecessary, 3dGH would be better for the fish. When you have a place that offers water with 3 dGH why not get that?

Steven;45406 said:
Sample #2 is filtered water so it contains PO4 of 1 ppm and the kH and gH is 3.)
You will like 1ppm of PO4. Adjust, reduce, raise the amount you dose. "H+" will add some KH, but phosphate makes up
the ATP - good thing.​
3 dKH (amorphous) will buffer the water some, and CO2ers can always use 3-4 dKH.
 
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Steven

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Tug;45478 said:
Think about what you are saying. You say, you want to start with a water with 0 dGH. Only, you are going to add GH back into the water. Seams unnecessary, 3dGH would be better for the fish. When you have a place that offers water with 3 dGH why not get that?
I know but what about the pH? It's 8.0-8.1, from what I know is all of the aquatic plants prefer more acidic environment, no?
 

Tug

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When pH is reduced by 1, hydrogen ion concentration increases by a factor of ten. Add CO2 to water and it forms carbonic acid, which lowers the pH. The more CO2 that gets dissolved into the water, the lower the KH, the greater the hydrogen ion concentration. So at this point I will have to venture a guess and levels of CO2 in example #2 are low, say 6ppm.

Adding CO2 will drop the dKH. The pH will also change ~ 7.2 - 6.8 range, include an ADA AS II substrate and KH drops a little lower. Most plants would be fine, depends on the GH. My experience has always been that the water will become even more acidic due to biological activity.
 
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Tug

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Tilting at Windmills

Please, do not get carried away. I am sure this will get resolved soon and some recent posts might be just a tad quixotic, my dear badger.

Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, "Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless."

"What giants?" asked Sancho Panza.

"Those you see over there," replied his master, "with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length."

"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone."

-Part 1, Chapter VIII. Of the valourous Don Quixote's success in the dreadful and never before imagined Adventure of the Windmills, with other events worthy of happy record.
 
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Tom Barr

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Steven;45480 said:
I know but what about the pH? It's 8.0-8.1, from what I know is all of the aquatic plants prefer more acidic environment, no?

Better to think this way: plants prefer CO2 gas.
Low KH seems to help, but higher GH helps, keep GH and KH separate.
Focus there, not with pH.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Biollante

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Tug;45514 said:
Please, do not get carried away. I am sure this will get resolved soon and some recent posts might be just a tad quixotic, my dear badger.

Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, "Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless."

"What giants?" asked Sancho Panza.

"Those you see over there," replied his master, "with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length."

"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone."

-Part 1, Chapter VIII. Of the valourous Don Quixote's success in the dreadful and never before imagined Adventure of the Windmills, with other events worthy of happy record.

Thanks Sancho...

For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible. -Stuart Chase

Biollante
 

Steven

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Tom Barr;45523 said:
Better to think this way: plants prefer CO2 gas.
Low KH seems to help, but higher GH helps, keep GH and KH separate.
Focus there, not with pH.

Regards,
Tom Barr

Ok, got it Tom. Thank you very much. I will add some calcium and magnesium to try increase the gH up to 3 dgH but leaving kH alone still remains 0 dkH.

Anyone please will you tell me as I am no good in chemical :

1. Which one is better CaCO3 vs CaSO4 vs CaCl2?
I read somewhere that CaCO3 will also raise kH (so I will not use this one) and CaSO4 takes too long to dissolve so I think I will pick CaCl2 but too afraid of the chloride in high amount on it. Will it be dangerous to plant and fish?

2. Will anyone please tell me how to dose (the formula/how to count) those two components (CaCl2 and MgSO4) from 0 dgH to 3 dgH?
My tank is 96 litres. At what ppm I should target those 2 components? From what I know is 10-30ppm of Ca and 2-5ppm of Mg but can I count or convert those ppm into dgH? If so, how many ppm of each Ca and Mg are for the increase of 3 dgH regarding the ratio is 4:1?

3. What is the difference between MgSO4 and MgSO4.7H2O?

Thank you very much in advance.
 

Biollante

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Steven

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My country prohibit some chemical compund being imported so I will not risk any chance to get gH booster from aboard Thx. Instead I will get myself those two component separately.

Anyway do know how to dose for each into 96litre tank? Thanks Bio.