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Thread: Challenges in trying to maintain KH

  1. #1
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    Challenges in trying to maintain KH

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    I have a planted tank with Aquasoil and CO2 supply.

    Last night after my CO2 timer was switched off, I did a waterchange with added Baking Soda to increase the KH.

    About 1130pm, using API test kit, the KH is 2

    This morning at 11am, I text the water again and the KH is showing 0 to 1.....

    I understand the nitrifying proceeds will reduce KH, but that is too fast for KH to come down in just 12 hours.

    I am concerned with the continuous dosing of so much Baking Soda.

    Can any experts here share how you increase and maintain KH in your planted tank?

    Thanks in advance


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    Re: Challenges in trying to maintain KH

    Couple of Seiryu rocks in the tank until the substrate wears down some what

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    Re: Challenges in trying to maintain KH

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
    Couple of Seiryu rocks in the tank until the substrate wears down some what
    Master Wong, this is a frequently asked question. You previously recommended to ignore KH levels if the soil has PH buffering capabilities with co2 injection. Is this still correct? The primary focus will be on GH.

    By the way, great write up on the 2 hr aquarist guide. It was a good read.

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    Re: Challenges in trying to maintain KH

    Thanks man....
    It depends on whether the tank has livestock that requires a higher KH level to do well; very few plants require more alkaline water to grow well (while quite a few species actually prefer lower KH).

    I think the concern is more when the soil is fresh, and having very low pH (<6.0) affects speed of bacteria reproduction and tank cycling. The soil's buffering impact on absorbing KH far outweighs the amount consumed by bacteria. Once the buffering capacity is lessened (after a couple of months), unless you are using straight RO, the 1-2 dKH coming from tap water supply weekly water changes is more than enough to keep the tank stable - nitrifying bacteria just don't consume that much KH by proportion; especially since they will be competing with plants for ammonia.

    In ADA's system it's compensated by bright K, which contains potassium carbonate, which adds some carbonates every time potassium is dosed. In any case, planted tank folks should dose potassium carbonate/bicarbonate rather than sodium bicarbonate.

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    Challenges in trying to maintain KH

    Wow, thanks for the info.

    Can also share where can I find the aquarist guide?

    Actually Iím a quite concern about my KH because I was told bucep needs around KH 4. My bucep wasnít doing well and leaves are shedding...So thought of trying to maintain KH 4 and see if situation improves.

    But seems like not quite possible until the ADA Aquasoil buffering effect wears off.




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    Re: Challenges in trying to maintain KH

    Quote Originally Posted by kaen130 View Post
    Wow, thanks for the info.

    Can also share where can I find the aquarist guide?

    Actually Iím a quite concern about my KH because I was told bucep needs around KH 4. My bucep wasnít doing well and leaves are shedding...So thought of trying to maintain KH 4 and see if situation improves.

    But seems like not quite possible until the ADA Aquasoil buffering effect wears off.




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    Dennis Wong's guide to "THE DEFINITIVE PLANTED AQUARIUM SETUP GUIDE" is here. Please see the link below.

    https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/

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    Re: Challenges in trying to maintain KH

    Buceps can grow well in 1kh or less I think. I'm growing mine beside blood vomit/red erios, which require low KH in an ADA aquasoil tank with no buffers - just make sure your Ca/Mg levels and K levels are good (K 10+ppm, Mg 3-5ppm)


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    Re: Challenges in trying to maintain KH

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
    Buceps can grow well in 1kh or less I think. I'm growing mine beside blood vomit/red erios, which require low KH in an ADA aquasoil tank with no buffers - just make sure your Ca/Mg levels and K levels are good (K 10+ppm, Mg 3-5ppm)

    Thanks for your advise again XZ =)

    No need to headache with KH figure now


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    Re: Challenges in trying to maintain KH

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
    Buceps can grow well in 1kh or less I think. I'm growing mine beside blood vomit/red erios, which require low KH in an ADA aquasoil tank with no buffers - just make sure your Ca/Mg levels and K levels are good (K 10+ppm, Mg 3-5ppm)

    Oh XZ! I have 1 question.

    As your tank KH is also around 0-1, what is your pH level after 8hrs of CO2 injection?

    This is another headache I have...accordingly to this chart, trying achieve 30ppm of CO2 with 0-1KH, need to push to pH 6.0 or lower...which kinda stressed the live stock...



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    Re: Challenges in trying to maintain KH

    That is true... Hence I prefer to use atomizers/misting in my tanks - and depend less on dissolved CO2. The mist hits the plants directly and they can uptake that. I haven't measured the pH of this tank. Most livestock, such as amazon fish, will be okay slightly below ph 6. If you have specific livestock that prefers higher pH/KH levels - they shouldn't be kept in a tank with strongly buffering substrate...

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    Challenges in trying to maintain KH

    Sorry Double post

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    Re: Challenges in trying to maintain KH

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
    That is true... Hence I prefer to use atomizers/misting in my tanks - and depend less on dissolved CO2. The mist hits the plants directly and they can uptake that. I haven't measured the pH of this tank. Most livestock, such as amazon fish, will be okay slightly below ph 6. If you have specific livestock that prefers higher pH/KH levels - they shouldn't be kept in a tank with strongly buffering substrate...
    Oh, Iím also using atomizers/misting in my tank and I donít have livestock that prefer high pH/KH....but do you think I might have been overdosing CO2...i have some Neocaridina Blue, but been seeing casualties..

    Before I got bother by the KH, my pH was reading as low as 5.5 lowest.





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    Re: Challenges in trying to maintain KH

    Wah spam...


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    Re: Challenges in trying to maintain KH

    Hmm high CO2 levels beyond a certain limit is stressful to livestock. I think it is more due to the saturation of CO2 levels rather than the pH effect, though 5.5 is really quite low. WHy not just add some seiryu to the tank ? Which you have... it kinda self regulates because as the pH gets lower, it dissolves faster and raises the KH, while being easily removed in future as the soil buffering capacity wears out

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    Re: Challenges in trying to maintain KH

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
    Hmm high CO2 levels beyond a certain limit is stressful to livestock. I think it is more due to the saturation of CO2 levels rather than the pH effect, though 5.5 is really quite low. WHy not just add some seiryu to the tank ? Which you have... it kinda self regulates because as the pH gets lower, it dissolves faster and raises the KH, while being easily removed in future as the soil buffering capacity wears out
    Noted that pH 5.5 is too low. I already do not have the Seiryu Rocks with me. i already got the idea, will raise the pH higher.

    Thank you


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