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What's wrong with my water?
- To: <Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com>
- Subject: What's wrong with my water?
- From: Christina Samuels <casamuels at earthlink_net>
- Date: Sat, 08 Apr 2000 09:42:50 -0400
- In-Reply-To: <200004080748.DAA29592 at actwin_com>
- User-Agent: Microsoft Outlook Express Macintosh Edition - 5.01 (1630)
Hello. Like another recent poster, I have lurked/observed in this list for
some time, only recently "coming out" to ask some questions about my broken
strip light (now fixed) and shrimp eating fish. Thanks for all the help on
Now I have a water chemistry question and I must say I post it with some
trepidation. I am NOT as chemistry-adept as most of the people on this list,
so please be kind. :-)
The background: 30 gallon planted tank now holding four otocinclus and 10
Yamatos, maybe, I can only see three our four at a time. I lucked into a guy
in my neighborhood selling them on eBay. 90 watts of light. Flourite
When I first set up this tank I added DIY Carbon dioxide, at a fairly strong
rate -- 1 bubble per second, directly into my canister filter (no carbon in
the filter). I eventually got Co2 production down to 1 bubble/6 seconds but
then took it out entirely on 3/30 when I noticed my pH had dropped
substantially. I ordered more accurate pH test (LaMotte) as well as GH/KH
(Tetra) tests. Here are what appear to be the results.
Tank: pH 6, GH 3.5 degrees of hardness, KH=1 degree of hardness.
Water from my tap: ph 8, GH 4 degrees, KH=2.
I'm calculating degrees of hardness by counting how many drops it takes to
get to the desired color, as indicated by the test instructions. If I'm
doing this all wrong, please tell me. But it appears that the water out of
my tap is soft and alkaline, and in the tank it's acid and even softer. I
performed a 20 percent water change 4/7 and the pH appears unmoved, I didn't
do the GH/KH tests.
The tank critters appear to be okay. The shrimp were darting all over the
place when I first put them in; now they appear to be calmer but I don't
know if that's because they're settling in or because they're settling down
The question(s): IF my test results appear logical, what, if anything,
should be done to bring this tank to a comfort level for community fish and
plants? I'd like to try Co2 supplementation again, but I'm afraid...I've
read about adding baking soda to bring up the pH, but is that all i should
be doing? Should I be looking for calcium carbonate sources?
Thanks in advance and sorry for the length; I didn't want to leave out any
info that might be pertinent.
Christina Samuels, Washington D.C.