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Algae challenge - and beyond

>  >  I have used Seachem Alkaline Buffer with Acid Buffer to obtain KH 4
> PH 7.0.
> Why use acid(ahem) buffer? That's what the CO2 is for silly:)
> It's not what you want in a planted tank. The KH is good (alkaline buffer)
> but don't use the acid stuff. The CO2 takes care of all that. It will mess
> with the chart some. Therefore don't use it. You don't need it....Perhaps
> but you don't need it. You need to stop adding the acid buffer and
> let the CO2 do it's job. That's the pH thing(CO2 related, not acid
> CO2 is the THE acid!).
> This is my problem: my Boston tap water is very soft and its PH is very
> (KH 2, GH 1.5, PH 8.4).  If I add buffers to get my KH and GH up, won't my
> PH go sky High?  Will CO2 alone, really bring it down?  What about at
> when the CO2 if off?.

Paul Sears answered:

	Why turn it off at night?  If you are adding bicarbonate, there
is no point, as Tom says, in adding any other buffer system.  If you _do_
add other acids, what you are doing is destroying KH again.  If it is a
strong acid you are adding, _all_ you are doing is destroying KH, if it
is a weak acid, you are making it impossible to measure KH or CO2

Request for Clarification:

The reason I turn off the C02 at night is for fear that without
photosynthesis the C02 content, relative to 02, will endanger my fish.  I
have been told, in addition to turning off C02 at night, one should consider
turning on an air stone.  Is it truly safe to keep C02 on at night?  If I
do, should I also turn on an air stone?

> 	From what I can see of Carbo-Plus, if it makes CO2 it does so
> from Ca++ and HCO3-, so you _must_ have adequate supplies of both.  If
> you are using unknown buffers, you don't know how much KH you have
> (except that it is lower than your measurement).
> 	Stick to known materials - CaCO3 for GH and KH, NaHCO3 for KH.
> Hate to keep showing my ignorance, but would someone please remind me of
> common names for these.  Assuming I correctly buffer with KNOWN buffers,
> I likely to have any problem using the Carbo Plus with my very soft, high
> tap water?

Paul Sears answered:

	The idea of the CaCO3 (calcium carbonate) is to make the water
harder and add KH.  The NaHCO3 (baking soda) adds KH.  If you have adequate
GH and KH, the way the water came out of the tap is irrelevant.  Adding
other buffers would definitely be useless to the Carbo-Plus.

Request for clarification:

Given my use of the Carbo Plus, if I am able to raise both KH and GH to
proper levels with just CaCO3, is that ok, or do I also want NaHC03 for the
Carbo Plus to have proper components in the water.  Given your formula
above, (Ca++ and HC03-) it appears that I should use both, and then find the
happy medium in KH vs GH levels. (If I use both, I assume my GH be
influenced more than my KH?) .