[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: KH too high/Intro

> I agree that my KH and pH are too high.  The KH is as it is right from my
> tap.  We have a developed spring as a water source.

KH has little bearing on plants as long as their CO2 needs are met. See
pH/KH/CO2. KH is not an issue unless it's too low. High KH's can grow plants
just fine. The pH issue is easily taken care of using CO2 gas.

You have a couple of roads to go down here. The big one is to use CO2 or

Your fine with your KH either way. Egeria najas and a number of other plants
and floating plants make good additions for a non CO2 tank. The Egeria will
use HCO3(KH) and break it into CO2 and OH to get the CO2. If you limit your
water changes and grow this plant you can have soft water without doing too
much besides pruning/removal of plant mass. Growth will be slower and some
plants will not grow as nice as you see them in CO2 enriched tanks nor as

If you give the tank enough CO2 then this will not happen and your pH target
using only CO2 gas will about 7.2 or so. CO2 will counteract the HCO3
breakdown and maintain the CO2 in the tank and keep the OH's out. Nitrate
assimulation will also be enhanced and it also give off OH's as a by
product. So adding CO2 will really help things grow. But then you have o
weed and porune more often. Some folks would rather have a low growth tanks
that they touch less often.

You need to decide which road you wish to try out. CO2 is a bit of drug to
plant aquarium keepers. Once they try it and learn how to control it they
are hooked. It's worth trying out since it's a little 10 gallon tank and you
can simply do the DIY CO2 yeast off of the Krib. If it doesn't work......no
big loss. But watching your plants grow daily is nice, I have to admit.

The bio wheel filter is good for the tank if you decide to not use CO2 since
it will add a small amount from the air. If you add CO2 try first with and
then without the wheel. Personally I'd just leave the wheel and add a touch
more CO2 gas since it's a smaller tank to make up for any slight losses of
> Ph is 7.2 freshly drawn
> but jumps to 8 in 24 hours then settles to 7.8 once nitrogen cycle is
> complete.

Since it's from a spring, it will have higher dissolved CO2. Once it
equilibrates with the air it loses it and the pH goes up.
Bonus question: Why does spring water high in KH have high dissolved CO2
content? Hint: think small. Okay I'll fess up. It's from the CO2 gas given
off from respiring bacteria as the water passes through the soil/ground.

Notice the plants after a water change(s), You should see great growth and
tank sparkle. Minerals from the tap and CO2 help the plants.

>  I about drove myself nuts trying to lower the pH the first month
> I had my tank set up. Finally tested the KH and discovered why I am having
> trouble.  All the fish and pond people told me not to mess with it anymore
> and I've not had any trouble.  I use Proper pH7 in my tank which helps keep
> it at 7.8.  I am concerned that I will have iron absorption problems in a
> planted tank if I don't lower the pH.

No you won't.

> I've found I do have to periodically
> dose my potted terrestrial plants with Miracid to keep them from getting
> chlorotic.

Miracid? Why not use Alum? It's cheap. Or peat.
> I would like more info/examples/stories of peat filtering or even putting
> peat in the substrate.

A few handfuls of ground peat etc....pretty simple. You don't need it though
for what your trying to do.
> Some more questions that have come up today:
> Has anyone tried using greensand or kelp in the substrate?  Both would
> supply K and trace minerals.

Greedsand was tried in the past. See archives.
> Can fertilizers like Pondtabs be placed in the substrate?

Yes. But why? For the iron?
> My plants really greened up yesterday and today with the increased light.  I
> also turned my filter off during the day.
So how does the CO2 get moved around to the plants? Or the other water
column nutrients? Having everything in the substrate can help things for
algae control but eventually you have to pull it up and prune. As you get
more light, you become increasingly dependent on the water column for a
number of nutrients.

Chlorotic deficiencies are not ALWAYS iron related. This is a commonly
assumed notion but you need to be careful before assuming iron is the
reason. Your tap's hardness is extremely likely NOT the cause for the
chlorosis. Check the CO2 if you use it. If not, get some as it will be much
more economical and simpler over the long run than peat/acids etc. You can
limit the types and places you have by doing a non CO2 approach. Get Diana's
Walstead's book if you seek to try this approach over CO2.
Otherwise try DIY CO2. You'll likely catch the plant bug bad if you do.
Took me down hard:-)
Tom Barr