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Re: KH1 etc, related question (LONG)
I have been following the replies to John Russo's question with much
interest. I would also like to raise my KH without having my pH
skyrocket. I keep basically 2 types of tanks.
1: Discus with moderate light, no additional CO2, potted plants, wood, &
no substrate. I use RO mixed with tap in ratios of 1:1 or 1:2, depending
on which tank ( Display tank with lots of plants, Wild adults with a
few plants, or attempted breeding tank almost bare).
When I use 50 % RO, I get KH of less than 1 degree, GH of 70 to 100 ppm,
and pH 7.2.
When I use 33% RO, I get KH around 2 degrees, GH 180 to 200 ppm, and pH
I change water in these tanks so frequently that the tank's pH seldom
drops much. It tends to stay around 7.1 to 7.2. The potted swords,
anubias, & Java's grow "OK".
Is there a specific buffer anyone would like to recommend me to use in
these tanks? I have tryed:
"Discus Buffer", no good, too much algea from the phosphate.
Muriatic Acid, no good, wipes out the KH
"Acid Buffer", supposedly good for planted tanks, but a lot of Discus
folks on various forums are leary of it.
Kent Marine's "pH Control Minus" , my current choice as it claims to be
phoshate free, & is the most economical of the brands I have tryed.
In my other tank, heavily planted & using tap water, I can't seem to
inject enough CO2 to get the pH to come down much lower than 6.9, which
is first thing in the am before the lights come on. This tank has GH
around 300 to 350 ppm, & a KH of 4 degrees.
Going by the CO2 chart, this puts me in a decent CO2 range before the
lights come on.
If I check the pH in the afternoon, it tends to have risen to about 7.1
to 7.2, dropping me back out of the "ideal" CO2 levels.
The tank is 200 gallons, with dual overflows & a very large sump. Water
is circulated with an eheim 1060, probably around 500 gph.
CO2 comes from a 20 gallon tank with a premium Victor regulater, ARO
needle valve, bubble counter, & a homemade reacter in the sump. The
bubble rate is running faster than I can count. The reacter is a 16"
long python, full of bioballs, with a rio 800 forcing water thru.
There's enough CO2 bubbles going in that all the bioballs are "holding"
a lot of the gas, & a small amount of CO2 collects at the top of the
tube. A few bubbles get pushed all the way to the bottom, & escape out
the 1/4" holes drilled near the bottom of the tube. There is also an
airline valve mounted in the top cap of the tube, with an airline
attached which runs over to the circulation pump's intake. Opening this
valve sends a few bubbles to the pump, which come out into the tank as
I can't see how this arrangement would be unable to dissolve enough CO2
to get me in the optimum range. Maybe I need to crank the bubble rate up
I am almost to the point of investing in a controller, because I am
concerned that a much higher bubble rate would cause problems with
oversaturation of CO2 at night.
Any & all input appreciated.