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Re: KH/GH?

> : And your KH? GH?
> I only have been checking KH and it depends on the day I check it.  After
> a water change, it will be around 4-5.  After about a week, it will get
> down to 2-3.  I've been able to tell when it is getting down there because
> suddenly my pH plummets.  Add in some baking soda, watch the pH climb back
> up and let the controller add CO2 to drive it back down.  I'm still
> getting a 'feel' for how often I need to add it but it tends to be about
> every 5 days roughly.

If it's dropping then there's a reason, plants can/will remove the KH if
there's not enough CO2. If your losing this much I would certainly suspect
that issue. A KH of 4 and pH of 6.6 is fine. But if the KH floats
around/drops, something else is likely going on.

> : Do you do weekly water changes? Just do that.
> : Set your Controller for 6.6-6.7 @ a KH of 4.
> I've been doing water changes roughly every other week as it turns out.  I
> just lowered the setting on the controller down to 6.85-6.9, will let it
> sit there for a day or two and lower it more.  I don't like making major
> changes in my tank if I can help it.

Well, I can tell you this much: it's your CO2.
If your water's KH goes down so is your CO2 content. You don't have enough
CO2 for all that light. A pH of 6.6. Not a pH of 6.9 of 6.85.

If your tank is eating KH, and the KH is dropping down to 2-3 then you'll
have even less CO2 in your tank(if your using a pH controller to keep the pH
the same). So the lower pH is not going to hurt.
If you do weekly 30-50% water changes(they don't hurt), then the KH should
stay pretty stable if you do these two things. They are not hard and your
tank will look and grow better.
> Well, it is trivial for me to add more CO2, working on that now - thanks.
> For the other chemicals, is there any "easy" method to add the proper
> amounts on a routine basis?  Is there any "mix" already made that has all
> of the proper chemicals?

Yamato green and other Yamato stuff I think has some but likely not enough
unless you have a good fish load.
Depends on if you have good CO2 first.
Every tank is different so making an all in one is not going to be able to
please everyone. Some folks have lots PO4, some don't, some have high NO3,
some few fish some have a packed tank.

I use 3 dry mixes:
K2SO4 once a week.
KNO3 every 2-3 days
KH2PO4 every 2-3 days

I add my traces every 2-3days.

This takes about 3-5minutes a week and I spend more time feeding my fish
than that.......
> Once I have everything, what amounts are we talking about here?  I figured
> I would add it to my routine when I do water changes but I'm not sure how
> much I will need for this tank.

At that lighting level? Every two to three days is a good amount.

 Like I said, I really do not like making
> blind changes so want to understand what I am doing (I can research this)
> and make sure I'm putting in the right amounts.

Well look at the CO2 chart and see where 20-30ppm will put you. See the
ranges that a KH of 4 to 2 or 3 will put you. Set your pH accordingly.

Next ask if a NO3 of 5 to 10ppm is good or not. Etc
> I have some fish in my tank right now that I absolutely love, do not want
> to do anything to jeopardize them, or the health of my plants.  I
> absolutely *love* my tank, just wish it was roughly 150gallons larger so I
> had more room to play with and for the plants to grow in to. :)

Healthy plants= healthy fish. It's a nice simple idea that works.

> Thanks again for your help.  You, and others on the list, provide a
> valuable resource to those of us that love growing aquatic plants but
> don't have the experience yet.

You'll get there. No need to lose a fish doing it either.
Tom Barr

> Robert