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Re: Michael's 90 gallon tank

> I just tested my nitrates and that shows 0 PPM, which i think is impossible,
> so
> im going to retest that at my LFS. My Nitrites are at 0PPM and Ammonia is
> also at 0 PPM.

If you do a weekly 50% water change, add 1/4 teaspoon of KNO3 per 20 gallon
of tank, this will give about 10ppm. Add the same dose again in 3-4 days.
That takes care of N and K.
> A reply to a response on my co2 fizz factory and DIY Co2 usage, i used both
> because there was not enough co2 being produced from the fizz factory, so i
> figured
> i would run both inline, to get a "boost".

One system that works is much better than two(or 4) that don't. You have a
large tank, these DIY and other methods are for smaller tanks and less CO2
uptake needs.
> A reply to response why peat? i used the natural ph lowering properties of
> peat moss
> to help me control the ph issues my tank runs a ph of 7.0-7.2 Currently
> My town water comes out from the tap around 8.0-8.2.

Most folk's tap comes out in that range. Tap pH doesn't matter much. Don't
worry about it. KH(what is it?) and GH(is there enough?) are the main

> But when the water leaves the town treatment plant it has a reported ph of
> 9.2-9.4
> That is quoted from the town EPA report it sends out monthly.

Plants(not treatment plants-those are very hard to grow) don't care about
whether the pH is 7.4 or 6.0. What they do care about is the CO2 level. If
you have a KH of 3 and pH of 7.4, there's not much CO2 in the water.
If you have a KH of 3 and pH of 6.0, then you have loads of CO2.

It takes both of these to find the CO2. The CO2(acid) and the KH
-HCO3(buffer) _together_ determine the pH. So just focusing on pH alone does
not tell you if your plants have enough CO2.

Since your KH is 6, all you have to do is look at the table here:
http://www.sfbaaps.com/reference/table_01.shtml table and follow the KH
scale down to 6.0. Then follow the column over to find the 20-30ppm range.
Match that up to the pH scale. So looking at the table you'll find the
proper pH will be 6.8-6.9 range.

Try to add only CO2 gas to get this pH with that tap water with a KH of 6.
If the KH changes, you will need to readjust the pH to get good CO2 levels.
See what your target pH would be if you have a KH of 3? Of 15? See how it
works? KH or pH by itself doesn't matter to the plants, only the CO2.
> Now a Question on Pressurized CO2 usage, can someone explain to me
> why i need a ph controller, why i just couldnt shut off the co2 at night?

You do not _need_ a controller. No one does. I have always shut my CO2 off
at night personally. Plants are not using, so why add it? Not adding at
night has not hurt Amano's tanks. He doesn't use it at night either.

If you like toys, get something useful like pH monitor(not a controller).
You can see the pH digitally very accurately and adjust the CO2 gas valve
easily to set the pH where you want it very easily. Good ones run 70-100$
and you can find them used every so often. Test kits(color titration) also
work well. You can take this pH monitor out and measure a dozen tanks in
about 5 minutes easily.
> Question to Tom Barr: You say just use co2 to regulate the PH, just look on
> a chart for
> the correct amout, could you please explain this to me, im still trying to
> learn.

See above. Just stop adding all the stuff, just use tap water, add enough
CO2 gas to get a pH of 6.8. Try and keep the pH there or close to this range
during the lighting cycle(Not just during the first two hours etc).

That's all you have to do. You can turn the CO2 off at night etc if you
Test kits- narrow range pH test kits are decent.
I like pH monitors.
NO3, I use Lamott(50-60$), SeaChem(10$) is good as they give you a reference
to test.
These are the main test kits along with KH/GH. Most cheap kits are fine for
KH/GH. Lamott Alkalinity(KH) kits are not that expensive and allow more
accuracy in determining pH/KH relationship to find CO2.
But you can use the cheaper stuff also. NO3 is the one nutrients that is
trouble for most kits to resolve the narrow range with good color scales. pH
is not as bad nor is KH.

Peat is good but for the substrate. Some folks like to add it and a little
doesn't cause problem but more can. But there are ways to test around it but
it's not an issue you want to get into here.

Tom Barr