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Re: Stabilizing kh -- or - buffering behavior
David Nesom asked about stabilizing KH.
Using baking soda and/or calcium carbonate isn't very hard
to do, not even the measurements. You only do it when you
do a water change, and if you do the same size water change
each time, you just add the same amount of baking
soda/calcium carbonate. Adding shells, coral, etc. is
another way of putting calcium carbonate in the tank, but
not quite as precise.
Precision is probably not all the important. Is KH 4.5
better or worse than 5.0 or 5.5. I doubt it for most
situations (fish or plants).
Probalby the harder part of being able to use the same of
carbonate with each water change is the measuring of the
powder, it's the draining of the water. Di I drain 30% or
But you can make your water change amounts sufficiently
precise by marking the water level after drain water for a
water change. You can make a small dot with permanent felt
tip marker in the very corner of the edge of one of the
aquarium side panels. No one will ever see (er, notice)
the dot except you when you are looking for it.
Don't worry about this stuff too much. It's rare that a
fish or plant will be bothered by small changes in KH or
pH, but you can drive yourself nuts trying to make things
exact. I.e., it's usually harder on the keeper than the
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