re:Buffering KH & lowering pH, with no CO2 (yet)
>I have not yet had the time to build and install a CO2 generator, but it
>is not from a lack of desire. In the meantime, I need to decide how best
>to lower the pH while maintaining the KH at around 3 or so.
>I think David and others have said they
>have used vinegar to achieve the drop. That's the only method I've heard
>thus far, other than installing a CO2 generator. Are there any other
>ways to do this? [snip]
>Thanks for your ideas. Mark.
As far as I can tell, adding an acid will tend to lower your KH. I haven't
studied my pH chemistry since college, and some of what I'm thinking seems to
contradict. But I'm thinking that adding vinegar will drop your KH. The
contradiction is: I don't think that adding CO2 will drop your KH. On the
other hand, I might be completely wrong, and you might be adding an acid buffer
that will tend to more firmly stabilize your pH (until your plants decalcify
the water). I used to add vinegar way back when, but I didn't and still don't
know if small quantities of it are bad for fish.
You can set up a couple of CO2 generators in about 15 minutes total time (minus
getting the ingredients). Bore (or drill) a hole in the plastic cap of each 2
liter bottle that you will use and poke about 2" of rigid airline halfway in.
Make the lower cut at a 45 degree angle to help keep swill in the bottle and
not in your air lines/tank. Seal each cap liberally with clear silicone and
let it sit for a day.
Then fill the bottles up with 2 cups sugar, 1 tsp yeast, 1 tsp baking soda (for
pH buffering) and up to 3" from the top with water. Hook the bottles up to air
lines and run them to the intake of a pump or powerhead.
OK, I'm estimating a little low on time, but you can do it while enjoying the
tank (hopefully you get a few minutes a day to enjoy).
My system produces enough CO2 for an average of a bubble or two every second or
two, despite back pressure from my reactor pump and what smells like a tiny
leak when I get really close to the bottles.
I've mentioned vinegar and have seen a few other fleeting comments about it,
but for the most part, it seems to be a dark art. Does anyone have any real
information about vinegar in an aquarium?
David W. Webb
Enterprise Computing Provisioning
Texas Instruments Inc.
(214) 575-3443 (voice) MSGID: DAWB
(214) 575-4853 (fax) Internet: dwebb at ti_com
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