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Re: Really soft water & CO2 injection

> Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2000 15:20:07 -0700
> From: "William Bragg" <williambragg at home_com>
> Well it seems I have very soft water here in Salem Oregon.  My GH & KH both
> register no more than 1dKH and 1dGH. I plan on introducing CO2 using a 5lb
> CO2 tank, etc.  My ph is around 6.3.  
> Will the CO2 drop the ph too much?


> What should be my concerns?  

Unless you have a really good reason to try to raise fish and plants in such 
soft water, you should add hardeners. And count yourself lucky to have soft tap 

> And what are possible solutions?  

If you are raising fish requiring soft water (wild discus, altums, rams, ...), 
add some sodium bicarbonate to raise KH and add some buffering to your water. 
Consult a pH/KH/CO2 table to determine how much KH you need. Decide how much CO2 
you want (15 mg/l is good), decide what pH you want then use the table to see 
what KH that correlates to. Add enough sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to 
achieve that KH (which will raise pH) then inject enough CO2 to lower the pH to 
the desired value. Voila!

Most fish NOT from the wild are probably raised in whatever the breeder's local 
water supply provides so just beause you may have discus doesn't mean they MUST 
have really soft water. If your fish don't require soft water, you might want to 
raise GH *and* KH. Use calcium carbonate for that; it will raise GH and KH 
equally. Pick a KH as above and add enough CaCO3 to get that. Or you can mix 
sodium bicarbonate and calcium carbonate to get whatever GH and KH you desire.   

> Or don't I have anything to worry about?

Injecting CO2 in water with little buffering is asking for trouble. See my web 
site for lots of info on CO2. 

George Booth in Ft. Collins, Colorado (booth at frii_com)