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Re: Profile hardens water

Ivo Busko you inspired me to test Profile myself as I'll be using it in
a tank soon.

I decided to test if Profile was leaching substances into the water
column.  I used laboratory grade RO/DI water to conduct the tests.  The
Profile was 3-4mm  sized grains of uniformly beige material.  The test
protocol was conducted as follows:
1) Placed 1 tablespoon of Clay Soil Conditioner (Profile) into a
polypropylene 50mL tube
2) Added RO/DI water to the 50mL mark
3) Shook the tube and poured off the water
4) Refilled the tube to the 50mL mark with RO/DI water and let the
Profile settle
5) Measured pH, GH and KH of the water above the Profile immediately and
24hrs after start of the test

For the pH test the pH probe was inserted into the water above the
For the GH and KH tests 5mL of water was used

I used the Tetra KH and the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals GH test kits.  The
lowest GH you can determine with this kit is 10 ppm (0.56 dGH).  The pH
meter is a Corning portable pH meter accurate to +/-0.02.

The pH of the RO/DI water was hard to determine due to the fact it lacks
ions, therefore the pH 7.0 valve actually had a range of 6.6-7.2.

                        pH        KH(dKH)        GH (dGH)
RO/DI water    7.0         0.0                    <0.56
Profile              6.70       0.0                       3.9

After 24hrs:
                        pH        KH(dKH)       GH(dGH)
Profile              7.35        1.0                    11.2

It looks as though Profile does indeed leach substances into the water
column.  Maybe with more washings of the Profile prior to using it this
effect will be minimized or removed.

Many people have grown beautiful plant tanks using Profile, but if you
are keeping soft water loving fish in the tank Profile may not be the
substrate for you.


<<I got ahold of a bag of Profile (Soil Conditioner) at Wal Mart and did

run a quick test. After rinsing  several times, mixed a handful with
about twice the volume of distilled water and let it settle for 24 hs in

a glass jar. As a control, did the same with silica sand and Flourite.
Then measured pH, kH and gH (Tetra kit). Results:

              pH      kH      gH
sand        < 6.0*   < 0.5   < 0.5
Flourite      6.5    < 0.5   < 0.5
Profile     > 7.6*     4.5     8.0

* these are actually off-scale readings, the test kit won't go beyond
that. The acidic pH from the sand sample is, I think, due to dissolved
CO2 from air.

The conclusion is that Profile leaches a lot of hard stuff into the
water. Thus it is unsuitable for soft water tanks. Does anyone have
problems with Profile hardening water ?

Btw, the Profile I got does not match the physical description of
Profile nor Turface in Jamie Johnson's article. It has 3-4 mm particles
with a beige, uniform color. I guess there is a lot of variation in
their batches. Maybe not important for use in flower beds or turf, but
can wreak havoc in the aquarium.

- Ivo Busko
  Baltimore, MD