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Re: An Idiot's BEAUTIFUL Tank :-)

> Date: Sun, 19 Dec 1999 19:55:13 +0800
> From: Loh Kwek Leong <timebomb at pacific_net.sg>
> Subject: An Idiot's Tank
> Hi, folks,
> You know, I've been a subscriber of this list for quite a long time now,
> something like 2 years.  I lurked most of the time and have only posted
> one or two messages in the past, nothing of any real significance or
> substance.  
> The main reason why I hardly say anything on this list is because I have
> difficulties following the discussions.  Up to this day, I still don't
> understand the relationship between Kh and Ph and why is it so important
> to aquatic plants.  Needless to say, I have never done anything to alter
> either of these two parameters in my tank.  Needless to say too, what I
> have is just one very average tank. 
> If you like to take a look at my tank, please click on:
> http://www.cyberway.com.sg/~allanon

Loh, you have absolutely *no* reason to be humble about that tank. It is

The KH-pH thing isn't really very complicated, after all.

pH, as such, is meaningless to most fish and plants. They just don't sense
it directly in most cases. The change in *other* stuff that is often pH
dependent is what gives it such a rich mythology. [That, and the fact that
test kits have a huge profit margin. ;-)]

Increase pH? Ammonium (safe) --> Ammonia (deadly) and fish may die.

Lower the pH and Nitrites do a similar thing. 

In a clean, well-planted tank, pH is only important if you want to use it to
monitor your CO2 concentration. [Your plants ate all the ammonium before it
could convert to either ammonia or nitrites.]

KH is a measure of alkalinity, related directly to buffering capacity,
normally. That's how much pH resists changing as acid is added. CO2 (as
carbonic acid?) tries to lower pH. The amount depends on buffering, or how
high the KH is. Formulae or tables let you use your measured KH and pH to
tell just how much CO2 your plants are getting. It's that simple.

Do I care? No. So I rarely measure either. My tanks still don't look
anything a spiffy as yours, tho.


Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  huntleyone at home dot com

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