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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 75gal fully planted tank with 2wpg. I dose th EI method. But my problem is with my KH I changed the substrate to a very nice SoilMaster Select (charcoal) and since then my KH has been way to low. It started out at KH:2 with an aquarium pharm test kit. So I added a little baking soda 1tsp. that brought it up to KH:3 and my pH:6.5. So then I thought everything was ok I test my water the next day and get a KH:2 again so I again add a little baking soda to bring it back up to KH:3. Why is this happening? Am I going to have to add baking soda to my tank everyday? I have a single elong 5" in the tank just so you know.

Current water peremeters as of this morning are below. Yesterday I added a tsp of baking soda to get the KH to 3 but the figures below show you what it is at now. I dont understand how come the KH keeps dropping. And by the end of the day the pH will drop to 6.2 or so becuase of my co2 injection is this right. I'm confused so any input to steer me in the right direction would be great this is my first planted tank and I'm still going through the learning process.

pH:6.8
KH:2
GH: 7
 

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Here is some information from Roger Miller:

"Nitrification will drop the KH. A snail population explosion will drop
both KH and GH. Another possibility is that you might have a mixture of
organics being released into your water from peat or driftwood (or maybe even from a dirty filter). A fairly strong organic acid can drop the KH. Other organic acids will act as water softening agents and drop the GH."
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No explosion of snail population. No peat or driftwood in the tank. I clean the filters once every two weeks. I need to know of a way to keep the KH stable. Why would my KH keep dropping within 12hrs of putting in baking soda. I'm confused. shouldnt it just stay where its at. I'm also having an extremely hard time reading my co2 levell because of the crazy KH flucuations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The KH:8 out of the tap and the pH:7.8. But the KH has been all the way down to KH:1 or lower before. And also I'm not sure if this matters or not but I have high PO4: 2.0 out of the tap. So a KH of 2 is ok for my elong? what about KH:1 ? I'm also trying to balance my co2 level at the same time because of plants in the tank.
 

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Phosphates are a bit high.
I would use pressurized CO2 fertilization.
That is because you have plants.
You already have a higher KH and pH, so you do not have to add NaHCO3.
You see that must be done with a pressurized CO2 if the pH is already about 6.2-6.8 without it and the KH is low (dKH 1-2).

Harry
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have pressurized co2 injection thats on for 10hrs a day with the lights. So is everything ok with the KH? I guess I still dont understand what your trying to tell me. So are you basing everything off of how the water comes out the tap or how it reads once its been in the tank? SInce the reading are so different why is that? So where should my KH stay at? if it drops to KH:1 is that bad? and should it be raised? also am I getting accurate enough readings from the co2 chart with my KH and pH readings or should I not even go by that? thanks for the help Harry and happy holidays.
 

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Nswhite,

KH 2 is fine in many cases. One can always argue that the buffering capacity measured as KH is quite low, because dKH 3-4 would be better. But the bicarbonates hardly ever are the only buffering molecules in aquarium system.

If you do not find out (by exact measuring for example in the morning and in the evening) that your pH is fluctuating a lot (more than 0.5 grades per day), there is really no problem.

Commonly the tap water should have a lightly higher pH than the tank has. This is because tap water always has some nitrates in it. Nitrification process lowers pH and the difference is corrected automatically.

Of course the pressurized CO2 fertilization is quite powerful pH adjuster too. Adding CO2 into the water will lead into the formation of carbonic acid, H2CO3. And pH is lowered. Also CO2 will take the KH (bicarbonate level) a bit down. This is why careful hobbyists add some baking soda (NaHCO3) into the tank from time to time.

Hope this helped you, and happy holidays for you too, thanks.

Harry
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes that helped alot. My pH never changes more than .3 or .4 through out the day so from what you said above I should be ok. But what if the KH drops lower than 2 than is it time to add a little baking soda? Because at one point it droped so low that It wouldnt read on the test kit so I figured it was 1 or lower thats when it can cause problems right? And if the Kh does get to low will there be signs from my elongs behavior. Thanks again Harry.
 

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Yes that helped alot. My pH never changes more than .3 or .4 through out the day so from what you said above I should be ok. But what if the KH drops lower than 2 than is it time to add a little baking soda? Because at one point it droped so low that It wouldnt read on the test kit so I figured it was 1 or lower thats when it can cause problems right? And if the Kh does get to low will there be signs from my elongs behavior. Thanks again Harry.
Hi Nswhite,

Yes you can add one teaspoon mixed in a separate container should you find the dKH drop below 2.

Harry
 
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