so I've been experimenting!

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so I've been experimenting!

Postby Absolver » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:40 pm

I've been doing experiments with different compounds to keep my kh up. I have mostly guppies and they like a high kh. I wanted to share to help others. For the record, I conducted my tests using my api test tubes, NOT on my fish.

Potassium carbonate, aka pot ash. This increases kh fairly well but the resulting rise in pH was beyond my ability to measure. A grain of this stuff about the size of a grain of salt took my 5ml of water from a pH of 6.8 to at least 8.8 instantly. That's the upper limit on my pH test so who knows. I will put a pinch in after a water change because my tap is slightly acidic at 6.8 and my tank is basic at 7.5 so after a water Chang the pH typically crashes. Almost killed my tank the first time, having no idea how potent this is.

Sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda. By far my preference. This has a relatively mild impact on pH and so I can add a teaspoon if I see my kh is dropping. I test after water changes and use this instead of potassium carbonate if both my kh and ph are lower than desired.

Calcium carbonate. This otc diet supplement is always in my tank. It has the smallest impact on pH however it can contribute to cloudy water. I take a pill of this and bury it in my rocks to allow it to dissolve over time. Keeps my gh around 8. Guppies like this fine and my snail and shrimp need the harness for their exoskeletons/shell.

Anyway, I hope this helps. Remember it is always easier to add more later than take it out so start small and re-test when adding and water adjuster.
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Re: so I've been experimenting!

Postby Carylnz » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:39 pm

This is not something I have ever had to worry about.
Baking soda is what they use in the pH Up stuff. It can result in pH swings if you aren't careful.
How much water do you change at any one time? A little bit, often, would be less likely to crash the tank.
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Re: so I've been experimenting!

Postby Absolver » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:54 pm

Usually about 4gal into my 20gal tank. I used to change less but has water clarity issues. I do a water change weekly. Though I replace my filter cartridge every other week to help support the biological filter.
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Re: so I've been experimenting!

Postby Absolver » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:03 pm

For some reason my kh always plunges. After my last water change and adjustments my kh was six. Testing last night showed it was down to about 3. So when I do water changes it has less buffering capacity. Gh was 7 though. Yaaay calcium carbonate pill
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Re: so I've been experimenting!

Postby Absolver » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:54 pm

UPDATE

DO NOT under ANY circumstances try adding a pH down chemical to a test tube you have put any decent quantity of potassium carbonate in. Vigorous Exothermic Reaction.

Safety foremost, gentlemen.
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Re: so I've been experimenting!

Postby Carylnz » Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:16 am

Sounds exciting! :?
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