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Old 11-12-2006, 01:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Soilmaster Select PH and KH?

Just migrated fish/plants/canisters/driftwood to a new tank. Used Soilmaster Select (Charcoal color) as my substrate. Typically my PH from tap is 6.6-6.8. Post setup and transfer, PH is 5.8. Anyone else see this when using SM Select?

At this rate, my PH controller will not allow any CO2 in my tank (set for 6.1PH).

Thoughts?
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Old 11-12-2006, 03:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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When I initially started two tanks with Soilmaster I found that my KH declined. I think this may have been due to the extremely porous nature of the Soilmaster granules. At first I replaced it with some baking soda, then I added half a bag of Onyx sand into each tank since its known to temporarily raise carbonate hardness. (I also found it on clearance at the store!) This seemed to help.

I think the effect is temporary. Although I pretty much use EI for ferts and when my tank is doing very well, I don't run tests. I don't use a Ph controller for my CO2 injection; I just have it on a timer.
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Old 11-12-2006, 03:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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SoilMaster Select sucks up Cations like crazy.

I had this happen to my 27 Gallon tank when I first put it in also.

I suggest reading Robert Hudson's excellent explanation of Cation Exchange Capacitiy on his website (vendor)
which will help explain WHAT the SoilMaster Select is sucking up.

Hint: Anything with a + charge.

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Old 11-12-2006, 04:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Robert who? Do you have a link or anything?

Thanks,

Ted
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Old 11-12-2006, 04:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Robert Paul Hudson.

Aqua Botanic Aquarium Plants Sales and Forums

Go to the Beginners' Corner. He has some very good information.

He also has a glossary. I tried to find the exact article I had read.
It's there, along with some other VERY good information. (I have not exhausted it all yet.)

My question is whether it is better to have the SoilMaster Select ON TOP of the soil
OR mix the two together to help with absorbing CEC.

Ted, if we wait; one of the others that have experience with this will come along.

I am not sure if we have to ask this same question in the El Naturale Forum for one of those
experience members reply to this. (DataGuru and others).

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Old 11-12-2006, 04:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks Jimbo!

I posted in that forum with a link to here.

Ted
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Old 11-12-2006, 04:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh....... You are one smart guy!

Just wait until the answers start rolling in! They are going to knock your socks off!

And if the chemists, biologists, scientists, environmental scientists all respond at the same time;
your head will spin. (ha, ha) They really are very smart here. Just wait and see!
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Old 11-12-2006, 04:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Oh, and if you just want the answer; let the SoilMaster Select suck up the good stuff.

And then do a water change so it can suck up MORE good stuff.

And if you want to select WHAT good stuff it sucks up and stores -
put your favorite plant supplement or nutrient in the tank/soil/substrate.

Oh, and later
someone can explain the details with the
subatomic particles, charges (ions and cations), chemistry, biology and all that really good stuff.

(Robert really has the best explanation I have read on the internet yet. And I understood it!)
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Old 11-13-2006, 03:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Just in case, I recalibrated PH probe for SMS122. It was off, but in the wrong direction. PH read 5.5 after recalibration. Did a 50% water change and got it to 5.8. Will this adjust after time? I am afraid to turn on CO2 for fear PH change even worse.

Thanks,

Ted
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Old 11-13-2006, 04:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Did some additional testing.

Hardness readings as follows:

GH -- 7-8dGH (125.3-143.2PPM)
KH -- 0-1dKH (0-17.9PPM)

Pre-move to new tank, KH was 1-2dKH.

Thanks,

Ted
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