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Old 03-17-2018, 11:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Water management advice needed

I switched to RO water a while back, and while I had ammonia issues initially (I guess because the chlorine is stripped from the chloramine, leaving the ammonia.) So I'm using Amquel in my RO storage tank and that seems to be fine.

I'm fertilizing with PPS Pro but haven't been reconstituting my water because it's not always clear how much water I change at a time. When I check with dip strips, I have a pretty high GH because of the magnesium sulfate in the PPS. But I'm also concerned that I'm not dosing any Calcium. So far, everything has been ok, but plants and shrimp need it. I can't add it to my PPS though because it reacts with potassium sulfate and precipitates out the calcium in a insoluble form. I assume I can dose it separately in the tank?

Meanwhile, KH is near zero. I'm dosing CO2 1hr before lights on to 1hr before lights off, no controller. I used controllers in the past, but they would dose at night which seemed wrong. When I was using tap water, my ph was always over 7. Now it's closer to 6 which is generally where I'd like it, and things seem happy and stable, but I don't know how much risk I'm taking by doing this. If I do dose, how much can I add without driving the ph up?

I like the liquid dosing format of PPS better than when I dry dosed EI, so I'd like to stick with that. Can I make a mix of calcium chloride and baking soda (or do they need to be separate) and dose that daily too?

Any advice?
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Old 03-18-2018, 06:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Water management advice needed

The way to get CO2 in the water is to add it. No chemical or chemicals you can add will increase the CO2 in the water. Excel adds an organic chemical that the plants can use as a source of carbon, but not nearly as well is they can use CO2.

Any CO2 in the water lowers the pH. The more CO2, the lower the pH. The higher the KH, the higher the pH, but CO2 still lowers the pH.

The pH of the water is not an important parameter. It is the total dissolved solids in the water, and/or the GH and KH that affect the fish. Those should be kept about the same all the time - no sudden increase or decrease.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Water management advice needed

I'm injecting pressurized CO2, starting from 1hr before lights on, to 1hr before lights off. I have an in-tank reactor that I built with a power head. So that's good.

I'm asking whether I'm safe with 0KH, and if not, what should I maintain? And how can I get calcium into my PPS pro dosing regimen (2ml/gallon/day) via a third bottle?
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Old 03-19-2018, 01:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Water management advice needed

You can boost GH with: http://nilocg.com/gh-booster-1lb/ This adds both calcium and magnesium, which are both essential. And, you can boost KH with plain baking soda, Sodium bicarbonate. KH isn't critical, but you need some in order to buffer the tank water against pH fluctuation due to weak acids, such as tannic acid. A KH of 2 degrees, or about 40 ppm, is adequate. A higher KH will also raise the pH when you are using CO2.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Water management advice needed

I reconstitute with Magnesium Carbonate, Calcium Carbonate, and Potassium Carbonate.

That way I can precisely raise the GH and KH and have a known amount of Potassium. Another great benefit from using carbonates is that you do not introduce andy Sulphur (from MgSO4) or Chlorine (from KCl or CaCl2).

Few days ago I made 20 gallons of water for a wild betta that I'm importing from Thailand. The RO I made is 2GH, 1KH and has 5 ppm K.
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