Massive Help Needed Please - Page 3 - New to Planted Aquariums - Aquatic Plant Central

Go Back   Aquatic Plant Central > Welcome Forums! > New to Planted Aquariums

New to Planted Aquariums Don't know where to begin? Find your answer here.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-07-2008, 07:38 AM   #21 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Left C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Burlington, NC
Posts: 2,156
iTrader Ratings: 3
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
Left C is a regular member
Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmontee View Post
Hey Tex, guess what's rearing it's ugly head again.... NaHCO3!! I know I'm such a , LOL. The CO2 guides assume that the only buffer is the carbonate ion. It makes an equilibrium that can shift pH up or down with the CO2 concentration in the water. That's why so many people are afraid when they have soft water (low KH). The buffering capacity is much lower and you can get big pH swings when injecting CO2. ...
My KH is very low. It's around 1 to 2 dKH. I don't add any buffers to my aquariums. All but one of my aquariums has CO2 going into it.

The following agrees with what you are saying, jmontee.

There's too many variables in aquarium water to use the pH/KH/CO2 chart/calculator. There are phosphates, tannins, acids, bases, etc. that will give you a false CO2 measurement which, in most instances, indicates that you have more CO2 than you actually have in your aquarium. A drop checker is the best way to monitor your CO2 level unless you spend $$$ for testing equipment.

From: http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm
This is the section that contains the information to help people understand this relationship a little better.

"The pH-KH-CO2 Relationship
pH, KH, and CO2 have a fixed relationship as long as carbonate is the only buffer present (no phosphate buffers like pH-UP and- DOWN, Discus Buffer, etc). There are some parts of the country that have high levels of phosphates in their water supply. For those cases, determining CO2 levels will be difficult, as the phosphate will throw off the pH-KH-CO2 relationship, which means the CO2 charts and calculator below won't work. Note that the commercially available CO2 test kits will also be invalidated by the phosphates.

NOTE: If you aren't adding CO2 to your water, and the CO2 level based on the pH and KH indicates more than 5ppm, then it is very likely that some other buffer (such as phosphate) is present in your water. In an inhabited aquarium, the amount of CO2 produced by the fish will not have an effect on CO2 levels in the water. Any excess CO2 created by fish will dissipate into the air, leaving a fairly constant CO2 level of about 3-4ppm. If you test your pH and KH, and without adding any CO2, the chart says you've got 20ppm CO2, don't believe it.

In some cases, water coming right from the tap can contain very high or very low levels of CO2. This can result in tap water with a high KH, and low pH. But, in just a few hours, that excess CO2 will dissipate from the water, leaving the normal 3-4ppm, and the pH will rise. Sometimes, the water might come from the tap with extremely little CO2, which can result in tap water with a low KH, and a very high pH. Again, after a few hours, the CO2 level will equalize, and the water will end up with 3-4ppm CO2.

CO2/pH/KH calculator and chart
NOTE: This calculator (and the chart based on this formula) will only work if your water is carbonate buffered. If your water contains high levels of phosphates, it will alter your water properties, and invalidate these CO2 calculations.

You can not alter the KH levels other than by adding or removing carbonate. You can not alter the CO2 levels other than by adding or removing CO2.

Adding certain "pH altering additives" can cause much confusion as well. Additives like "Proper pH 7.0" which force the pH to a certain value completely invalidate the CO2 / KH / pH relationship. This is because these pH altering additives contain phosphates. Phosphates replace the carbonates in the buffering system. And the CO2 / KH / pH relationship is only valid in a system that is buffered by Carbonates.

There is one case I've seen where the addition of CO2 resulted in an increase in KH. This can happen when you have something in the tank that dissolves carbonate into the water. Seashells, crushed coral, and many gravels and rocks will do this. With the addition of CO2, the water turns more acidic, which will increase the dissolving of the minerals. It appears that increasing CO2 raises the KH, which isn't really the case. The dissolving minerals raise the KH, and the increase in KH results in an increase in pH. In a system using a pH probe and controller to regulate CO2 levels, this can have fatal consequences, since the pH controller will keep trying to lower the pH, but as more CO2 is dissolved, it lowers the pH, which raises the KH, which raises the pH. So you now have more CO2, but the same pH. So the controller adds even MORE co2. And it will keep going. So it's important to know your KH whenever using pH to judge CO2 levels."

Last edited by Left C; 06-07-2008 at 07:25 PM.. Reason: spelling
Left C is offline   Reply With Quote

Advertisement [Remove Advertisement]
Old 06-07-2008, 07:49 AM   #22 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Tex Gal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Joshua, TX
Posts: 8,540
iTrader Ratings: 192
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
Tex Gal is a regular member
Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

Left C - This is one of the BEST explanation of how things work that I've read in a long time. It lets a layman like me understand what your talking about!!! Thank you!!

??? time - SO if I have low KH and almost 0 GH and I want to raise my GH level do I need to add some baking soda to that I am raising my buffering level of the water so the pH won't continue to go crazy?
AND - if I want to keep snails and get my pH up a little will Equilibrium and Baking Soda, and Crushed Coral be what I need to do?

(Don't need to hijack your thread sterling )



Tex Gal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 10:55 AM   #23 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 58
iTrader Ratings: 0
Sterling919 is a regular member
Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

Yeah I'm doing DIY CO2 right now but I'm steady hunting a pressurized system. Once I figure out how to get plants to live and thrive then I plan to set up my 40 also. So I'll use the system to feed both tanks which will mean I'll need two of a few items. No biggie though.

At the beginning of every year the water company usually will send out a report telling you all about your water. But like most everything else around here, I didn't nail it to the ceiling so I can't find it now. I do have a wife and two kids...so go figure. But I'm gonna get a report from them sometime next week and maybe that'll help us out to figure out what I need to do.

If I can figure out how to make the camera take good looking pics of my tank right now, I'll take some and post them. And once I get the tank RIGHT then I'm sure gonna share it with you guys and the folks over at www.carolinafishtalk.com for all their help as well. My next request for help is gonna be on the lighting system on my 40g breeder tank. But I'm not gonna start that until I get this under control (somewhat).

Thanks to all of you and thanks for the (long) reads.

Kevin
Sterling919 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 06-07-2008, 11:20 AM   #24 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 58
iTrader Ratings: 0
Sterling919 is a regular member
Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

Hi-jack away! I wasn't paying attention and replied off page 2...duh. Just about anything that is posted in here about stuff like that can only help me...plus I don't have to hunt all over the place to find it...haha. I'm almost searched/read out right now and almost need a break anyway.

My lights. I don't know if I've mentioned my lighting situation or not. Basically I've built a canopy for my 10g that matches the stand I built also. I've got 3 15w lights in it, two of which are the GE plant lights with a K rating of 9325. I've got one ZooMed 10K light as well. There are two ballast controlling the 3 lights. I'm thinking of putting the 2 GE lights together on one ballast the 10K light on the other. Then putting them on timers, which leads to this question(s)...

What would be a good jumping off point as far as how long I need to run the lights? I was thinking of running the 10K light during the middle of the day to simulate high-noon sunlight. But I want to shift the time table so that the GE lights would be on during the time I'm home at night a little. I do plan to add in moonlights later but right now I'm only about 75% finished with the canopy anyway. And I'd like to know if maybe I'm just on the wrong track with the lights all around...do I need another type of bulb and just scrap what I've got now? I am aware that 45w of total lighting is considered (by some) to be high-light and maybe too much. But I am prepared to buy another ballast and run the 3 seperate from each other...giving total control of the wattage and amount of time they are on.
Sterling919 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 11:42 AM   #25 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Left C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Burlington, NC
Posts: 2,156
iTrader Ratings: 3
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
Left C is a regular member
Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex Gal View Post
Left C - This is one of the BEST explanations of how things work that I've read in a long time. It lets a layman like me understand what you’re talking about!!! Thank you!!
Thanks! Many people just look at the chart or the calculator and they don't read the parts that tell you what doesn't work and what does work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex Gal View Post
??? time - SO if I have low KH and almost 0 GH and I want to raise my GH level do I need to add some baking soda to that I am raising my buffering level of the water so the pH won't continue to go crazy?
Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate NaHCO3) doesn't change the GH at all. It only effects the alkalinity of the water which changes the KH and pH.

Calcium Chloride Dihydrate CaCl2∙2H2O and Magnesium Sulfate Heptahydrate MgSO4∙7H2O (Epsom Salt) are two of many products that will change the GH of the water.

Calcium Carbonate CaCO3 will increase both KH and GH. It dissolves slowly in water though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex Gal View Post
AND - if I want to keep snails and get my pH up a little will Equilibrium and Baking Soda, and Crushed Coral be what I need to do?
Baking Soda wouldn't help. It doesn't contain calcium.

Snails need the calcium compounds found in GH for their shells to be healthy. Equilibrium only affects the GH. Crushed Coral is mostly Calcium Carbonate and it will affect both the KH and GH.

Here's a few references with a lot of good information about KH, GH, CO2, pH, Alkalinity, etc.
http://www.drhelm.com/aquarium/chemistry.html
http://faq.thekrib.com/begin-chem.html
http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/CO2/ha...arryfrank.html
http://www.chem.purdue.edu/gchelp/ho...um/Buffers.htm
http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/CO2/khgh.html
http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/CO2/
Left C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 05:07 PM   #26 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Tex Gal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Joshua, TX
Posts: 8,540
iTrader Ratings: 192
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
Tex Gal is a regular member
Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

Left C - I guess I thought you could read my mind! I was thinking that I needed the Baking Soda as a buffering agent. Hence I would put in the equilibrium to bring up the GH and the baking soda would bring up the Kh and the ph and act as a buffering agent. I thought, what if I added the equilibrium to bring it up (with water changes, slowly) and then just added some of the coral in my filter to keep it up, as ada aquasoil absorbs is back down, along with the baking soda as a buffering agent. What happens then? Am I on the wrong track?

I still don't understand how all these others use the ADA AS and keep the briggs, and nerites without consequence. I can add the Ca for the snail in the form of a cuttle bone or ca tabs. but don't know what to do about the acid water melting their shells.

BTW thanks for the links. I'll read and see if I can keep up with the info.....



Tex Gal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 06:19 PM   #27 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,623
iTrader Ratings: 8
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
Robert Hudson is a regular member
Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

Quote:
First - quality of lighting is more important than watts. Watts just equals how much power the lights are draining from your wallet . 24w of T5HO with good reflector likely puts out MUCH more light than what you have currently. OR - a nice inexpensive solution (that i use on my 10G) is a AHSupply's 36w Compact fluorescent kit in a custom canopy. You might only need a better reflector to go with your current lights, OR you might need to scrap them and buy something else... Post details and pictures of your setup in the Lighting subforum - they'll give you good answers there.
Quality of light? I thought brightness was more important than anything, is that what you mean by quality? The watts per gallon rule of thumb is based on the average light out put per watt of a standard fluorescent, and yes it is vague, not a real accurate estimate, but it is a general rule of thumb that works for many people... and the last I checked 36 watts is even more than 30 and more than 3 watts per gallon!

There are also people who believe that any wattage tube less than a 20 watt fluorescent acutually gives off less light per watt than those higher wattage. Its far below the minimum light threshhold. So I agree with you that the 36 watt CF would give off more light than two 15 watt bulbs.

The K rating, Kelvin, is just the color of the bulb, and has nothing to do with brightness. Most hobbyists like it to be around 6500 kelvin for a crisp white daylight color. The plants do not care what color the light is. If you built your own canopy, why not use a power compact retrofit kit like AH supply? www.ahsupply.com Have you looked at it? You could go 36 watt, or even 55 watt, and they have the best reflector you can get. I have never been happy with 15 watt bulbs. To me its like lighting a candle.
Robert Hudson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 06:47 PM   #28 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Left C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Burlington, NC
Posts: 2,156
iTrader Ratings: 3
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
Left C is a regular member
Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex Gal View Post
Left C - I guess I thought you could read my mind! I was thinking that I needed the Baking Soda as a buffering agent. Hence I would put in the equilibrium to bring up the GH and the baking soda would bring up the KH and the pH and act as a buffering agent. I thought, what if I added the equilibrium to bring it up (with water changes, slowly) and then just added some of the coral in my filter to keep it up, as ada aquasoil absorbs is back down, along with the baking soda as a buffering agent. What happens then? Am I on the wrong track?
OK, I understand now what you are saying now. I gotcha (sp?).

Your responses and questions confused me a bit. I know that you know about KH and GH. It seemed very odd to me. I just went ahead and answered them as if there was confusion because many of the newer people have some trouble with KH and GH and some of them may benefit from reading it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex Gal View Post
I still don't understand how all these others use the ADA AS and keep the briggs, and nerites without consequence. I can add the Ca for the snail in the form of a cuttle bone or ca tabs. but don't know what to do about the acid water melting their shells.
I can't help you with a first hand experience with AS. I just received the last bag of Amazonia (original) yesterday. I didn't order enough to do two tanks. I'm just now getting ready to test drive it in a 37g and a 20L.

In answer to your question, I know that Amazonia lowers KH and pH. I don't remember reading anything about anyone adding baking soda to increase the KH and pH even though it surely would. Doesn't it settle down after a while? Adding Equilibrium will be fine. I know people dose potassium and Equilibrium has a good amount of that, plus it's calcium will help with your invertbrates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex Gal View Post
BTW thanks for the links. I'll read and see if I can keep up with the info.....

Last edited by Left C; 06-07-2008 at 07:19 PM..
Left C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 08:31 PM   #29 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 58
iTrader Ratings: 0
Sterling919 is a regular member
Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

Tex Gal, I just looked at the 10g shrimp tank in your signature and the before shot of your 125g. I just want to say that you make me sick...hahaha! When I first saw the 10g I was like "OMG...that is so freakin' sweet". I'd wig out if my tank could end up looking like that...wow. And then I saw the 125 and I just sat here with my mouth opened...very nice. Of course that is pretty much the response I've had to all the other planted tank shots I've seen here too, so I'm trying to leave anyone out by no means.

Regardless of whether I've used real plants or fake stuff...my mess always looks thrown together and crappy. Most of your guys have a real grasp on laying out these tanks...I don't know how you do it or where you come up with the designs but they are awesome. Tanks like these are why I started messing with plants (live) in the first place and why I got back into aquariums since I was a kid.

I hope those stinking ferts hurry up and get here. And I need to find somewhere to get some easy to grow plants also. I wish there was somewhere close by so I wouldn't have to order the stuff.

Thanks guys (and gals)!
Sterling919 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2008, 03:07 PM   #30 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 58
iTrader Ratings: 0
Sterling919 is a regular member
Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

OK...THEIR HERE!!!

My ferts came today...talk about fast shipping. Now I need to figure out how to dose my tank properly. Besides the EI method is there anything that I should know or do or try? And suggestions to get me started off? I believe I listed in this thread what I ordered...I can't remember.
Sterling919 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Aquatic Plant Central > Welcome Forums! > New to Planted Aquariums > Massive Help Needed Please

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:44 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1