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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I understand that kH, pH and co2 are all related.
I have a 29g tank and I'm trying DIY co2.
I measured my pH and it is high at 7.8-8.0
I measured my kH and it is around 20 using the API test kit it takes around twenty drops to change back to yellow.
Does anybody know why my kH is so high? The test kit instructions chart doesnt even go that high, and it says that my water is good for "rift lake cichlids, goldfish, and brackish water". I want to keep angels, discus, tetras. I have never had good luck with any plants but madagascar lace plants and vallisneria. I have a nutrafin co2 system with a ladder diffuser. I also have an old tetra co2 paintball system. I have recently purchased a ceramic diffuser and hooked up to my paintball cylinder and almost killed every fish in my tank by pumping in to much co2. I also have a "Red Sea" co2 indicator but it never seems to change from blue to green. Any help would be appreciated as I am becoming frustrated with co2. I read these forums and everybody makes it seem so easy. Oh by the way I also have a DIY bubble counter if that means anything.
 

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Your KH is high because your water has a lot of carbonate CO3 (2-) and bicarbonate HCO3 (-). You probably live in an area that has a lot of limestone or other rocks that contain these compounds. KH 20 is pretty high, but it shouldn't prevent you from growing plants successfully.

The Red Sea indicator will take several hours to work, probably at least 4 to start showing some change in color.

Your paintball canister setup will work well as long as you have a way of regulating how much CO2 comes out at once. Usually a needle valve set at 1-3 bubbles per second is what you want to aim for.

I would advise against discus since they are extremely sensitive to water conditions and demand devoted and consistent care, which would be difficult to provide with the hard water you have. You would need a reverse osmosis machine to reduce the KH, mineral content and pH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Hey, thanks a lot for the information.
I can control the output on the paintball cylinder with the twisting cap on it(may have a needle valve built into it). When you say 1-3 bubbles per second, can I use my bubble counter for that or is that only if I have a needle valve.
Also are there DIY R/O units because Ive seen the price on those and there pretty expensive.
I purchased a discus for the first time, in my off and on fishkeeping career of about 13 years, and it lasted about 6 months and for some reason I lost a couple fish in a week, checked everything and water was OK. Maybe they died from adding new fish.
Thanks.
 

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Unless you have a needle valve getting 2-3 bubbles to come out of the tank a second is going to be nearly impossible. A needle valve just helps you get finer control over how much gas comes out the tank.

I haven't seen a DIY RO plan on the internet. I think you will need to buy an RO machine, distilled water, or choose aquatic plants and fish that will like your water conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks again.
I am biding on an R/O unit on ebay, hopefully I win it but you never now til the end.
I read the pages you suggested and they talked about hard water having a high kH value. My water comes from a well but it does go through a softner and when I measure the hardness with my API master test kit it says my water is soft, turning the blue water red very quickly around 8 drops is all it takes. I've heard people talking about bba what is that some type of algae? I have a couple sae's in my tank and I dont think they eat anything other than flake food and red worms.
My guess on the saying would be Hamburger Hill.lol
 

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Be careful using water that has gone through a home type softener. These are often just ion exchangers and you end up with salts you don't want for your tank.
 

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Hhmm -just a different take on this. You might even try rainwater. I don't know what the climate/pollution is like where you live, but in rural Australia our rainwater is clean and the tanks are plastic (to avoid metallic leaching/taste etc). I use rainwater buffered to the desired pH. I think this is alot cheaper and less of a hassle than trying to understand RO and stuff. Ofcourse, you could mix the rainwater with the tap water too if you were so inclined. But like I said, it depends on how clean the rainwater is to start with.

Cheers
 
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