New York water is very soft. KH seems to be minimal, unmeasurable in Brooklyn Heights. New York Water comes from three sources or major resevoirs, so I believe. I'm not sure if your water is exactly the same as ours in Brooklyn.
It's occured to me on occasion that we have 'special case' water in the world of aquaria. The 'general case' seems to be much higher KH. I was hoping to put together some sort of reference resource to help people interested in maintaining planted tanks in ultra soft water such as ours.
I suspect that a good way of raising KH would be to use a small amount of fragmented oyster shell (say) or fragmented dried coral. With a little experiment, testing, one could control KH farely well and possibly in a better long-term way than provided by weekly dosing of bought product.
Put some crushed coral in a filter bag and set it into your filter and it will slowly raise kH. It is not fast acting, and may take a week or so before you see a change. Also, for faster rise, baking soda will work, but must be dosed weekly to hold kH, whereas the coral will hold it indefinitely for you.
Baking soda is the easiest method of raising KH. It does not raise GH.
It would behoove you to consider that if KH needs to be raised, then most likely you'll need to raise the GH as well, especially if your water is as soft as Andrew noted. While shells & corals will raise your KH AND GH, they are not easily controlled. Shells/corals will continue to increase KH/GH until spent, a process accelerated by the addition of CO2, that can raise KH/GH much higher than you would expect/desire. There are a plethora of alternatives such as CaCO3 powder & MgSO4.7H2O (Epsom Salt) but for some reason, finding these compounds is difficult for many folks. Good news is that Greg Watson now carries CaMg(CO3)2 powder (dolomite), even though it is labeled as "Calcium Carbonate".
But if you only want to raise KH, then as Len suggested, baking soda would be your best and easiest solution.
i have a whole box of coral in my atic from my salt water tanks around 30 pieces if i use one of the small pieces and crush it up should i put it the eheim i have room where i put ehisubstrate its a 75 can u give me a idea on how much crushed coral i should put in there and should i put it in a nylon bag
thanks pinenapple i didnt know why my kh was so low compared to everyone else in here when i tested trying using kent kh up i got it too 3degrees
I'm cautious about putting things in my cannisters partly because making changes requires opening the machine up and I like to do that only once a year, perhaps twice. I add a limited amount of carbonate material to the substrate usually in a place I can get it out if necessary.
Our water chemistry seems to be very sensitive to additions. If you read the Tropica Master Grow label it says use half the amount prescribed for very soft water. I can attest that it is better to use half with our water.
Hi pineapple right now i'm using flourish,TMG i will be getting shortly.Does this include my flourish dosing it says 1-2ml for 50gallons.I'm dosing around 2 ml twice a week should i cut back to 2ml a week :?:
Hello Dennis what is '' pure dolomite'' :?: i'm not familiar with it.I would pay the shipping thanks for the offer.If you can explain to me what it is, and how i should use the pure dolomite would be very helpful..
It will dissolve slowly and raise the kH and gH. Many ways to use it depending on your setup. A layer of it in a canisiter filter, in a porous bag laid in a sump, in same bag in a HOB filter, or even in a Calcium reactor if you really want to burn some money.
Let's talk solubility for a minute.
I was thinking about buying some of Greg's Calcium Carbonate. It's in a powder form. I'm thinking, from what I'm reading here, that it would take considerable time for this to dissolve.
Is this correct?
Greg Watson's "Calcium Carbonate" is actually calcium magnesium carbonate, CaMg(CO3)2 (dolomite). While dolomite is indeed not very soluble, there are things you can do to increase its solubility several folds. If the following precautions are taken, then the cloudiness will dissipate within a couple of hours and all the dolomite grains should dissolve within 24 hours.
(1) Use dolomite in powder form. This increases the surface area for the acids in our tanks to work on.
(2) Premix the dolomite powder in a cup with a LITTLE water. Adding it dry to a tank will result in the dolomite powder sticking together and forming a fine layer of snow on all your plants that will take literally days to completely dissolve.
Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is just as finicky as dolomite so treat it the same way. CaCl2 is MUCH easier to dissolve. You'll have to add a magnesium source if you're going to use either CaCO3 or CaCl2.
Thanks for the feedback.
I do add MgSO4 at this time, and was going to go with CaCl2, but am having a tough time finding it at this time. That's why the interest in the Calcium Carbonate.
I think it's in my best interest to continue the hunt for CaCl2.
Well, I went to a bunch of pharmacies and not one of them could/would order the stuff for me, especially when I asked for it in power form.
I'm going to wait for the 'Prestone Driveway Heat' to become available in Home Depot.
I am not familiar with NJ's weather patterns, but around here, winter is not due for a couple of months. YAY!!! \/
Why not give dolomite a chance until the Prestone Driveway Heat becomes available? I use dolomite as well as CaCO3, and it's not that big a deal as long as you don't add them dry. Who knows, you may be won over as well. Hehehe.
Seachem Equilibrium is another alternative you may want to look into.
Yeah, I've got to order some stuff from Greg anyway, so for a buck a lb.
I'll give it a shot.
I tried SeaChem's EQ and hated the stuff. Seemed like no matter how much I stirred it, it wouldn't dissolve completely. Also, very expensive to dose that way.
The winter here doesn't really start until Nov., but they'll probably start stocking it on the shelves in Sept. or Oct.
But if I like the CaCO3, I may just by-pass it and stick with that.
I want to apologize to Paul for Hi-jacking his thread.