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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My KH is 30 ppm or 1.68 dKH as measured by LaMotte kit. This is inline with what my SF Water Quality Report says, they report an average reading of 59 ppm, range 8 - 115 ppm. This seems like a big range, I'm not sure if I should adjust my KH or not especially if the average reading is over 3dKH. I'm wanting to grow Toninas.

Also, I had a problem in my 20g with my HC suddenly melting on me, with some partial melting of my crypts noticed the day after a water change. I had added 0.2g Equilibrium to the 2.5 gallons new water.
 

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Hi Nevermore,

I live in the Seattle area, and my water is Kh = 4.0 out of the tap. I was having problems with deformed leaves and slow, stunted growth. I added CaCl and MgSO4 to my tanks at half of the rate recommended by Rex Grigg http://www.bestaquariumregulator.com/dosing.html and the problems disappeared. Because I do a 20% water change weekly, I know that I will eventually have to re-dose. The plants will let me know when. Hope this helps!
 

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I'm in Alameda, similarly soft water.

So, not sure exactly what's going on. You say that your tank reads 1.68 dKH or 3 dKH? Where's the 3 dKH come from? Many things can cause KH to drop in a tank. SMS or Turface as substrate can drop KH, for example.

KH doesn't really play an important role in plant health. GH, however, is important.

Despite what other people say, IME KH levels are important for fish health when adding CO2.


I'd check out your GH levels, I think that may be the issue with the HC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I got a reading of 1.68 dKH out of my tap. The average reading as reported by SF Water Quality Report is 59 ppm or 3.3 dKH.
 

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I got a reading of 1.68 dKH out of my tap. The average reading as reported by SF Water Quality Report is 59 ppm or 3.3 dKH.
Well, that's not too much of a drop to worry about. Like I said, high CEC substrates will drop KH, so if you're using anything from kitty litter to Eco-Complete, you'll see a KH drop.

If you're concerned, I use baking soda to raise my KH.
 

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I thought eco complete wasn't supposed to effect the KH or harness?? I have that problem in one of my tanks, and probably going to have it in my new tank, both eco complete. Kh out of the tap is around 4dkh, come time for my weekly water change it seems the kh drops to around +-1dkh. I used to add baking soda, but i don't anymore.

Stevie D
 

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I thought eco complete wasn't supposed to effect the KH or harness?? I have that problem in one of my tanks, and probably going to have it in my new tank, both eco complete. Kh out of the tap is around 4dkh, come time for my weekly water change it seems the kh drops to around +-1dkh. I used to add baking soda, but i don't anymore.

Stevie D
Baked clay based substrates all have a decent CEC, and therefore will, to some degree, strip KH out of the water. Substrates like Eco that come pre-loaded with nutrients won't strip as badly as something like Turface, but you'll still notice a slight KH drop right in the beginning.

Even with Turface, it'll level out ofter 6-12 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have black Flourite, which is a baked clay substrate.

Stevie D, why did you stop adding baking soda?
 

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I have a very low KH in my tap water too. I don't add anything to increase the KH.

Years ago, I tried to keep the KH at ~ 3 dKH, but that was a PITA.

I'm using pressurized CO2 as well W/O any problems.

I do increase my GH by a few degrees on water change days. My tap water's GH is low as well.
 

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I use a controller and it was hard to always add the right amount of bicarb. I set my controller manually when i see the drop checker start to turn a little blue. I hope eventually it won't fluctuate so much over time. The tank is only about 5 months old with that gravel in it.

Stevie D
 

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I'm not sure if you can attribute low KH to HC problems. I have low KH as well, my test kit is not as precise as yours though. In addition, I use Aquasoil, which decreases kH as well. I don't even touch anything related to KH and I grow Toninas just fine, so you should be able to as well. I think it is too much of a hassle to try to adjust it, especially when there is basically not much benefit.

Now, if you were going to try to raise fauna that specifically appreciate higher kH water, then there may be a problem.

I've also had HC melt on me too, and I eventually had to adjust the amount of light and KNO3 dosing before it stopped and began to take off. I'm not sure if it was these adjustments or just the fact that it finally adjusted to my tank that caused it to start growing very well.
 
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