Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1   Report Post  
Old 24-10-2003, 05:12 AM
Arnim
 
Posts: n/a
Default New Plant Tank Update & RO/GH/TDS

Xref: 127.0.0.1 rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants:76548

Hello everyone. Thanks to helpful advice here and my obsessive research, my
recently converted 55g tank is almost overgrown with a beautiful Southeast
Asian biotope of flora and fauna. BTW, I have never seen the fish, which
include Rainbowfish, Gouramis, Loaches, Rasboras, and a Queen Arabesque
pleco, so colorful, lively, and seemingly happy .

O2 levels get to 110% saturation during the day and I have not had (for 5
weeks now) any serious algae threats (except for the darned diatoms I've had
for the last two years because my tap water has always had very high
silicates). Much of the flora has already doubled in size including the
Rotala Indica and Ulvaceus Apon, which if I didn't cut almost daily would
occupy the entire tank. The Madagascar Lace plant, which I started as a
bulb, already has a number of delicate 8" lacy leaves and beautiful runners
to the surface with pretty red floating leaves. Some of the balansae has
not done well while others have and the Giant Hygro seems to be shedding a
lot of leaves but still plenty of new ones. The four-leaf clover continues
to produce many four-lobed leaves and the runners are trying to occupy the
entire tank. The Java Ferns and Crypts seem to be doing fine with some of
the Crypts a deep red from the added iron (I assume). The only worry is
that these plants (and the onions) have "dirty" leaves with what I assume is
the diatom algae (it wipes off with the fingers). Also some of the Vals
have melted but much of it has rooted and is already laying across the
water's surface. The tank is about 75%-80% planted.

My conversion of the tank included the following:

- 130W PC fluorescent 4" above a replaced glass panel top (I have kids),
6700K full-spectrum bulbs (12 hrs.).
- 50/50 fluorite/gravel with flourish tabs every 5" for substrate.
- Pressurized CO2 injection with an electronic solenoid, Pinpoint pH
controller and a DYI reactor inline with my Magnum 350 Pro canister filter.
- I've modified the filter outlet to sit 4" below the surface of the water.
I've also replaced the activated carbon I used to use with Seachem Renew
which is not supposed to strip the water of trace elements (I know, a
controversial topic). I also left the biowheels on the filter in operation
but constricted the water flow to a mere trickle to keep the CO2 in the
water.
- Added chelated Fe and Flourish liquid supplement.

Today's readings:

pH: 7.01
dKH: 6.1
CO2 (calculated): 18.1 ppm
GH: 120 ppm
Fe: 0.5 ppm
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 1.0 ppm
Trace: 0.05 ppm (I know, low. Considering overdosing Flourish).
No phosphate test.
Temp: 77
O2: 9 ppm

Okay, finally the water question. I was at first mixing my tap water with
RO water 50/50 to get my KH and pH down so I wasn't having to inject so much
CO2 to drive the pH from the usual high tap level of 8.2-8.4 down to 7 in
order to get enough CO2 dissolved in the water. This all seemed fine until
Carl at the LFS convinced me I should be using straight RO water
reconstituted with RO Right. Thinking it through, it seemed like a good
idea, giving me precise control over the water chemistry and at least taking
care of the high silicate problem, if not other algae inducing solids.
Although I have to tweak the KH with sodium bicarbonate, the RO Right is
supposed to provide the GH with neutral sodium, magnesium, and calcium
salts. The problem is that you cannot test the GH of this reconstituted RO
water with a standard test kit. I proved this to myself by testing a gallon
of reconstituted water starting with the recommended dosage for "medium
soft" water all the way up to 4 times the "hard" water dosage. Even at this
level, I could not get a reading with my standard GH test kit. I could
however get a reading just fine with the tank water. It is after all, still
mostly tap water at this point (it takes a lot of 25% water changes to get
the level to 95% reconstituted RO water). In fact, it notes the problem
right on the RO Right bottle:

TDS includes all ions in solution. It is better measured electronically or
by conductivity meter. General hardness or GH tests usually only measure
calcium & magnesium content and are a poor substitute. Do not greatly
exceed the recommended teaspoons even if your test indicates different!

So what is my GH? Do I really need a TDS or conductivity meter? I also
read in the archived newsgroups that although very low TDS most certainly
indicates soft water, high TDS does not necessarily mean high GH (meaning I
could be measuring other non-GH type solids, sodium?). Does that mean a
conductivity meter is better. Would one of those $50 jobbies be okay from
DFS?

Now the real question: Am I doing my usual over-obsessing and worrying
about something that is probably fine?

Arnim




  #2   Report Post  
Old 24-10-2003, 05:42 PM
gizmo
 
Posts: n/a
Default New Plant Tank Update & RO/GH/TDS

Yes!
Once everything works fine - don't touch it ;-)
There is like a table of GH values 0 up to 30 degrees.... Do you have
another test kit with such values ?
They are usually ok - is it possible the water are 0 GH ?
I have a 100 gallon planted tank - I've almost stop using RO water - plants
do fine in hard water as well.
TDS meter should be very expensive......
You can soften your water also with peat in your canister filter - works for
me as well...
It seems that your tank and flora are a ok - enjoy it :-)
"Arnim" wrote in message
.com...
Hello everyone. Thanks to helpful advice here and my obsessive research,

my
recently converted 55g tank is almost overgrown with a beautiful Southeast
Asian biotope of flora and fauna. BTW, I have never seen the fish, which
include Rainbowfish, Gouramis, Loaches, Rasboras, and a Queen Arabesque
pleco, so colorful, lively, and seemingly happy .

O2 levels get to 110% saturation during the day and I have not had (for 5
weeks now) any serious algae threats (except for the darned diatoms I've

had
for the last two years because my tap water has always had very high
silicates). Much of the flora has already doubled in size including the
Rotala Indica and Ulvaceus Apon, which if I didn't cut almost daily would
occupy the entire tank. The Madagascar Lace plant, which I started as a
bulb, already has a number of delicate 8" lacy leaves and beautiful

runners
to the surface with pretty red floating leaves. Some of the balansae has
not done well while others have and the Giant Hygro seems to be shedding a
lot of leaves but still plenty of new ones. The four-leaf clover

continues
to produce many four-lobed leaves and the runners are trying to occupy the
entire tank. The Java Ferns and Crypts seem to be doing fine with some of
the Crypts a deep red from the added iron (I assume). The only worry is
that these plants (and the onions) have "dirty" leaves with what I assume

is
the diatom algae (it wipes off with the fingers). Also some of the Vals
have melted but much of it has rooted and is already laying across the
water's surface. The tank is about 75%-80% planted.

My conversion of the tank included the following:

- 130W PC fluorescent 4" above a replaced glass panel top (I have kids),
6700K full-spectrum bulbs (12 hrs.).
- 50/50 fluorite/gravel with flourish tabs every 5" for substrate.
- Pressurized CO2 injection with an electronic solenoid, Pinpoint pH
controller and a DYI reactor inline with my Magnum 350 Pro canister

filter.
- I've modified the filter outlet to sit 4" below the surface of the

water.
I've also replaced the activated carbon I used to use with Seachem Renew
which is not supposed to strip the water of trace elements (I know, a
controversial topic). I also left the biowheels on the filter in

operation
but constricted the water flow to a mere trickle to keep the CO2 in the
water.
- Added chelated Fe and Flourish liquid supplement.

Today's readings:

pH: 7.01
dKH: 6.1
CO2 (calculated): 18.1 ppm
GH: 120 ppm
Fe: 0.5 ppm
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 1.0 ppm
Trace: 0.05 ppm (I know, low. Considering overdosing Flourish).
No phosphate test.
Temp: 77
O2: 9 ppm

Okay, finally the water question. I was at first mixing my tap water with
RO water 50/50 to get my KH and pH down so I wasn't having to inject so

much
CO2 to drive the pH from the usual high tap level of 8.2-8.4 down to 7 in
order to get enough CO2 dissolved in the water. This all seemed fine

until
Carl at the LFS convinced me I should be using straight RO water
reconstituted with RO Right. Thinking it through, it seemed like a good
idea, giving me precise control over the water chemistry and at least

taking
care of the high silicate problem, if not other algae inducing solids.
Although I have to tweak the KH with sodium bicarbonate, the RO Right is
supposed to provide the GH with neutral sodium, magnesium, and calcium
salts. The problem is that you cannot test the GH of this reconstituted

RO
water with a standard test kit. I proved this to myself by testing a

gallon
of reconstituted water starting with the recommended dosage for "medium
soft" water all the way up to 4 times the "hard" water dosage. Even at

this
level, I could not get a reading with my standard GH test kit. I could
however get a reading just fine with the tank water. It is after all,

still
mostly tap water at this point (it takes a lot of 25% water changes to get
the level to 95% reconstituted RO water). In fact, it notes the problem
right on the RO Right bottle:

TDS includes all ions in solution. It is better measured electronically

or
by conductivity meter. General hardness or GH tests usually only measure
calcium & magnesium content and are a poor substitute. Do not greatly
exceed the recommended teaspoons even if your test indicates different!

So what is my GH? Do I really need a TDS or conductivity meter? I also
read in the archived newsgroups that although very low TDS most certainly
indicates soft water, high TDS does not necessarily mean high GH (meaning

I
could be measuring other non-GH type solids, sodium?). Does that mean a
conductivity meter is better. Would one of those $50 jobbies be okay from
DFS?

Now the real question: Am I doing my usual over-obsessing and worrying
about something that is probably fine?

Arnim





  #3   Report Post  
Old 27-10-2003, 09:12 PM
Dave Millman
 
Posts: n/a
Default New Plant Tank Update & RO/GH/TDS

Arnim wrote:

Now the real question: Am I doing my usual over-obsessing and worrying
about something that is probably fine?


Yes!


Okay, finally the water question. I was at first mixing my tap water with
RO water 50/50 to get my KH and pH down so I wasn't having to inject so much
CO2 to drive the pH from the usual high tap level of 8.2-8.4 down to 7 in
order to get enough CO2 dissolved in the water.


You express a common misperception here. No matter what your starting pH, a
given amount of CO2 will drive it down the same amount. There is not need to
"drive the pH from the usual high...in order to get enough CO2 dissolved in the
water."

The best reference for CO2 issues is he

http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm


This all seemed fine until
Carl at the LFS convinced me I should be using straight RO water
reconstituted with RO Right.


Things are getting worse, at least for your pocketbook. There is absolutely no
justification for using RO water for aquatic plants. This is a myth that seems
particularly prevalent at LFS, even good ones. Having said that, my planted tank
is pure RO reconstituted with RO Right, but I do that for the sof****er fish
(apistos) which I breed in that tank.

What is your goal? A healthy planted tank? Then measure your KH, and set your
spiffy pH controller to give you 20-25ppm CO2. At your KH of 6, that means 6.8
or 6.9. Now you're done, sit back and enjoy the tank.


So what is my GH? Do I really need a TDS or conductivity meter? I also
read in the archived newsgroups that although very low TDS most certainly
indicates soft water, high TDS does not necessarily mean high GH (meaning I
could be measuring other non-GH type solids, sodium?). Does that mean a
conductivity meter is better. Would one of those $50 jobbies be okay from
DFS?


You not need a TDS meter. Measure the GH out of the tap. If you dilute it 50%
with pure RO, GH will go down by 50%. With your hard water, you undoubtedly have
plenty of calcium and magnesium for your plants, which is the only reason to
think about GH at all.

  #4   Report Post  
Old 28-10-2003, 07:02 PM
gizmo
 
Posts: n/a
Default New Plant Tank Update & RO/GH/TDS

Dave I couldn't agree more with you!
I also believe and from own experience there is no need to use RO water for
planted tanks (unless you are breeding apistos.discus etc.)
I have a 100 gallon planted tank which I've once mixed 50% R.O water but now
I use only tap water.
Our water is hard (GH 20d) but they do tend to get softened in the tank
after sometime (peat) I also have a CO2 system - do I get a PH value of
about 6.8.
Plants seem to be happy and growing well. The myth is what 'bothers' me
most. Is it better to mix like 50% or to use 100% tap water for the long run
?
I know this question is a bit wired and mostly depends on tap water
parameters. Is there any disadvantage using 100% tap water ?

"Dave Millman" wrote in message
...
Arnim wrote:

Now the real question: Am I doing my usual over-obsessing and worrying
about something that is probably fine?


Yes!


Okay, finally the water question. I was at first mixing my tap water

with
RO water 50/50 to get my KH and pH down so I wasn't having to inject so

much
CO2 to drive the pH from the usual high tap level of 8.2-8.4 down to 7

in
order to get enough CO2 dissolved in the water.


You express a common misperception here. No matter what your starting pH,

a
given amount of CO2 will drive it down the same amount. There is not need

to
"drive the pH from the usual high...in order to get enough CO2 dissolved

in the
water."

The best reference for CO2 issues is he

http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm


This all seemed fine until
Carl at the LFS convinced me I should be using straight RO water
reconstituted with RO Right.


Things are getting worse, at least for your pocketbook. There is

absolutely no
justification for using RO water for aquatic plants. This is a myth that

seems
particularly prevalent at LFS, even good ones. Having said that, my

planted tank
is pure RO reconstituted with RO Right, but I do that for the sof****er

fish
(apistos) which I breed in that tank.

What is your goal? A healthy planted tank? Then measure your KH, and set

your
spiffy pH controller to give you 20-25ppm CO2. At your KH of 6, that means

6.8
or 6.9. Now you're done, sit back and enjoy the tank.


So what is my GH? Do I really need a TDS or conductivity meter? I also
read in the archived newsgroups that although very low TDS most

certainly
indicates soft water, high TDS does not necessarily mean high GH

(meaning I
could be measuring other non-GH type solids, sodium?). Does that mean a
conductivity meter is better. Would one of those $50 jobbies be okay

from
DFS?


You not need a TDS meter. Measure the GH out of the tap. If you dilute it

50%
with pure RO, GH will go down by 50%. With your hard water, you

undoubtedly have
plenty of calcium and magnesium for your plants, which is the only reason

to
think about GH at all.



  #5   Report Post  
Old 28-10-2003, 10:02 PM
Dave Millman
 
Posts: n/a
Default New Plant Tank Update & RO/GH/TDS

gizmo wrote:

Dave I couldn't agree more with you!
I also believe and from own experience there is no need to use RO water for
planted tanks (unless you are breeding apistos.discus etc.)
I have a 100 gallon planted tank which I've once mixed 50% R.O water but now
I use only tap water.
Our water is hard (GH 20d) but they do tend to get softened in the tank
after sometime (peat) I also have a CO2 system - do I get a PH value of
about 6.8.
Plants seem to be happy and growing well. The myth is what 'bothers' me
most. Is it better to mix like 50% or to use 100% tap water for the long run
?
I know this question is a bit wired and mostly depends on tap water
parameters. Is there any disadvantage using 100% tap water ?


Here's an interchange I had with Chuck Gadd on this list about a year ago.

On Wed, 04 Sep 2002 13:55:26 -0700, Dave Millman wrote:

Of all possible aquarium plants, extremely few "require" low hardness
water. This is usually an old myth perpetuated by folks who don't grow
plants.


This was usually thought to be true because plants grow well with CO2
injection, which lowers the pH. And a low pH is usually found with a
low hardness. So, someone who doesn't grow plants decided that the
low pH (and not the CO2) was what led to good plants growth, and they
figured that you can just get a low pH with soft water.....


So the answer to your question is, no, there is no disadvantage to using 100%
tap water, if GH and KH are each at 2-3 or greater. For plants, the harder the
better in virtually every case.



  #6   Report Post  
Old 30-10-2003, 09:22 AM
gizmo
 
Posts: n/a
Default New Plant Tank Update & RO/GH/TDS


"if GH and KH are each at 2-3 or greater" Can you please elaborate on this
?
Do you mean the delta between GH and KH or their degree (which is soft....)
10x

gizmo
"Dave Millman" wrote in message
...
gizmo wrote:

Dave I couldn't agree more with you!
I also believe and from own experience there is no need to use RO water

for
planted tanks (unless you are breeding apistos.discus etc.)
I have a 100 gallon planted tank which I've once mixed 50% R.O water but

now
I use only tap water.
Our water is hard (GH 20d) but they do tend to get softened in the tank
after sometime (peat) I also have a CO2 system - do I get a PH value of
about 6.8.
Plants seem to be happy and growing well. The myth is what 'bothers' me
most. Is it better to mix like 50% or to use 100% tap water for the long

run
?
I know this question is a bit wired and mostly depends on tap water
parameters. Is there any disadvantage using 100% tap water ?


Here's an interchange I had with Chuck Gadd on this list about a year ago.

On Wed, 04 Sep 2002 13:55:26 -0700, Dave Millman wrote:

Of all possible aquarium plants, extremely few "require" low hardness
water. This is usually an old myth perpetuated by folks who don't grow
plants.


This was usually thought to be true because plants grow well with CO2
injection, which lowers the pH. And a low pH is usually found with a
low hardness. So, someone who doesn't grow plants decided that the
low pH (and not the CO2) was what led to good plants growth, and they
figured that you can just get a low pH with soft water.....


So the answer to your question is, no, there is no disadvantage to using

100%
tap water, if GH and KH are each at 2-3 or greater. For plants, the harder

the
better in virtually every case.



  #7   Report Post  
Old 03-11-2003, 09:33 PM
Dave Millman
 
Posts: n/a
Default New Plant Tank Update & RO/GH/TDS



gizmo wrote:

"if GH and KH are each at 2-3 or greater" Can you please elaborate on this
?
Do you mean the delta between GH and KH or their degree (which is soft....)
10x


If GH is lower than 2, you may not have enough calcium and magnesium in your tap
water to sustain plant growth. You may have to supplement.

If KH is lower than 1, then as biological processes use up the small amount of
carbonate, your pH can drop too low.

I was not describing the delta between GH and KH.

  #8   Report Post  
Old 04-11-2003, 08:13 PM
Amit
 
Posts: n/a
Default New Plant Tank Update & RO/GH/TDS

Thanks Dave!
Well this I 've posted yesterday in the group, finally I've got my test kit:
Hi All,
Finally I got today the master test LAB mad by Red Sea (Anyone knows?) So
I've tested my 100 gallon planted tank...
I was mostly interested in the KH in order to find out the CO2 concentration
in the water.
Although the results really made me sad Fish and plants seems happy....
here goes:
PH 6.8~6.9
KH 9~10
GH 12~13
CO2 in ppm according to the CO2 test is 18 PPM
Ammonia, Nitrite and Chlorine are all 0 (at least these are good)

Despite the fact that the water are very hard I am kind of confused
regarding the CO2 levels.
According to some CO2 tables, the levels are HIGH 33.991 ppm (while PH 6.9,
KH 9)
Should I reduce my CO2 levels ?
I know that plants can do well in hard water, but I guess I can use more RO
water ?
10x

Amit

I guess you can see it as well.
"Dave Millman" wrote in message
...


gizmo wrote:

"if GH and KH are each at 2-3 or greater" Can you please elaborate on

this
?
Do you mean the delta between GH and KH or their degree (which is

soft....)
10x


If GH is lower than 2, you may not have enough calcium and magnesium in

your tap
water to sustain plant growth. You may have to supplement.

If KH is lower than 1, then as biological processes use up the small

amount of
carbonate, your pH can drop too low.

I was not describing the delta between GH and KH.





Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules

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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
pH/mV/Temp/EC/CF/TDS YM-2006A YM Instrument Co.Ltd. United Kingdom 0 17-06-2008 04:17 PM
pH, EC, TDS & CF Hydroponics YM Instrument Co.,Ltd. United Kingdom 0 14-06-2008 03:05 PM
TDS Meter Gene Schurg[_2_] Orchids 5 20-11-2007 08:58 PM
Plant Tank vs. Fish Tank Dan White Freshwater Aquaria Plants 0 14-08-2005 03:43 PM
Banned Herbicides &&&& Pesticides Christopher Norton United Kingdom 1 26-08-2003 07:42 AM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:12 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2020 GardenBanter.co.uk.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about Gardening"

 

Copyright © 2017