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Old 01-11-2004, 02:55 AM
Chuck
 
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Default Test kits for planted tanks

Hi I am kinda new to planted aquariums, and I was wondering what are the
essential test kits that I will need for planted tanks. Thanks in
advance for any help.

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Old 03-11-2004, 01:13 AM
[email protected]
 
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- KH and pH (those two allow you to determine CO2 levels)

How does one determine CO2 levels with the KH & PH values? Thanks in
advance, I'm very curious about this.
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Old 03-11-2004, 11:38 AM
Michi Henning
 
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" Fluff wrote in message
...
- KH and pH (those two allow you to determine CO2 levels)


How does one determine CO2 levels with the KH & PH values? Thanks in
advance, I'm very curious about this.


Have a look at http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm
for a good explanation.

Cheers,

Michi.
--
Michi Henning Ph: +61 4 1118-2700
ZeroC, Inc. http://www.zeroc.com

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Old 03-11-2004, 01:58 PM
Margolis
 
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" Fluff wrote in message
...
- KH and pH (those two allow you to determine CO2 levels)


How does one determine CO2 levels with the KH & PH values? Thanks in
advance, I'm very curious about this.



one thing to remember about this though is that these calculations are only
accurate if you are adding co2 to the tank. If you are not adding extra co2
then these charts and calculations don't work well

--

Margolis
http://web.archive.org/web/200302152...qs/AGQ2FAQ.htm
http://www.unrealtower.org/faq




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Old 03-11-2004, 09:36 PM
Michi Henning
 
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"Margolis" wrote in message
...
" Fluff wrote in message
...
- KH and pH (those two allow you to determine CO2 levels)


How does one determine CO2 levels with the KH & PH values? Thanks in
advance, I'm very curious about this.



one thing to remember about this though is that these calculations are only
accurate if you are adding co2 to the tank. If you are not adding extra co2
then these charts and calculations don't work well


Huh? Why would the table not be accurate when not adding CO2? The ratio
of pH/KH/CO2 is fixed by physical processes, whether CO2 is being added
or not. The only thing that can throw this out, as far as I know, is if the
water
contains substantial amounts of non-carbonate buffer, such as phosphate. But
that is not normally the case. Otherwise, the table is accurate, whether you
inject CO2 or not.

Cheers,

Michi.

--
Michi Henning Ph: +61 4 1118-2700
ZeroC, Inc. http://www.zeroc.com

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Old 04-11-2004, 01:51 PM
Margolis
 
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"Michi Henning" wrote in message
...


Huh? Why would the table not be accurate when not adding CO2? The ratio
of pH/KH/CO2 is fixed by physical processes, whether CO2 is being added
or not. The only thing that can throw this out, as far as I know, is if

the
water
contains substantial amounts of non-carbonate buffer, such as phosphate.

But
that is not normally the case. Otherwise, the table is accurate, whether

you
inject CO2 or not.



It doesn't work properly if you are not adding co2 because it means that
there are other buffers at work if your ph is lower than it can naturally be
with a given kh. If you have a tank that has a kh of 4 with a ph of 7 you
would have 13ppm of co2 going by the charts. But in reality this cannot
happen under any circumstances unless you are adding co2. No matter what
your ph and kh are, your co2 is going to max out around 2ppm. That is why
I say the chart and calculations are only correct if you are adding extra
co2

--

Margolis
http://web.archive.org/web/200302152...qs/AGQ2FAQ.htm
http://www.unrealtower.org/faq




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Old 04-11-2004, 02:22 PM
Michi Henning
 
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"Margolis" wrote in message
...

It doesn't work properly if you are not adding co2 because it means that
there are other buffers at work if your ph is lower than it can naturally be
with a given kh. If you have a tank that has a kh of 4 with a ph of 7 you
would have 13ppm of co2 going by the charts. But in reality this cannot
happen under any circumstances unless you are adding co2.


I agree. If you have 4 degrees KH and no other unusual buffers in the water
(which is usually the case), you will measure a pH of 7.8, which is equivalent
to 2ppm. So, there is nothing wrong with the chart, and the chart is correct
whether you are adding CO2 or not. The only thing that can throw the chart
off is other buffers, such as phosphate. But to make a difference,
PO4 levels have to be way up, in the 1ppm range, which is rarely the case.

By the way, Krause recommends a different method to measure CO2 content.
That method is insensitive to the presence of unusual buffers.

Step 1: Take small water sample with some pH indicator. Stick a straw into
the water and exhale through the straw into the water sample for two or three
minutes. This sets the CO2 level at 60ppm. Take note of the pH reading.

Step 2: Take another water sample with some pH indicator and run the hose
from an air pump into the sampe for a few minutes. This sets the CO2 level
at 0.5ppm. Take note of the pH reading.

Step 3: Measure the pH of the tank water. The CO2 content is proportional
to that reading. As an example, if you measure pH 6.0 with the first sample,
and
pH 8.0 with the second sample, a tank pH of 7 corresponds to 30ppm CO2,
regardless of any buffers that might otherwise confuse a CO2 test or distort
the charted values.

Cheers,

Michi.

--
Michi Henning Ph: +61 4 1118-2700
ZeroC, Inc. http://www.zeroc.com

  #9   Report Post  
Old 04-11-2004, 05:56 PM
Margolis
 
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Default

"Michi Henning" wrote in message
...

I agree. If you have 4 degrees KH and no other unusual buffers in the

water
(which is usually the case), you will measure a pH of 7.8, which is

equivalent
to 2ppm. So, there is nothing wrong with the chart, and the chart is

correct
whether you are adding CO2 or not. The only thing that can throw the chart
off is other buffers, such as phosphate. But to make a difference,
PO4 levels have to be way up, in the 1ppm range, which is rarely the

case.

By the way, Krause recommends a different method to measure CO2 content.
That method is insensitive to the presence of unusual buffers.

Step 1: Take small water sample with some pH indicator. Stick a straw into
the water and exhale through the straw into the water sample for two or

three
minutes. This sets the CO2 level at 60ppm. Take note of the pH reading.

Step 2: Take another water sample with some pH indicator and run the hose
from an air pump into the sampe for a few minutes. This sets the CO2 level
at 0.5ppm. Take note of the pH reading.

Step 3: Measure the pH of the tank water. The CO2 content is proportional
to that reading. As an example, if you measure pH 6.0 with the first

sample,
and
pH 8.0 with the second sample, a tank pH of 7 corresponds to 30ppm CO2,
regardless of any buffers that might otherwise confuse a CO2 test or

distort
the charted values.



You keep saying that having these other phosphate buffers is not normally
the case in an aquarium. But it seems to me that the reality is it is more
common than not. Most people don't run RO water with just the proper
minerals added. Most people start with tap water and then add phosphate and
other buffers to it to dechlorinate it and alter the ph to what they think
it should be. Not to mention all of the water treatment facilities that add
phosphates to the water.

Then you have the people that see these charts and think all they have to do
is lower the ph to raise the co2 level. So it is safest just say the chart
isn't accurate unless you are adding co2, imho. If you aren't adding co2,
then you don't need the chart, since you won't have more than 2-3ppm of co2
anyway ;o)

--

Margolis
http://web.archive.org/web/200302152...qs/AGQ2FAQ.htm
http://www.unrealtower.org/faq




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Old 04-11-2004, 10:36 PM
Michi Henning
 
Posts: n/a
Default

"Margolis" wrote in message
...

You keep saying that having these other phosphate buffers is not normally
the case in an aquarium. But it seems to me that the reality is it is more
common than not. Most people don't run RO water with just the proper
minerals added. Most people start with tap water and then add phosphate and
other buffers to it to dechlorinate it and alter the ph to what they think
it should be. Not to mention all of the water treatment facilities that add
phosphates to the water.


Hmmm... I don't know many tanks with phosphates above 1ppm. And, at
that level, the phosphates don't distort the CO2 chart to any noticeable
degree.

Then you have the people that see these charts and think all they have to do
is lower the ph to raise the co2 level. So it is safest just say the chart
isn't accurate unless you are adding co2, imho.


Ah, OK, I'm with you now -- I agree. The KH is a constant for the purpose
of this discussion, and the pH is the result of the amount of CO2 in the water,
that is, the CO2 is the *cause*, and the pH is the *effect*.

I agree that, if people think they can lower the pH to get more CO2, they are
misguided. The *only* way to get more CO2 is to put CO2 into the tank.
Products that otherwise tinker with the pH to artificially lower it (such as
"pH Down"
and similar) don't do a thing to the CO2 level. And, if such products are used,
the
chart will indeed be way off.

BTW -- any artificial manipulation of the pH level with acids or bases is
generally
a bad idea because it can lead to a very unnatural ion balance. The pH is the
result of the level of carbonate hardness, so the best way to target a
particular
pH is to raise the KH by adding calcium carbonate, or to lower the KH by
diluting with RO water. If the GH in degrees is roughly the same as the KH,
then
the ion balance in the water is generally OK too.

If you aren't adding co2,
then you don't need the chart, since you won't have more than 2-3ppm of co2
anyway ;o)


Ah, yes :-) Actually, according to Krause, the equilibrium level is closer to
0.5ppm.
But the precise figure is academic, I suspect, because 0.5ppm and 2-3ppm are
very
nearly the same when it comes to growing plants: too little.

Cheers,

Michi.

--
Michi Henning Ph: +61 4 1118-2700
ZeroC, Inc. http://www.zeroc.com



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Old 05-11-2004, 08:08 AM
[email protected]
 
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"Margolis" wrote in message
...


You keep saying that having these other phosphate buffers is not

normally
the case in an aquarium. But it seems to me that the reality is

it is more
common than not. Most people don't run RO water with just the

proper
minerals added. Most people start with tap water and then add

phosphate and
other buffers to it to dechlorinate it


Sodium Thiosulfate has no PO4 in it. PO4 does not dechlorinate.
PO4 is used for corrosion control in drinking water supplies in some
places, or as acid "buffers" for Discus tanks etc.

Better to use RO and low KH rather than acid "buffers".

is lower the ph to raise the co2 level. So it is safest just say

the chart
isn't accurate unless you are adding co2, imho.


I agree that you do not need the chart with non CO2 planted tanks, but
it's still accurate. Even if you have ann acid present, there is a way
around it to get a measurement that is reasonably okay.

People often hear to lower their pH to get the range of CO2 in their
tanks.
But they should onl;y add CO2 to lower their pH, not some other acidic
"buffer". CO2 is what the plants want, not some pH, so folks should
add only that if they want more CO2.

Otherwise approach the tank from a non CO2 prespective, don't worry
about it.
I just say don't bother, rather than saying there is something
inaccurate about the chart, that confuses an already confusing issue
for new folks and folks curious about using CO2.

One of the main purposes of a non CO2 tank is less mainteance. I do so
little to mine it really is pathetic that they look so good.

Your CO2 levels can be measured with the buffers present in a rough
manner also BTW sing the chart(eg PO4 "buffers", peat etc).

Take a glass of treated water and a glass of tap or Spring water etc,
add enough baking soda to get a KH of 2 or whatever you chose.
Measure both glasses pH/KH after 24 hours sitting out.

Say glass treated with acid has a pH of 6.4 and the spring water has a
pH of 6.8, both have the exact same CO2 content since they are both in
equilibrium with the air.

So subtract 0.4 pH units for your final pH/KH combo to find CO2.
The scale is not linear etc, but it's close enough and if you wanted
to play with math more, you could get very accurate. Close is good
enough for me, folks are too sloppy to have to nail a precise method
that has little wavering on either sideSo this is a semi practical
method that's easy.


Regards.
Tom Barr
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Old 05-11-2004, 02:44 PM
Margolis
 
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Default

"Michi Henning" wrote in message
...

Ah, OK, I'm with you now -- I agree. The KH is a constant for the purpose
of this discussion, and the pH is the result of the amount of CO2 in the

water,
that is, the CO2 is the *cause*, and the pH is the *effect*.

I agree that, if people think they can lower the pH to get more CO2, they

are
misguided. The *only* way to get more CO2 is to put CO2 into the tank.
Products that otherwise tinker with the pH to artificially lower it (such

as
"pH Down"
and similar) don't do a thing to the CO2 level. And, if such products are

used,
the
chart will indeed be way off.




yes, that is the point I was trying to make ;o)




Ah, yes :-) Actually, according to Krause, the equilibrium level is

closer to
0.5ppm.
But the precise figure is academic, I suspect, because 0.5ppm and 2-3ppm

are
very
nearly the same when it comes to growing plants: too little.


I have heard anywhere for .5ppm to 5ppm. The last one I read said they were
measuring 2-3ppm at equilibrium, so that is what I said. But like you said,
it's all acedemic, since it is too little for massive growth.


btw, I don't even have plants yet ;o)

I've been keeping fish for ~20 years, but never plants. But I have been
lurking here and other plant forums for the last few months trying to absorb
knowledge. And this co2 chart bugged me at first until I finally realized
that it only applied to systems using only co2 to change the ph, and not to
water using other buffers to lower the ph.


I am going to be planting my 75gallon tank today. No co2 as of yet
though, just a bunch of plants that supposedly don't require much co2 to
live well. We shall see. I have finally found a co2 distributor here that
sells to individuals, so I will be adding co2 in the next few weeks and go
from there.


--

Margolis
http://web.archive.org/web/200302152...qs/AGQ2FAQ.htm
http://www.unrealtower.org/faq





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Old 05-11-2004, 02:49 PM
Margolis
 
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Default

" wrote in message
om...

about it.
I just say don't bother, rather than saying there is something
inaccurate about the chart, that confuses an already confusing issue
for new folks and folks curious about using CO2.




read my post to Michi that I made this morning, I think I explain things a
little better about what I meant. To the novice it is too easy to see a co2
chart and say, "oh, all I have to do is put some discus buffer in the water
and I will have more co2!" That is why I said it is innaccurate unless you
are adding co2 to the water to alter the ph

--

Margolis
http://web.archive.org/web/200302152...qs/AGQ2FAQ.htm
http://www.unrealtower.org/faq




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Old 06-11-2004, 03:12 AM
[email protected]
 
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read my post to Michi that I made this morning, I think I explain things a
little better about what I meant. To the novice it is too easy to see a co2
chart and say, "oh, all I have to do is put some discus buffer in the water
and I will have more co2!" That is why I said it is innaccurate unless you
are adding co2 to the water to alter the ph


Yep, you are 100% correct about that, we try and stop that kind of
thing before they do that:-)

I do not know how many tried that at some point when they started this
hobby.
Another issue is that folks suggest that aquatic plants prefer acidic
waters as well. Not true, they like CO2.
So that causes them also to try and lower pH.

I'm cranky about that when folks say or do that myself

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Old 06-11-2004, 09:43 PM
Michi Henning
 
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" wrote in message
om...
read my post to Michi that I made this morning, I think I explain things a
little better about what I meant. To the novice it is too easy to see a

co2
chart and say, "oh, all I have to do is put some discus buffer in the water
and I will have more co2!" That is why I said it is innaccurate unless you
are adding co2 to the water to alter the ph


Yep, you are 100% correct about that, we try and stop that kind of
thing before they do that:-)


Partly, we have to blame the CO2 charts. They show KH and pH
as the row and column units, and the CO2 value as the lookup value
in each cell. In other words, the table suggests that KH and pH are
inputs, and the CO2 level is the result, but that's wrong, of course.

It would be better to change the charts to label the rows and colums
with KH and CO2 values, and make the pH the lookup value.
People would be less likely to fall into the trap of assuming that
lowering their pH will raise the CO2 level. (And the charts would be
just as usable.)

Cheers,

Michi.
--
Michi Henning Ph: +61 4 1118-2700
ZeroC, Inc. http://www.zeroc.com



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