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Help.....WATER- Wet and complicated!

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by Cai1987, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. Cai1987

    Cai1987 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hi all,
    I'm currently researching and asking questions ready to start my first real planted tank. Some of you will know already ;-). My problem is this. I'm reading so much on water parameters, KH,DH, CO2 to be added, buffers etc etc.. I just can't seem to make light of things. I've read items on the area here and on Tom barrs chats also. My water reads as this using a tetra 6-1 strip:

    GH- 8*d
    Kh-15-20*d
    Ph- 8.0

    Now I know following ph/co2 chart will give me a given ppm of co2 to add to optimise growth in plants etc is it as simple as that(not likely) ? Should I buy a liquid testing kit to get exact readings?

    I will be using pressurised co2 and have been advised to crank the co2 right up whilst plants start off as I won't be adding livestock for few months at least. It's been stated by Tom Barr that a change of 0.2 in ph will massively increase the amount of co2 il have added and that it poses a problem the higher the kh reading is to start with as the amount of co2 will need to be higher thus, gassing the fish to death. The more reading I do folks the more muddled the area comes. Maybe I'm reading too many opinions on the matter? I just need some help understanding It better.. Ask away any questions as I'm sure your probably just as confused as I am after reading my story.. I just can't think of a better way to put things I'm afraid.
     

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  2. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Cai,

    As you have no fish or shrimp ;) Don't worry about you water PH KH GH ,, Its more about flow C02 & light To grow plants.

    Lack of flow & C02 can cause Melting in some plants or stunted growth Plus Algae :(
    To much light not enough C02 =Algae :(

    No two systems are the same . Start off with heavy planting at the start regular water changes 2-- 30% water changes every week for the first couple of months plus ferts & regular trimming of the plants :whistle: Watch how things go and adjust.

    Relax and let the plants grow :D
     
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  3. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    I think you are getting confused. Yes at different KH the Ph drop will mean different amounts of CO2 however that shouldn't matter.

    If you set your CO2 up and it was hitting 30ppm in 2KH water, then took all the water out and put 20KH water in without touching the CO2 setup it would still be giving you 30ppm give or take.

    The Kh issue is only when using the Ph drop to judge whether or not you have eough CO2 in the water. That is why we use drop checkers with a 4dKH solution in it. Because that 4dKH is a known reference you know that 30ppm will send the solution (with bromo blue added) from blue to green.
    That is also why we use a 4dKH solution and not tank water. Tank water is not a 'known' reference. It could have all sorts of acids that can have an effect on the 'reading' that you get.

    So give up on the ph swing method and get a drop checker.

    As for testing :) Don't bother apart from Ph. Get your stats from the water companies postcode search. Will be more accurate than any hobby test kit. The water company's Ph can't be accepted because they will use stuff to make the water closer to drinking parameters. i.e. add CO2 to bring it closer to 7. After 24 hours left to gas off mine goes from 7.2 up to 8.4 ;)
    http://www.hartlepoolwater.co.uk/your-area/drinking-water-quality.aspx

    For example the params for the Premier Inn Marina Hotel in Hartlepool are (mean average):
    Nitrates - 6ppm
    Phosphorus - 0.6ppm
    The dKH (I think is 490 / 17.848) 27 !!! I may be wrong here. Check out the report for your postcode.
     
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  4. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Cai

    If you are not careful you will get more confused than you are now.

    Start of with KIS and learn as you go along, at the moment you sound extremely confused when you should be starting to enjoy your planted aquarium tank.

    Keith:):)
     
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  5. Cai1987

    Cai1987 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    @Supercoley1 ye those readings are the same for my postcode too.. I'd checked that previously but wasn't sure what to make of it all.. Cheers.. So looking at that those readings is there anything I should be careful about or just like your saying. Don't worry and just keep an eye on my drop checker? The sooner I get all my equipment together the better I say.. It'll stop me idling away and over thinking areas. I just feel as though I should try to know everything and understand everything for it to be a success.. Il ease back abit I think and just go from there..
    I'm not sure this should be in another thread or if it's ok in this one but as Il be using ADA AMAZONIA substrate which is known to leach high amounts of Ammonia at the start should I run with just the filter at first with lots of water changes before I switch the co2 and add plants in? I'm getting the feeling that's way I should be doing it to be honest though..
     
  6. Cai1987

    Cai1987 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Also @Supercoley1 i have a combimate attached to my water inlet to the house plumbing.. The water goes through it first. It's got crystal balls(unsure what their made of) and that is supposed to soften the water a little. It's also supposed to stop the limescale we have a big problem of from taking hold on our pipes and such.. That'll probably have a slight change to water from the waterboards..
     
  7. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Its not having much difference if your Tetra strips are reading 8ph :)

    I would run from the start with everything. CO2 on and let it reach yellow then dial it back to where it is on the borderline between yellow and green which is what I call limeade. At that point you can put it back up. The reason I say this is it would be easy to blast the CO2 in and see yellow but that could waste loads of CO2. Dialing it back to limeade means you can then turn it up a little bit, giving more than livestock would be able to handle whilst benefiting the plants.

    So setup as you mean to go on, start everything together, do the water changes to remove ammonia. Before you get any livestock make sure the ammonia is gone and that you have the CO2 dialed in properly to the grass green - Limeade region.

    I ran planted tanks in Lincoln's liquid rock for years (We are on a limestone ridge here in Lincoln so very very hard) and had no real problems that weren't caused by my own inexperience :)

    I wouldn't bother testing anything after setting up to be honest. I don't. I only use a rainwater/tap mix because its no hassle and I keep a lot of shrimp. However I kept thriving cherry colonies in that liquid rock too :)

    p.s. You won't learn everything or even close before you get the tank started. I am a manic researcher and reader and it took me a year and a half before I finally got my setup to run with virtually no algae :) Was a battle but then I tended to be defensive about my setup at the time and didn't accept the advice given by some as it was critical of my setup. lol.
     
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  8. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Supercoley1

    Only one year I think my shrimp tank took over two years to remove 99% of my Algae.

    Keith:):)
     
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  9. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi

    You won't learn everything or even close before you get the tank started. I am a manic researcher and reader and it took me a year and a half before I finally got my setup to run with virtually no algae :) Was a battle but then I tended to be defensive about my setup at the time and didn't accept the advice given by some as it was critical of my setup. lol.

    Well said Supercoley (y)

    Same here 2 years to get my tanks looking half decent :barefoot: With lots of help from people on this forum and researching till my head went bang with info overload :LOL:
     
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  10. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Researching "can" be a massive problem unless you know how to eliminate the WWW rubbish and there is plenty out there.

    You can and often do get more than one method of doing a particular job and all are correct, that is the beauty of ASW there are many different opinions the main reason being age or experiences plus what works for one person will not often for another person.

    Learning by experiences good and bad is always a great teacher.

    Keith:):)
     
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  11. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Like Keith said :)

    I would also add that when researching whether it be by hearsay or the internet you have to forget what you believe or think is right before you start researching or you will find the answers that match your beliefs and ignore those that don't. Pretty much all of what beginners believe about planted tanks is way off the mark because hearsay from LFS or aquaintances etc is out of date.

    Similar to 'old wive's tales' where they used to be believed yet we know laugh and joke about them (or most them.)
     
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  12. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Supercoley1,

    How very true many only listen to what they want to hear, this can be very noticeable on some Aquarium Forums.

    Keith:):)
     
  13. Cai1987

    Cai1987 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks fellas.. Il try to remember that!
     
  14. Cai1987

    Cai1987 Aspiring Aquascaper

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  15. Cai1987

    Cai1987 Aspiring Aquascaper

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  16. Cai1987

    Cai1987 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Just got my hardscape delivery.. LOVE IT and had to share :)
     
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  17. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    gotta love the Ohko stone (dragon stone) Things are starting to get fun now
     
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  18. Cai1987

    Cai1987 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    They certainly are @ShadowMac. Going to happily play about with ideas to scape it. Well until the wife interferes and lectures me on my duties hah..
     
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  19. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    My best defense against this is keeping a nice looking tank that her visitors admire and comment on. She then concedes they are cool and require effort to keep them that way :)
     
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  20. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    I hit the 'ignore' button at those times :)
     
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