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AquaLars

Adjst gh, kh and tds.

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AquaLars

Hi all. I have Neocaridina shrimps.

I want some guidance regarding gh, kh and tds. My tap water has these parameters...

PH 8
dGH 1.9
KH approximately 2(alkalinity 29 mg/l)
Ca 13mg/l
Mg 0.57 mg/l
Conductivity 8.1 mS/m (I'm not sure what this is)
Tds 55(teste with my own meter)

I would like to raise GH to 8 and KH to 4 and a tds at 250. I also want a ca/mg ratio at 3:1 or 4:1. I have CaSO4, MgSO4 and NaHCO3. Is it possible to reach these values?

thanks in advance // Lars

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Zoidburg

If you want, you can go the DIY route....

 

Otherwise, you have the options of trying to find either shrimp specific remineralizers or going with something like Seachem Equilibrium and Alkaline Buffer (or just Baking Soda...)

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AquaLars

Thanks for answer.

my problem is actually that I'm not able to raise gh and kh as much as I want without exceeding the tds of 250.

Isn't Nahco3 and baking soda the same thing?

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Zoidburg

Yes, it is, but I don't know the measurements to get to the desired levels with what you have. Although I also have soft water, I just mix it with harder water.


The only way I'm familiar with getting a higher GH and KH while keeping TDS low is to go with a liquid remineralizer that's specific to shrimp.

 

Although you should still be able to reach a GH of about 8 with a TDS of 240-260-ish with a powder remineralizer geared towards shrimp as well. Just don't know what is available to you over there.

 

Your Neos should still be fine in a GH of 6-7 if you want lower TDS as long as they get enough from their diet.

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AquaLars

2-3 gram nahco3 / 100liter will raise kh by 1.

is there another/better way to raise gh than ca and mg? I mean with diy products.

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jayc
18 hours ago, AquaLars said:

Isn't Nahco3 and baking soda the same thing?

Actually (technically), it is similar but not the same.

Bicarbonate of soda (bicarb soda for short) is a pure leavening agent made of NaHCO3. Baking soda contains bicarb soda is a ready to go product with its own acidic ingredient, usually cream of tartar. Cream of Tartar is an acidic agent required to activate the bicarb to make it "rise", you know, for baking cakes.

So if you don't want to add Cream of Tartar into your tank (and you don't), avoid baking soda or baking powder.

NaHCO3 will raise KH, but it won't last, and will cause KH to crash again. Causing a yo-yo, up down effect in water parameters, until sufficient carbonates are built up in the tank.

3 hours ago, AquaLars said:

is there another/better way to raise gh than ca and mg?

The most stable way of raising GH and KH is with Ca and Mg. 

CaSO4 (Calcium sulphate) will raise GH & TDS without raising KH.

CaCO3 (Calcium Carbonate) will raise GH, KH and TDS.

MgSO4 (Magnesium sulphate) will raise GH & TDS without raising KH.

 

Alternatives are Potassium carbonate (K2CO3) or Potassium sulphate (K2SO4).

Potassium has the added benefit of being beneficial as a major element that plants need. And shrimps as well. Potassium is almost always deficient in any aquarium. 

Edited by jayc
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AquaLars

Thanks for great answer.

So do you mean it's better using k2co3 because the kh will not crash? Or how should I raise the kh without crashing? Add nahco3 every day?

I add k2so4 as nutrient for the plants. Does it raise gh or kh?

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jayc
1 hour ago, AquaLars said:

So do you mean it's better using k2co3 because the kh will not crash? Or how should I raise the kh without crashing?

If you only use K2CO3, KH will still fluctuate. It's best to use mainly CaCO3, MgSO4 and a bit of K2CO3, all together. And if you add these as separate powders, then you will need to measure it carefully to achieve a 4:1 Ca:Mg ratio. Or follow my DIY mix formula that Zoidburg linked earlier.

Just note that I used CaSO4 in my formula, as my aim there was to not alter KH. Replace with CaCO3, if you want to raise KH. It essentially becomes similar to the Salty Shrimp GH/KH+ product.

This is my recommended method.

However, if all you have or can find is K2CO3, then add this at every water change weekly (or twice weekly). This is much more useful than NaHCO3.

 

1 hour ago, AquaLars said:

Add nahco3 every day?

Avoid bicarb soda. It adds nothing to the tank using it. You are better off using K2CO3, at least it is a macro fert. All it will do is send your KH and pH sky rocketing. The fluctuating pH will kill your shrimps. 

 

1 hour ago, AquaLars said:

I add k2so4 as nutrient for the plants. Does it raise gh or kh?

Potassium sulphate will raise GH only. You can add more to raise GH. Potassium is very safe in a tank, and is very difficult to overdose.

 

Just remember, if you raise KH, you will also be altering pH.  So you want to do this slowly over several days, maybe even weeks. 

Neocaridina shrimps don't really need GH 8 and KH 4. They will be fine at GH 6 and KH 3.

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AquaLars

Isn't caco3 almost unsolvable in water?

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jayc

Yes, it's a lot harder to dissolve. Works best in cold water. 

You could put a bit into the tank, and it will dissolve slowly.

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AquaLars
5 hours ago, jayc said:

Yes, it's a lot harder to dissolve. Works best in cold water. 

You could put a bit into the tank, and it will dissolve slowly.

Is it "the colder, the better"?

Do you suggest dry dosing if I buy caco3 in powder form? 

My tap water contains 13 mg/liter ca and only 0.57 mg/liter mg... So I really don't want to add much more ca.

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jayc
8 hours ago, AquaLars said:

Do you suggest dry dosing if I buy caco3 in powder form? 

My tap water contains 13 mg/liter ca and only 0.57 mg/liter mg... So I really don't want to add much more ca.

Yeah, dry dosing CaCO3 is ok, only because it doesn't dissolve well in water. But be careful not too add too much at one go since you won't see the effect immediately. 

Cold water - from your refrigerator. 

But really, you should be looking at using Calcium sulphate rather than Calcium carbonates, specifically because CaCO3 is so hard to dissolve in water. Get carbonates from potassium carbonate instead, or even shell grit or crushed corals. Just add a small handful in a bag in the filter, and it will regulate KH by itself. 

Edited by jayc
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AquaLars

I have read your answers multiple times now... Chemistry is really hard to understand ?.

is corals and shell grit "built" with caco3?

Edited by AquaLars

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AquaLars

I've been thinking some time about this now. I realized that I forgot to mentioned one thing... A reason for Raising kh is to PREVENT ph from fluctuating. Because my kh is 2 the buffer capability isn't good and when I do water changes it raises ph to 8 and soon after the ph starts to go down because of driftwood etc.

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jayc
On 16/05/2017 at 10:23 PM, AquaLars said:

is corals and shell grit "built" with caco3?

Yes, shells and corals are made of calcium carbonates.

But you also need to remember that pH will rise with a higher KH. TDS will also rise when you add CaCO3. So there are compromises to be made.

That is why many shrimp keepers use RO water instead of tap water which can be high in pH and TDS.

I would prefer a lower pH than trying to raise KH in a shrimp tank. The KH in all my shrimp tanks are 1 or lower. PH settles at around 6.0, which is exactly where I want it to be. I try to maintain TDS between 140-160 in these tanks, and water changes are performed when TDS reaches over 180.

 

Don't worry about the KH in your tank. Let the pH settle with what you have now. Your pH of 8 and TDS of 55 is a bit weird. TDS is a bit low for such a high pH. Are you sure your pH measurement is accurate?

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AquaLars
10 hours ago, jayc said:

Don't worry about the KH in your tank. Let the pH settle with what you have now. Your pH of 8 and TDS of 55 is a bit weird. TDS is a bit low for such a high pH. Are you sure your pH measurement is accurate?

All the measurements in my first post except tds are laboratory measurement. And it's the same every day.

many people keep saying that high ph is hard water but I usually explain that it doesn't have to be that way.

i have a complete copy from the laboratory but I don't understand why the ph is so high and the same time really soft water and low tds. I could've attached the file but it's in Swedish so I guess you wouldn't understand.

back to kh. I also have a lot of tanks with fish and endler females doesn't thrive in my water. After raising gh and kh they became more healthy and doesn't die anymore. And I've raised kh with nahco3. 

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