Increasing GH and KH

CindiL

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Nothing, that's fine too. Like I said lots of people use both. They use the buffer and replenish with their water they're changing out but the shells are there to hold things in place. In a larger tank alkaline buffer should be enough if you bring KH up to 100ppm. I have seen that people with small tanks 1-5g need the shells in addition to the buffer. Either they're not adding enough buffer or the chemistry of small tanks is just not consistent because of the small volume of water.

"If" your KH got filled up and the PH started to fall then if you had shells they would start dissolving and hold your ph steady.
 
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TropicALI

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Oh ok, I thought by adding the alkaline buffer to raise the KH, it would keep the ph stable so it won't drop?




Sorry if the questions I am asking sound dumb, I'm still trying to get my head around it


 

CindiL

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Leash said:
Oh ok, I thought by adding the alkaline buffer to raise the KH, it would keep the ph stable so it won't drop?
Ha ha, I think we're going around in circles. So, yeah, the buffer increases KH and helps hold PH steady. If you don't have enough buffer in then it can drop. That is why you want to aI'm for 100ppm or higher. If you are heavily stocked or don't do enough water changes or large enough water changes then the buffer you have added can be used up which then the ph could fall.

If you change out 30-50% a week and re-buffer the water you'll be fine. The shells are optional but is fine to add them.
 
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TropicALI

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Oh ok I never knew the buffer could get used up. I thought once it was in the tank it stayed there lol but I guess the fish take in the minerals and deplete the levels? Thanks for your patience! It's 1:16 am here and my brain is not wanting to keep up haha




So let's see if I got this right. If the fish absorb minerals and deplete the KH level, the PH could drop into the acidic levels? If so the acidic water will make the shells dissolve and in turn raise the KH and PH back up?

But if the water's PH stays in the alkaline levels, it won't dissolve the shells?

Please tell me that's correct cos then it makes sense why it's not a bad idea to have shells as a precautionary method


 

CindiL

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Yes, that's correct about the alkaline levels and the shells.

The first part is not quite right. Its actually the nitrogen cycle that is acidic. The carbonates absorb the acid holding the ph. When they get used up then there is nothing to absorb the acids and that is why ph will fall.

They do use the minerals that make up GH though, the calcium, magnesium, potassium salts.
 

CindiL

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Leash said:
Ok so what uses up the carbonates?
Like I said, re-read my post
The nitrogen cycle uses up the carbonates converting ammonia-nitrites-nitrates because the process of the cycle itself is acidic.
 
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TropicALI

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Sorry if it feels like you’re trying to explain this to a child. I could just do everything you’ve said but I’m the type of person who likes understand why I’m doing what I’m doing. Please bare with me

So when you said in a previous comment that the carbonates absorb the acid, to me that sounds like when they come in contact with each other the carbonate eats up all the acid and then continues on it’s merry way looking for more acid to chow down on.

Or maybe when the carbonate comes in contact with the acid, do they sort’ve absorb each other?

I think I remember reading something that when the carbonate comes in contact with an acid it will turn that acid into an alkaline.. Maybe that's what happens?
 

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It is the Kh value of the water that actually buffers the Ph value.
Any value of 3 or less, will affect the kh,s ability to buffer the Ph.
This is why many people in " soft water " areas, will add some Calcium based material to the tank or filter, such as shells, crushed coral or even some Limestone rocks.
 
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TropicALI

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So by reading some of that link (thanks btw) the carbonates and acids will cancel each other out right?




Thanks The Aquarium Owner. I already knew that info, just trying to understand what happens when carbonates and acids come in contact with each other


 
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TropicALI

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Well thank you so much for all your help




So i'm going to go get some shells from the beach. How much do you think I should keep in my 130L tank as a precaution?

PS: After talking with you today, I thought of what I should write as my signature lol
 

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