Frustrated with Tropica Aquasoil Buffering Capacity

wilamzq

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7 Mar 2019
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Hi all!

I am running an aquarium for the last 2 months and I am getting very frustrated with the substrate.. I am using tropica Aquasoil and it seems that it strips all the KH from the water and the PH is getting very low ( 6.2 - 6.8) depends if CO2 is open.

The first month I was doing lots of water changes with just RO water (+ adding minerals Aquadur JBL) and I am still using RO water with the difference the last 2 times I mixed it with some tap water (70% RO / 30% Tap) to achieve 7.2 PH, 2 KH , 3 GH but still the PH is very low and the KH is nearly 0.

How I will manage to control the KH and PH?
 

Siege

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I think all the commercial soils buffer the ph.

In your case more so because your Kh is very low (ideally you should aim for aim for a kh of at least of 4 to buffer ph). You need to factor this in with whatever product you use to remineralise the water.

I’m not a scientist but with 0 kh you won’t really have a stable ph.

If your tap water is nice and soft anyway why use ro water?

At that I’ll stand. Aside for the scientist people!! :)
 

Nuno Gomes

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Hi all!

I am running an aquarium for the last 2 months and I am getting very frustrated with the substrate.. I am using tropica Aquasoil and it seems that it strips all the KH from the water and the PH is getting very low ( 6.2 - 6.8) depends if CO2 is open.

The first month I was doing lots of water changes with just RO water (+ adding minerals Aquadur JBL) and I am still using RO water with the difference the last 2 times I mixed it with some tap water (70% RO / 30% Tap) to achieve 7.2 PH, 2 KH , 3 GH but still the PH is very low and the KH is nearly 0.

How I will manage to control the KH and PH?

This type of soil is marketed as being able to lower kh and ph, if you want to keep those at the levels you mentioned you will have to replace the soil for inert gravel, either that or you wait a few months for the buffering to be used up. Why do you want those specific numbers anyway?
 

wilamzq

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7 Mar 2019
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Hi,

I thought by controlling my water parameters as much as possible (thats why RO) it would give me more freedom to add more sensitive species (shrimps or fishes) and also will allow me to follow a more lean dosing methodology(mixing my own ferts) which will result into less water changes. Maybe I was asking too much right? :) As disclaimer need to mention that it is my first aquarium and I got into the hobby by watching/reading videos/articles from experienced purist aquascapers and therefore I got the impression that can be possible.. but yeah eventually "no pain no gain"

For the time being, I will not replace anything in the gravel so I proceed by monitoring the KH/PH and I guess I will increase the tap water during water changes (or use exclusively) for a few months.. are you aware of any good article/post/paper regarding on the buffering mechanism of aquasoil? (tropica if is possible) i.e the rate/how fast it buffers the KH/PH or the rate of the ammonia leach?

Thank you all

wilma
 

jameson_uk

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10 Jun 2016
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Tropica soil didn't buffer for too long in my shrimp tank but I was using hard tap water so not too surprising. I don't think the Tropica soil has anything like the impact on water parameters that other active substrates do.

Regardless of the substrate, if you are putting in water at pH 7.2 and injecting CO2 to 30ppm then as AIUI ( I don't use CO2) you should see a 1pH drop so it would drop to 6.2.
 

micheljq

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23 Nov 2015
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Quebec
Hello,

If Tropica's soil works like ADA soil does, then it is normal and you don't have to be concerned about KH of zero. Basically soils that buffer the water will eat the KH and make the pH goes down after that. This is how they work.

My ADA Malaya worked that way, in 1-2 weeks KH dropped to zero then pH dropped to something like pH of 6. My tap was pH 7,6 and KH 4. I did continue to use tap for water changes, and did nothing about the KH. Buffering lasted for like 10 months in my case and tank did run fine for 14 months.

However you should check with vendor or with Tropica to be safe.

Michel.
 

Wolfito

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29 May 2019
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Bucharest
why are you frustrated. that kh and ph shows the soil is very good! I know fellow aquarists that will kill for them values ;). some of them run ph as low as 4.5 with no ill effects to fish. Seen it with my own eyes.

i am starting with the same substrate. 1 week in with it now. i am happy to see it works
 
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Wolfito

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29 May 2019
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Bucharest
that's the whole purpose of the active substrate. to maintain a steady climate. the harder or let's say unclean the water placed in the tank the less lifespan the soil will have.
 

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