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Lowering tds...

Easternlethal

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15 Mar 2016
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Leaves, peat moss and HCl lower KH, not TDS.
Yes I know - but one of the methods, hcl seems the most convenient for me but raises tds as has been pointed out so I just want to understand whether high tds would affect harder to grow plants like pantanal, syns etc

Yes HK kh is quite low because there's no limestone in this part of the world but I have seryu stones in my tank which can raise kh by as much as 5 (now hovering around 3) and I would like to get it down to 1 or less
 
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aquanoobie

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I just want to understand whether high tds would affect harder to grow plants like pantanal, syns etc
That depends on what ions are causing the TDS increase.

Yes HK kh is quite low because there's no limestone in this part of the world but I have seryu stones in my tank which can raise kh by as much as 5 (now hovering around 3) and I would like to get it down to 1 or less
If you inject CO2 on those stones than it is like pouring hot water on ice cream. CO2 in -> KH out, that's how the stones work.
 
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Easternlethal

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Yes - i used some of it it to prop up substrate when I put my tank together before anticipating that I would care about kh so now I have to live with it
 
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Hanuman

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Yes I know - but one of the methods, hcl seems the most convenient for me but raises tds as has been pointed out so I just want to understand whether high tds would affect harder to grow plants like pantanal, syns etc

Yes HK kh is quite low because there's no limestone in this part of the world but I have seryu stones in my tank which can raise kh by as much as 5 (now hovering around 3) and I would like to get it down to 1 or less
I'll be frank but I would highly discourage you to use any sort of strong acids like HCL to reduce KH unless you know exactly what you are doing and understand the chemistry behind it. The use of strong acids to reduce KH is usually left to those with many years of experience and even then it is preferable to use RO than to try to reduce KH in that manner. The likelihood of you messing up one way or another (either with your tank or with yourself) by using acids are high.
 
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MichaelJ

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I'll be frank but I would highly discourage you to use any sort of strong acids like HCL to reduce KH unless you know exactly what you are doing and understand the chemistry behind it. The use of strong acids to reduce KH is usually left to those with many years of experience and even then it is preferable to use RO than to try to reduce KH in that matter. The likelihood of you messing up one way or another (either with your tank or with yourself) by using acids are high.
I am 100% with @Hanuman on this! Stay miles away from messing with hydrochloric acid (HCL) - it's terribly hard to apply the right way and very likely to put your livestock in jeopardy if you get it wrong! - If you can't do RO water or if your tank is too big to make buying distilled water impractical don't worry - you just have be mindful of your choice of plants and might have to dose a bit more fertilizers. That's all!

@Easternlethal how big is your tank again?

Cheers,
Michael
 
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Hanuman

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Well, looking at your Hong Kong water report you have nothing to worry about. Your local report says 0.5 to 2.4 dKH, average 1.4 dKH.
@Easternlethal If the above is your actual KH I don't even see why you need to reduce your KH. That's plenty low enough to grow virtually 100% of plants in the hobby. Even at 2.4dKH.
Edit: sorry just read that you are using Seryu stone. 2 options here. Either you remove them or use RO. Forget the rest. Peat moss will have a very minimal effect, if detectable since the amount of carbonates being dissolved from the stones will largely overcome the buffering capacity of the peat moss.
 
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MichaelJ

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@Easternlethal If the above is your actual KH I don't even see why you need to reduce your KH. That's plenty low enough to grow virtually 100% of plants in the hobby. Even at 2.4dKH.
Edit: sorry just read that you are using Seryu stone. 2 options here. Either you remove them or use RO. Forget the rest. Peat moss will have a very minimal effect, if detectable since the amount of carbonates being dissolved from the stones will largely overcome the buffering capacity of the peat moss.
2'ish KH water is perfect if you apply peat moss! Not a whole lot of buffering capacity there so the peat moss will definitely have an impact driving down both pH as well as the Carbonate hardness (KH) (somewhat) naturally.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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Hanuman

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2'ish KH water is perfect if you apply peat moss! Not a whole lot of buffering capacity there so the peat moss will definitely have an impact driving down both pH as well as the Carbonate hardness (KH) naturally (which is what you want).

Cheers,
Michael
Yes at 2 dKH and without any carbonate source it's perfectly fine to use peat moss, although not sure of the usefulness, but since he has seryu stone his dKH is probably much higher depending how many stones and how much CO2 he is injecting. I wouldn't be surprised if his dKH was >6-8dKH. Peat moss will do nothing much at those levels and whatever it does it won't be enough to matter. Also something to note, if you use a lot of peat moss you will start coloring the water which is probably not something you want.
 

Yugang

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Yes at 2 dKH and without any carbonate source it's perfectly fine to use peat moss, although not sure of the usefulness, but since he has seryu stone his dKH is probably much higher depending how many stones and how much CO2 he is injecting. I wouldn't be surprised if his dKH was >6-8dKH. Peat moss will do nothing much at those levels and whatever it does it won't be enough to matter. Also something to note, if you use a lot of peat moss you will start coloring the water which is probably not something you want.
Tank: Dimensions are 160cmX45cmX60cm
KH is around 1 out of the tap
Water change 60 - 70% weekly.

With this much WC at KH1, would the stones have that much impact in one week? From what I understand stones are also mostly in the substrate, so less flow around them.
i used some of it it to prop up substrate

Why not go out hiking @Easternlethal , HK has beautifull rocks everywhere, volcanic origin. Perhaps take some Seryu out and replace with local rock (which has a beautiful color and texture)?


Irrelevant footnote: Geological History and Hong Kong Rocks - Hong Kong Geology. I like my rocks to be 142 mio years old, and that is just what I happen to find around my home.
 
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Easternlethal

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@Easternlethal If the above is your actual KH I don't even see why you need to reduce your KH. That's plenty low enough to grow virtually 100% of plants in the hobby. Even at 2.4dKH.
Edit: sorry just read that you are using Seryu stone. 2 options here. Either you remove them or use RO. Forget the rest. Peat moss will have a very minimal effect, if detectable since the amount of carbonates being dissolved from the stones will largely overcome the buffering capacity of the peat moss.

Yes I know I don't need low kh but I'm just trying to see whether it makes some of the more difficult plants I want to grow a bit easier. If it doesn't then I will abandon the idea

Yes I know hcl is difficult, but.. tom barr once said ' you will not get arrested by the fish police for trying'. So it's okay I won't blame anyone if it goes wrong

And Yes I have removed as much seryu as I can. There's just one or two pieces which are being used to prop up the substrate which I can't. My tank is 76 gallons and hovering between 3 and 5 depending on how much co2 I pump in and whether I clean the seryu

For RO it looks like I'll need quite a big unit which I'm not sure I have the space for.

So I'm thinking of catapa leaves (plentiful supply in our part of the world) and a tiny bit of hcl - just to reduce maybe 50 ppm.

Anyway I don't really want to derail this thread, which is about lowering tds and I just wanted to understand whether low tds would help plant growth

Really appreciate and grateful for everyone's advice!

I know that many people say dont worry about tds or kh or this or that but in my experience, sooner or later curiosity will always get the better of me and I just have to try something before I will rule it out
 
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erwin123

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Yes I know I don't need low kh but I'm just trying to see whether it makes some of the more difficult plants I want to grow a bit easier. If it doesn't then I will abandon the idea
What difficult plants are you growing?
I am also trying to grow difficult plants, but since I am using tap water and a pre-mixed fert, there's only so much I can tweak in those areas.
Instead, I am focusing on factors I can control like CO2, water circulation, and tank maintenance.
 

plantnoobdude

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For those who play around with tds, what are the pros and cons in terms of plant health?
TDS it's self doesn't mean much. only if you use full RO can you make a guess at what it is made up of. for example you could have 100ppm TDS from NaCl, or Nh4no3. the "100" number doesn't have much meaning.
I like looking at Tds as it gives you an Idea of nutrients consumption or accumulation.
 

Easternlethal

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TDS it's self doesn't mean much. only if you use full RO can you make a guess at what it is made up of. for example you could have 100ppm TDS from NaCl, or Nh4no3. the "100" number doesn't have much meaning.
I like looking at Tds as it gives you an Idea of nutrients consumption or accumulation
ah i see... right up my street. Sounds like RO is the way to go then.
What difficult plants are you growing?
just the usual suspects - tonina, pantanal, syns, wallichi. some of these I can already grow but its always a bit hit and miss in my current tank
would the stones have that much impact in one week?
yes they can. seryu stones should come with a warning
 

Easternlethal

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i'm not going for 0 - just want to knock off 2 or 3 dkh to get to 1 or 2. am very close already (at 3 to 5). if i see good results then yea I may end up digging them out
 

erwin123

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ah i see... right up my street. Sounds like RO is the way to go then.

just the usual suspects - tonina, pantanal, syns, wallichi. some of these I can already grow but its always a bit hit and miss in my current tank
I have no problems growing them in kH 3-4.
 

aquanoobie

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ah i see... right up my street. Sounds like RO is the way to go then.
i'm not going for 0 - just want to knock off 2 or 3 dkh to get to 1 or 2. am very close already (at 3 to 5). if i see good results then yea I may end up digging them out
Why not use the stones since you have them in and they look so nice. Well, you can start changing water using your new RO and not worrying about calcium and KH because the stones will take care of it.

You only need to add Mg and NPK with trace elements. The RO water changed quantity and timing can be synchronized with testing dKH and TDS.
 
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