ALK Buffer - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-23-2012, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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ALK Buffer

I use RO/DI water. The problem is how to buffer. From my SW experience I know that the main buffering agents are soda ash and sodium bicarbonate. Soda ash raises PH which I don't want and sodium bicarbonate adds salt. Which to use for FW tanks? I am getting a Cardinal Tetra tank ready and need low GH.
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-23-2012, 10:35 PM
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no real need to buffer, cardinals come from water with pH as low as 3.0 or 4.0, just let it drop, though you may need to increase GH a little if live plants are to be added
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-24-2012, 06:40 AM
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i believe if your using RO/DI water for freshwater tanks its the lack of minerals that comes of concern as the water is to pure. i remember seeing a product called "RO Right" or something similiar which is supposed to replace lost minerals in your RO/DI water but i have no experience using it. it wouldnt hurt to look into that though.

is there an issue with your tap and a dechlorinator? or i should say, why use only ro?
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-24-2012, 02:29 PM
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Yes, unless there is something in the tap water that you do not want in the tank, the cheapest and easiest solution is to use some tap water with the RO. However, as Quantum pointed out, cardinals do not need any of this, so be careful.

I never buffer pH, my tanks are at 5 or perhaps less, no test kit I can find goes below 5. I do however have to add some GH due to the plants, as Quantum mentioned. There is insufficient calcium and magnesium in prepared fertilizers, since they assume tap water will supply most of these. My tap water is near zero GH and KH.

On a related item, I just posted this photo in another thread so thought I'd stick it in here too, as an example of a very authentic cardinal tetra biotope; more leaves on the substrate is about all I would add. Dim light, essential for cardinals as they have a "light phobia." The second photo is a specific biotope of the Rio Huallaga in Peru.

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Attached Images
File Type: jpg Amazon cardinal habitat.jpg (38.9 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg Rio Huallaga aquascape.jpg (74.1 KB, 21 views)

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

Last edited by Byron; 01-24-2012 at 02:40 PM.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-24-2012, 06:24 PM
damn those are nice! what are those floating plants?
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-24-2012, 06:47 PM
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damn those are nice! what are those floating plants?
Amazon Frogbit in the first tank, and I think probably the same in the second. These are tanks where Water Sprite would also be absolutely ideal.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-24-2012, 07:49 PM
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Amazon Frogbit in the first tank, and I think probably the same in the second. These are tanks where Water Sprite would also be absolutely ideal.
hmm wish i could fine some of that around here hehe
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-24-2012, 07:58 PM
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hmm wish i could fine some of that around here hehe
You are in Canada, as I am, so when the weather warms if you still want some Water Sprite, I can mail some and will only charge you postage. I might be able to include Frogbit too; I do have it, but it goes through periods of decline down to a couple of leaves. Right now it is growing again.

In cold weather the plants might well be killed after 3-4 days. I sent some plants to a member in Ontario early last fall that arrived OK, took 4 days I believe. Remind me in the Spring, as I will otherwise forget.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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