Last night I checked the Ph and Kh in my 125. It had been set up and had water in it for about 5 days and it'd had 2 small crypts and a dozen zebra danios in it for about 24 hrs at the time I tested it. Filtration is 2 eheim 2217s and one marineland magnum 350. Substrate is aquariumplants.com substrate. Decor is driftwood, slate, green pebble, and a couple cocanut halves. The cocanut and driftwood has been boiled free of tannins.
The Ph read 6.4 and the Kh read less than 1 dKh. This was quite a shock to me because the water from the tap when I filled it was reading 10 dKh and Ph 8.0. I checked the tank water four more times and came up with the same readings every time. Confused I checked the tap water again, four times. Last night it was showing a Ph of around 7.4~7.6 and a Kh of 7 dKh all four times I checked it.
So my question is...Where are my carbonates going? Last night I was just confused, but this morning, it occured to me that maybe they could be settling? I didnt think about it before, but the water on the surface of the tank is virtually totally undisturbed because I will be adding CO2, and I was just getting water off the surface to test, could my carbonates be settling? Later today i will check the water near the dispersion bars to see if that might be the case.
I would point to the driftwood and coconuts. Even a good boiling might not get rid of all of the tannins in the wood. The acids from the would react with the carbonates, lowering your Kh and pH at the same time. Have you tried testing your tap water pH after it's sat out overnight? That will be closer to the water's actual pH than water tested straight out of the tap, and often tap water will drop in pH after it has had a chance to settle.
I have indeed, still 7 dKh. I also tested water from around the tank, different places and heights, still less than 1 dKh...The water hasnt been RO filtered, hasnt been boiled, and even with a little from the cocoanuts and driftwood, could that really be enough acid to neutralize all that carbonate? It seems unlikely to me, but I could be wrong. The fish havent been in there long enough nor are there enough of them, nor is the filtration ready enough to make that level of nitric acid.
I think that to some extent kh is temperature dependent? Perhaps the change is in adding it to a tank which is heated?
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