Using a Carbo Plus to add co2...q's about carbonate hardness
I've got this Carbo Plus kit, and I've been reading abouyt adding co2. I understand that the pH can be lowered when you add co2...so I bought a constant pH monitor. If I understand right, if the pH gets too low, I just turn off the Carbo unit. (but how low is too low?) Also, I've seen mentioned that carbonate hardness needs monitored. This is the part I really need help with. How do I know what the KH(?) should be and if it goes out of whack, how do I remedy it?
Get a freshwater hardness test kit, this is the one I have. If the water gets too hard, you can buy water softener "pillows" that you stick in your filter. What the KH should be depends on your flora and fauna, different species have different requirements.
Two keys about KH in your tanks.
Your KH needs to be at least 3 in any tank you are injecting CO2 in. Anything lower and you will have large swings in the pH that can stress your fish and kill them. Too high and your CO2 levels will kill the fish. 3-8 is a general safety range.
As for target levels for pH, this depends on your KH. CO2 Calculator. Download the calculator and play around with it. The key thing to remember is you want to have between 30 and 50ppm of CO2 and that you keep it steady. Steady levels is more important than high levels because fluctuating levels will cause algae, this is why I don't inject anymore. If you want to play it safe to start with, stick with the levels recommended by the calculator. It will grow plants and will be less likely to have your fish stressed or gasping for air.
Figure out what your KH is then figure out where you pH needs to be for both safety and high enough levels for best plant growth and that is what you go.
And to reiterate what Jasyn said, make sure your fish are going to tolerate the KH levels you have before messing with it.
Great, thanks! :D
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