Baking Soda and KH
I have a plant tank and would like to know if raising my KH to between 4 and 6 would be beneficial to my plants. I know it will affect my PH. I have DIY co2 and KH is approx 2 at the moment. I wanted to use Baking Soda to increase my KH as this is 10 times cheaper than the KH increaser they sell at my local aquarium shop who tell me Baking Soda is high in Phosphates.How much different is it? Can anyone advise
An easier way to increase your KH is to add crushed coral to the tank. Add a small amount, maybe 1 Tablespoon per 10 gallons to see how much it affects the KH. Give it a good week or better 2 weeks to stabilize again to see where your KH actually will be. I actually keep my KH at about 7 and I don't inject CO2 and my plants thrive when I dose regularly under almost moderate light, 3.5 w/g on a 10 gallon tanks. My LFS sells crushed coral for $7 a pound which will go a long way.
Baking soda does not contain phosphates.
Though some types of baking powders do....be careful which one you use.
I would imagine though, if given the option of living in water full of sodium (sodium bicarbonate = baking soda) or calcium (calcium carbonate = coral), I'd choose calcium....
So yes, use the crushed coral....
Coral will affect GH too, no?
Thanks for the good feed back. I'll try that but will a higher KH benefit plant grow
Add a small handful of crushed coral to your filter if it has baskets. I did this with my 75G, and it took almost 3 weeks before I started to see it register. It's the safest method to increase your kh, as it increases very slowly over a long period of time. Replace the CC about every 3-5 months by removing what may be left, as it does disolve. Or just add new to what's in the filter. Either method is fine.
If using baking soda, it must be added with each PWC, and if you don't get the dosages correct, or accidentally do too much, the kh swings could result in deaths. I don';t like that method myself, but others use it pretty effectively. I personally prefer the more natural approach with crushed coral.
As for benefiting plant growth, it won't do alot for plant growth. What does affect growth is CO2, nitrates, phosphates, potassium, and all the micros.
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