Tropical Fish Keeping banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
what is KH?
i read it was somthing to do with plants? is this wrong?
thanks
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
750 Posts
Is is defined here...

Carbonate hardness or temporary hardness. Measures the buffering capacity or the ability to absorb and neutralize added acid without major changes to pH. Think of buffering capacity as a big sponge, the higher the buffering, the bigger the sponge. How much buffering does your tank need? The higher the kH (the bigger the sponge), the more resistant to pH changes your water will be. A tank's kH should be high enough to prevent large pH swings over time. If your kH is below roughly 4.5 OdH, you should pay special attention to your tank's pH (e.g., testing periodically) until you get a feel for how stable the pH is.
Buffering is both good and bad. On the good side, the nitrogen cycle in our tanks produces nitric acid (nitrate). If we don’t have buffering (kH), the pH will drop over time. Sufficient buffering will keep the Ph stable. On the bad side, hard water almost always has a large buffering capacity and if the pH is to high for your fish, this large buffering capacity will make it more difficult to lower the pH.
Buffering is sometimes referred to as "alkalinity" but should not be confused with "alkaline". Alkalinity refers to buffering and alkaline refers to a solution that is base rather than acid (pH).
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
750 Posts
I'm glad you understand, becuase I don't. LOL

Even with all my schoolin, I am still not too much edumecated. I guess I need to go back to school so I can learneded some more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,248 Posts
KH is carbonate hardness, temporary hardness, buffering capacity or alkalinity. This is a measure of the amount of buffering minerals in the water (mostly carbonates), that resist acidification of the water (it is basically the lime scale you see in the kettle).

The higher the KH, the more resistant your water will be when it comes to pH changes. Basically, if you were trying to use CO2, your KH should be no lower than 4dH otherwise, you have to monitor your pH carefully as low KH often results to pH crash. Your KH should measure higher than 4dH so large pH swings can be avoided.

To clarify further, KH is basically a pH buffer. The higher your KH, the more stable your pH will be and the more difficult to adjust your pH. If your KH is lower than 4, pH swings are likely to happen. Adding sodium bicarbonate will increase your KH therefore stabilizing the pH and preventing it from decreasing in all of a sudden which could result to pH crash killing the fish. If you use RO water, its KH is basically non-existent or zero, so pH can change dramatically with the use of RO water.

GH is general hardness or permanent hardness and is a mixture of calcium and magnesium salts. GH is independent to KH and pH.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,248 Posts
Thank goodness. Eddie beat me.:sarcastic: :mrgreen:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,248 Posts
There's one thing that bothers me. CO2 can reduce KH according to the site Eddie linked into?:squint: I don't think that would be true. If we have the KH below 4.5 dKH and we inject CO2, obviously the pH will crash but not the KH which serves as a buffering capacity.
I encountered this one in hopes of finding out if CO2 can really reduce the KH.

CO2 does not lower KH. Because H2CO3 (carbonic acid), is an acid, it is assumed that it will lower the KH. This is not true as only the chemical species change which provide alkalinity.

H2CO3 --> H+ + HCO3-
HCO3- --> H+ + CO3--

The pH will change, but the KH remains the same. The net change is zero.

KH drops when a acid with a pKa (dissolution constant) greater than carbonic acid is added to the water from fish metabolites, bacteria, decay, etc. This lowers the KH as it exhausts the ability of the primary 'buffers', e.g. carbonate, bicarbonate to accept any more protons....(H+), called the carbonic acid equivalence point.
Edit: It seems the site was wrong to say that the CO2 can lower KH. KH is a buffering capacity and if a pH crash occurs, only the pH would reduce but not the KH which will stay the same.

The other possible mistake:
KH can be increased by increasing surface agitation.
~Again KH can be increased by addition of sodium bicarbonate but aeration will not obviously produce sodium bicarbonate. So this is a mistake, isn't it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Blue said:
There's one thing that bothers me. CO2 can reduce KH according to the site Eddie linked into?:squint: I don't think that would be true. If we have the KH below 4.5 dKH and we inject CO2, obviously the pH will crash but not the KH which serves as a buffering capacity.
I encountered this one in hopes of finding out if CO2 can really reduce the KH.

CO2 does not lower KH. Because H2CO3 (carbonic acid), is an acid, it is assumed that it will lower the KH. This is not true as only the chemical species change which provide alkalinity.

H2CO3 --> H+ + HCO3-
HCO3- --> H+ + CO3--

The pH will change, but the KH remains the same. The net change is zero.

KH drops when a acid with a pKa (dissolution constant) greater than carbonic acid is added to the water from fish metabolites, bacteria, decay, etc. This lowers the KH as it exhausts the ability of the primary 'buffers', e.g. carbonate, bicarbonate to accept any more protons....(H+), called the carbonic acid equivalence point.

this is highly complecated stuff
:thankyou: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: lol my poor head cant take much more
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,248 Posts
Lol..But, Sazzy, this does seem complicated.:mrgreen: I have edited my last post and added the information confirming that KH will not indeed be reduced via the use of CO2.:) At least, if you understand this one, it won't be that complex as you think.:thumbsup:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
786 Posts
sazzy said:
what is KH?
i read it was somthing to do with plants? is this wrong?
thanks
Saz:

I have read through this thread and it "sounds like one of my long winded posts" (even though I try to stick with the basics)!

The "way that I think of" Kh (although simplistic*) is the quantity of calcium present in the water.

The "way that I think of Gh (although once again simplistic*) is the quantity of calcium and magnesium present in the water.

TR


PS:

* Please keep as I refer to me “in your brain” my main post.

The hobbyist’s definition of hardness varies significantly from the populate definition of hardness.

The populate definition, in my words of softness (ie. lack of hardness), is what type of water makes my soaps work?

My definition (although again simplistic) of softness is water (H2oO) which is virtually free of minerals (whether they be calcium, sodium, potassium, etc)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,248 Posts
Ron, I have the feeling this thread is going to be another ongoing debatable one.:wink2: After we have gone through with salts, water changes, carbon and HITH, this is the next one we can simply try to figure out.:shock2:

Wow..I'm impressed by how this forum is doing well and now these complicated subjects are also appearing and can be fun to learn with.:mrgreen:
:wink2:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
786 Posts
Blue said:
Ron, I have the feeling this thread is going to be another ongoing debatable one.:wink2: After we have gone through with salts, water changes, carbon and HITH, this is the next one we can simply try to figure out.:shock2:

Wow..I'm impressed by how this forum is doing well and now these complicated subjects are also appearing and can be fun to learn with.:mrgreen:
:wink2:
Thanks a ton Blue.

I am:
really learning a bunch from this forum and
am trying to contribute IMHO what I can from education, profession and experience.

TR

BTW: Am still!!! workng on a response to the various posts in the HITH thread (BB's 3 to 5 hours as well as others has become several days [on and off for me]).

TR
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top