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Glaive
08-06-2005, 04:06 PM
Back ground:
My mother's house water is softened. The kitchen sink has a 3 stage RO unit for drinking water.

Surprise:
I have long thought that the sink in the garage was unsoftened water, today I found out I was wrong.

Information:
So I picked up a strip test kit because I am way too lazy to titrate as many readings as I wanted. I feel for any one who uses strips, they are ambigous at best. However they will work fine for this test.

Strips read:

pH
Scale: 5.5, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, 9.5.

alkalinity <carbonate hardnes or Kh>
Scale<in ppm>: 0, 40, 80, 120, 180, 300, 720.

total hardness <Gh>
Scale<in ppm>: 0, 25, 75, 150, 300, 1000.

At times I will estimate if it looks between colors.

My Tank:
substrate:Gravel with some crushed coral.
Buffers: Crushed coral and shells in my cannister.

Parents disaster, ummm tank:
Substrate: Gravel and river stones.
Buffers: none.

Tap water:
The tap water is from the garage which tests the same as the kitchen sink.

RO:
Threestage under the sink unit with 5 gallon holding tank.

Results:

R.O.
pH 6.5
Gh 0
Kh 0

Tap
pH 8.5
Gh 75
Kh 300

My Tank
pH 8.5
Gh 150
Kh 180

Parent's Tank
pH 8.5
Gh 75
Kh 120

Notes: Both tanks had water changes at the same time. Mine was the usual 25% thiers was a complete change. Tests were taken yesterday <friday>, changes were done last saturday.

I just did my Regular tank change for my tank to get the post change results.

My tank:
pH 8.5
Gh 75
Kh 240 <strip read between 180 and 300>

Data:
Change over one week:
My tank:
pH 8.5 >> 8.5
Gh 75 >> 150
Kh 240 >> 180

Thier tank<remembering 100% water change>:
pH 8.5 >> 8.5
Gh 75 >> 75
Kh 300 >> 120

Things of interest:

My Gh increases while thiers stays the same. I am going to have to attribute that to the lava rock in my tank. I believe this higher Gh prevents my Kh from getting any higher than it is.

My Kh stays higher, I will attribute that to the shells and coral in my tank.

As soon as I can get ahold of some more crushed coral or shells I will set up a bucket with ro water and a power head for water movement. I have 3 experiments to conduct.
1. Lava rock only.
2. Crushed coral only
3. Both.
I will return the results to this thread.

RedParrotBubbles85
08-06-2005, 04:29 PM
Wow! seems like you are really investigating this. when you get the results be sure to post them!
-Mike

Glaive
08-06-2005, 04:59 PM
Will do I seem to over do stuff and torture people on a regular basis. :saw:

Update Re: Lava Rocks Test

At 3pm today I put about half of a pound of lava rocks into half a gallon of water. I placed a 60 gph powerhead in the container. Keep in mind this is a very high concentration of lava rock for the ammount of water, and the pieces are about thumb sized on average so there is a lot of surface area.

Readings:

3pm
pH 6.5
Gh 0
kH 0

5pm
pH 6.5
Gh 25
kH 0

7pm
pH 7.0
Gh 50
kH 0


9:30pm
pH 7.0
Gh 50
kH 20 <<think this was bleed off of the other indicators


11am
pH 6.5
Gh 50
kH 0

Lava rock test done. Will tryt o get some carbonic material while I am out today.

z rock
08-08-2005, 01:18 PM
Lava rock should be inert if it's clean. Sodium chloride (from softner) won't contribute to KH or GH. It will add to total conductivity/salinity.

Usually the higher the GH the more likely calcium,magnesium,carbonate, ect. will fall out of suspension (solution?)

I would wait longer on the lava rock test. GH will probably fall out.

It's interesting along the volcanoes of the Great Rift Valley MT Kenya, just east of the the rift lakes, there are (soda lakes) where all those pink Flamingoes are (lake Natron I belive).

The volcanoes produce water saturated with carbonate.It's bitter and unfit to drink. The Flamingoes hold their head upside down and strain algae from the water.

There is a Tilapia species from there that lives in 110deg water!

It's amazing the amount of knowlege that exist at the library vidio section that can't be had on a forum.




:dance:

Glaive
08-08-2005, 02:35 PM
Just looking for a scientific debate.



Lava rock should be inert if it's clean. Sodium chloride (from softner) won't contribute to KH or GH. It will add to total conductivity/salinity.


Interesting on the inertness of lava rock, perhaps I will try a more thurough cleaning of other pieces and try again.

Sodium ions in the example of a water softener only affect the GH not the KH. The softener uses sodium ions to replace magneseum, calcium and oft iron ions all of which are measured in GH.

[quote]
Usually the higher the GH the more likely calcium,magnesium,carbonate, ect. will fall out of suspension (solution?)
[quote]

I think you meant they will precipitate.

GH is the measure of Calcium Magnesium, and other misc ions in a solution.

KH is the measure carbonate in solution.

Depending on ones water conditions, ie temp and current saturation levels, these ions and anion will seek an equilibrium.

I would venture to say that the higher a GH the more difficult it is to raise one's KH. It's not that they will fall out of solution it's that they will never get to solution, or remain a precipitate if you will.

[quote]
I would wait longer on the lava rock test. GH will probably fall out.
[quote]

I will check up on the lava rock experiment tonight and post results, if I ever manage to finish the current favor. <Could kill a virus/worm writer at this moment.>

z rock
08-11-2005, 04:11 PM
Here's some pieces of good reading from a book called "The Complete Aquarium"

Quote:
Calcium carbonates form carbonic acid, which then produces calcium bicarbonates and the hydrodgen ions needed for buffering. Till it becomes coated with bacterial slime and will soon contribute nothing to buffering.

Sodium bicarbonate is the best buffer to use.Relying on the addition of crushed coral or limestone to maintain PH is not a good idea. It causes calcium levels to rise abnormaly and changes the chemical balance of water.

Calcium carbonate present in the tank involved in the process of buffering will eventually become coated with newer precipitates of calcium and magnesium carbonate. This inhibits the solubility of calcium carbonate and it's ability to contribute to buffering.

End quote.


Example: pics of calcium and magnesium percipitating onto the rocks can be seen in Konings Tanganyikan books.

"The Complete Aquarium by Peter Scott" Pete is a Veterinarian and president of British Vet Zoological society, Ornamental fish International, advises public aquariums and all kinds of other important stuff.:lol:

Personally I think people get there salt water keeping confused with there freshwater.

Salt people use RO water that has to be reconstituted without the pollutants that will destroy corals. With a 6.8 PH the coral substrate would dissolve to a certain extent.

The synthetic salt used in marine tanks contain the buffers required to maintain a 8.2 PH so the coral is probably not mandatory in a marine tank.

Reef keepers also use calcium reactors to help buffer and add calcium. These require C02 to dissolve the calcium.


(I know how you feel about the worm's, viruses, and pop up adds!) My computer got CRASHED .....literaly!

Glaive
08-11-2005, 05:26 PM
I just lost a fight on a friend's system with very nasty new worm/virus that was unknown to all the major companies. Hopefully one of them will be able to use my information to stop it.



Calcium carbonates form carbonic acid, which then produces calcium bicarbonates and the hydrodgen ions needed for buffering. Till it becomes coated with bacterial slime and will soon contribute nothing to buffering.


I can understand the bacterial slime reducing the ability to go to solution, however every material has a basic disolution constant, that can be modified given other materials already existing in solution. Though it would more than likely be rather marginal, I would believe that algae would have a much greater effect on this as would the ammount of ions already present in solution.

However while correct in terminology, hydrogen ions described as a buffer, he is a fair bit off base relating hydrogen ions as a buffer in a basic tank (high pH).

When a solution is basic then the buffer is what prevents an abundance of hydrogen ions in solution. If teh solution was acidic then one would refrence the hydrogen ions as a buffer.



read this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonic_acid)

Notice that both bicarbonate and carbonate can form carbonic acid.



Sodium bicarbonate is the best buffer to use.Relying on the addition of crushed coral or limestone to maintain PH is not a good idea. It causes calcium levels to rise abnormaly and changes the chemical balance of water.


When he states that sodium bicarbonate is the best buffer to use he states the wrong reason for this. It is not about over saturation of calcium. It is that bicarbonate is a better buffer it takes more hydrogen ions to "fill up" a bicarbonate anion than it does a cabonate anion. One negative to this is it takes a lot less bicarbonate to balance a pH there by making its addition more delicate

That was the easiest way for me to begin debasing his information. I think the man may be a talented vet, however no chemist is he. I don't think he truly understands



Example: pics of calcium and magnesium percipitating onto the rocks can be seen in Konings Tanganyikan books.


Yet Lake Tanganyika maintains the highest pH and hardest water of the lakes.



Reef keepers also use calcium reactors to help buffer and add calcium. These require C02 to dissolve the calcium.


The calcium reactor helps sepperate calcium into a usable form by the corals because they need it. The dirrect injection of CO2 acts as a catalyst, driving higher ammounts of calcium ions into solution than would otherwise.

I have a rather extensive educational back ground in enviro engineering water shed management with an emphasis in water quality.

I have had an extensive ammount of training in chemistry along the way, all the upper level courses were environmental in relation.

This gives me an unfair advantage over <Dr?> Peter Scott because his formal training would have been in cellular chemistry predominantly, unless he has a minor floating around. These are two very very different subjects, to the degree that knowledge in one does not make for exclusive knowledge in the other.

I think over time it has been proven that crushed coral and other carbonic materials do a rather adequate job of buffering water. At least it has in my own tank especially when you look at the KH of my parents tank which is the same water just unbuffered.

Another note carbonic acid is a weak acid, it has weaker bonds so it is broken uo easier than a strong acid. I would personally be much more concerned about the nitric acid that occurs naturally, in very small amounts, as a biproduct of the nitrogen cycle.

Just my honest two dollars. :) (Can't say two cents that was way to long a post.)