[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Index by Month]

Re: [AGA Member] Soft water management (shift from newbie with some quesitons)

On Thursday 15 May 2003 16:10, Dennis wrote in reply to June:

> > I just expect that the city will dump stuff in the water. We get high pH
> > with the soft water due to addition of Sodium Hydroxide (reduces risk of
> heh.. You wouldn't lye to me, would you?  No doubt there isn't
> enough to be meaningful, but that stuff absorbs both oxygen and co2.

The amount of sodium hydroxide that it takes to increase the pH of soft water 
to 8 or so is completely benign.  The hydroxide reacts with carbon dioxide to 
form bicarbonate.  That reaction takes place before the water comes out of 
the tap, so even though the utility adds sodium hydroxide, what you get at 
the tap is a tiny bit of baking soda in your water.

Oxygen does not react with sodium hydroxide.

> You can't remove it or neutralize it with Amquel or anything else
> safe enough to then put in the tank - unless lots of vitamin C
> (acetic acid) won't hurt anything.. That stuff does accumulate,
> especially in closed systems with its tendancy to combine with many
> organic/inorganic substances. It would scare me to use that water
> long term.

Dennis, check your source of information.  There is no need to neutralize or 
remove the tiny amount of sodium bicarb that the sodium hydroxide creates in 

> > I do use tests to spot check, especially the KH and pH so I can tell how
> > much CO2 I am running. I also test for Nitrate and Phosphate, but usually
> I'm no chemist, and I don't even play one on TV, but with the pH
> artificially skewed by the caustic soda, I would think that this
> would skew your tests..


> Interesting approach, June.  I think I do the opposite. I don't add
> phosphates since there should be plenty, subscribing to the detritus
> food chain approach. My worry is too high phosphate, since this
> contributes to algae growth.

Phosphate contributes to algae growth and plant growth in exactly the same 
manner as any other nutrient.  Just as with any other essential nutrient, 
plant growth stops when there isn't enough phosphorus available to the plants.

> Right now I'm experimenting with Borax treatments in an attempt to
> find a convenient way to both remove unwanted organisms from new
> plants we've bought before introducing them to the tank; and to also
> find a treatment for older leaves discolored over time by algae.

Take care.  The boron in borax is an essential trace element, but it is also 
toxic to plants in concentrations less than 1 ppm.  I don't know what 
symptoms to expect other than reduced growth and I don't know if the toxicity 
will be expressed by a brief foliar exposure.  I am pretty sure that you will 
want to be careful to rinse the excess borax off the plants before they go 
back to your tank.

> > NICE set up. Are you running any CO2? (forgive me if you already
> > shared all
> Thank you, June.  I'm using one of those rare critters - a Jebo
> carbon block system.

Paul Sears (a chemist by profession) believes that the carbon electrode CO2 
systems are pretty much a scam; they generate CO2 entirely from the 
bicarbonate in your water, not from the carbon in the electrode.

 To unsubscribe from this list, please send mail to majordomo@thekrib.com
 with "Unsubscribe aga-member" in the body of the message.  Archives of
 this list can be found at http://lists.thekrib.com/aga-member/