Water hardness dkh? What is it- what is right- how do you get there?

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by jasno999, Dec 10, 2007.

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  1. jasno999

    jasno999 Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Water hardness dkh? What is it- what is right- how do you get there?

    I am very confused by the whole water hardness thing. I understand the general concept but I don’t understand how it all works and what the proper levels are. I also don’t get how hardness and calcium are linked together and how they interact….


    I was hoping somebody could give me a nuts and bold breakdown about how it all works together. I would also like to know what the proper levels are and how I make sure my water stays there…

    Currently I have a RO water purifier. I use this to make all the water that goes in my tank. After I get it I mix it with salt and that is what I do a water change with. However should I be adding something to this mix to make sure my water hardness is at the proper level???? Need help.
     
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  3. reef_guru

    reef_guru Humpback Whale

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  4. Tangster

    Tangster 3reef Sponsor

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    Well if you can read through that boring dribble about water chemistry then you'll maybe find out what going on.. But to put it simply DKH is the level of available Carbonates in dissolved into the systems water and they are derived from the additions of Carbonates. And the carbonates job is the same as a Rolaids/Tumms is to help , naturalize acids when in the system. From Food and fish waste and their respiration everything that using carbons as a food source adds acids and they have to be off set . DKH is the acronym for Degrees of carbonate hardness Alkalinity means the same thing Just a different way of saying it and or testing form them. I like DKH myself. And if you keep these levels at a proper number 12 DKH on average you won't have to much to worry about with P.H you can have a low P.H and be fine with carbonates But you can't have a Low DKH and have a good P.H . P.H is just a means to establish the waters ability to off set acids But does not tell to what extent.

    Now Calcium I like mine at 450 to 500 does not like Carbonates ones a positive ion and the other is a negative ion. Like trying to push the opposite ends of a magnet together to get them to bind up and play together.. Calcium and Carbonates form Calcium Carbonates and thats the building block the corals use to build their skeleton. But as I mentioned like water and oil they don't like to mix or bond .

    There where to old Epsom Salts comes in its the emulsifier to make them play nice together You have to get both the Ca and The Carbonates to raise up at the same time or one will get over the other and its a job to get them back in balance, Your Magnesium should be at a level of 1400 ppm at the minimum before you start to add the needed buffers aka carbonates and calcium. Thats about it in a nut shell
    In any system I ever ran I like to keep my
    DKH at 13 to 15
    Calcium at 450 to 500
    Mag. at 1500 to 1600
     
  5. cuttingras

    cuttingras Starving Artist :)

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    Good explanation Tangster, I've always wondered that too!

    My water here is very hard even with the ro/di it's at 18-20 is this good?
     
  6. Otty

    Otty Giant Squid

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    I going to start calling you Professor Tangster! OB1 for short! :p
     
  7. jasno999

    jasno999 Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    GOt a littme mixed up with some of the wordign but I understand your point and you have made it a lot eaiser to understand then what I have read in books or seen in other places.....

    at the same tiem this is sort of half art and half science. I guess I will get a magnesium kit one of these days and measure those 3 parameters to see where I am. I have doen fine without it up to now but if I ever go to a larger scale tank I will want to get all this type of stuff in order....

    Thanks
     
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  9. Tangster

    Tangster 3reef Sponsor

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    No its all science in how it works But so is the fuel in a cars gas tank. But Most and Me included really could care less about the refining process all we need to know and care about is how much is in our tank and will it burn in our motors and how many understand that process ? :) I think many just like to overly complicate the stuff to make themselves sound smart :) or sell a book . But its as simple as pie.. And all that one needs to know to maintain a reef tank would and should require less then a paragraph or two to explain. And any worging that you did not understand point it out and I'll take a run at it from another angle .. No problem.. :)
     
  10. jasno999

    jasno999 Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    I like you more and more. I agree that things get over complicated and people like to make it seem that way. But in most cases things can be broken down into easy steps....

    I said it is part art cause gettign the combination of ingrediants just right for your specific tank can be somewhat of an art. The science tells you what is wrong or off and then you know what to add or do. But getting it perfect is part "art"
     
  11. reef_guru

    reef_guru Humpback Whale

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    huh, lol
     
  12. kookie_guy

    kookie_guy Spaghetti Worm

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    wait a sec...quick question....

    So is checking for alkalinity the same as checking for dHK? Or do I need a test kit for each of these things?