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Akadama - Used as a water conditioner?


9 Jul 2007
Reading James thread got me thinking. Using small amounts of Akadama, do you think we coudl use it as a KH lowering mechanism? I've got pretty hard water and though itmight be a way to lower the KH a little without needing RO.

Not something I'm planning on trying but i'm curious if something like this could be used to drop the KH of hard water? I'm sure the chemist's on here will have something to say :)

It could be but it'd be quite expensive and not very controllable. Akadama itself doesn't actually lower KH but is a result of hydrogen exchange with cations. It's the hydrogen ions (H+) or more commonly known as acid that causes the KH to drop. You could therefore add an acid to the water to lower the KH - it has been done before :? . Main problem with doing this is that you end up with KH and pH values going up and down.

Akadama and other high CEC value substrates like kitty litter will only lower KH whilst they are exchanging cations (Mg++, Ca++, etc). When the substrate is saturated this will no longer happen and KH will no longer drop.