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Old 07-22-2012, 05:53 PM   #1
Dmckmc
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Default Calcium Defeciency

My Amarath Redroot shows signs of calcium (I think) defeciency. Its new growth is stunted, twisted, and does not fully develope.

I'm curious if there is anything I can do to experiment and try to increase the amount of calcium in the tank.

1. Does anyone add calcium supplements to their tanks? If so, what type?
2. Has anyone tried to use crushed coral as a filter media to increase calcium?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:25 PM   #2
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A bunch of people here dose calcium, espescially if using ro water. There are a bunch of remineralization products on the market that can be used to do this, seachem equilibrium, kent ro right, and the diy version gh gooster. Crushed coral can be used for calcium but it also raises kh so you might want to read more into that.

If you are using tap water, have you tested your parameters? Most tap water will usually have some calcium in it already, some you will have to supplement with products stated above. If using pure ro, then you will definately need to add some. Rember, calcium and magnesium usually go hand in hand. Both of those contribute to your gh. Most will dose 3:1 ca to mg or something like that.

If this is the tank in your sig, there is no mention of co2. You are pretty much on the borderline on needing the use of co2 with that light fixture.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:36 PM   #3
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A bunch of people here dose calcium, espescially if using ro water. There are a bunch of remineralization products on the market that can be used to do this, seachem equilibrium, kent ro right, and the diy version gh gooster. Crushed coral can be used for calcium but it also raises kh so you might want to read more into that.

If you are using tap water, have you tested your parameters? Most tap water will usually have some calcium in it already, some you will have to supplement with products stated above. If using pure ro, then you will definately need to add some. Rember, calcium and magnesium usually go hand in hand. Both of those contribute to your gh. Most will dose 3:1 ca to mg or something like that.

If this is the tank in your sig, there is no mention of co2. You are pretty much on the borderline on needing the use of co2 with that light fixture.
Thanks for the reply. I am using tap water but have never tested for calcium or GH. I'm embarassed to say that I only test the basics - NO2, PO4, amonia, and NO3. I don't know what GH stands for, what it is, or how much I should have....

Can you educate me?

I do have pressurized CO2 although it has been down for the last 5 days with a clogged Atomizer and I want to upgrade my Milaukee regulator.

Thanks.
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*Lighting 108W of a 216W T5HO Aquatic Life hood 25" from substrate 8.5 hours daily.
*Amarath Redroot, Waterhyssop, Brazilian Pennywort, Water Wisteria, Jungle Val, Moss Ball, Riccia, Nana, Java Lace, Cryptocoryne, Pigmy Chain Sword.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:58 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply. I am using tap water but have never tested for calcium or GH. I'm embarassed to say that I only test the basics - NO2, PO4, amonia, and NO3. I don't know what GH stands for, what it is, or how much I should have....

Can you educate me?

I do have pressurized CO2 although it has been down for the last 5 days with a clogged Atomizer and I want to upgrade my Milaukee regulator.

Thanks.

Gh=general hardness. Basically the amounts of ca and mg in your water. Since you are using tap, I highly doubt you would have a ca deficiency unless you have super soft water, gh>2. Gh should be around 5 or so for good plant growth. Shrimpers have their own set of "rules" regarding gh. I would blame the lack of or inconsistent co2 with higher lighting more than anything. It won't hurt to use a bit of gh booster along with your other ferts(npk+traces) just in case your tap is heavy in ca and lacking in mg or vice versa. A bit of gh booster per ei dosing will negate your tap as a cause of stunting. The only time I experienced the kind of stunting you described was when my co2 ran out for a few days and I got lazy with wc. For some reason my gh got to 11-12, but the stunting only happed with softer water species(synoganthus and erios) and my rotala wallichii. All other plants, including other rotalas, were fine.

Btw, you do more tests than I do. Lol. I only own a api kh/gh test kit and a tds meter. I only test gh every couple months. I use the tds meter whenever I do a wc to get my tds in a certain range to get the gh to where I want it. A lot faster than getting 5ml in a small tube and testing drop by drop. I don't care much for a specific gh, close enough is good for me. I use ro water and I have individual chemicals that raise gh(caso4 and mgso4).
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:17 PM   #5
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Gh=general hardness. Basically the amounts of ca and mg in your water. Since you are using tap, I highly doubt you would have a ca deficiency unless you have super soft water, gh>2. Gh should be around 5 or so for good plant growth. Shrimpers have their own set of "rules" regarding gh. I would blame the lack of or inconsistent co2 with higher lighting more than anything. It won't hurt to use a bit of gh booster along with your other ferts(npk+traces) just in case your tap is heavy in ca and lacking in mg or vice versa. A bit of gh booster per ei dosing will negate your tap as a cause of stunting. The only time I experienced the kind of stunting you described was when my co2 ran out for a few days and I got lazy with wc. For some reason my gh got to 11-12, but the stunting only happed with softer water species(synoganthus and erios) and my rotala wallichii. All other plants, including other rotalas, were fine.

Btw, you do more tests than I do. Lol. I only own a api kh/gh test kit and a tds meter. I only test gh every couple months. I use the tds meter whenever I do a wc to get my tds in a certain range to get the gh to where I want it. A lot faster than getting 5ml in a small tube and testing drop by drop. I don't care much for a specific gh, close enough is good for me. I use ro water and I have individual chemicals that raise gh(caso4 and mgso4).
Thanks. So, a simple test to check the gh of my tap water and then add a gh booster if an increase in gh is needed. Is that correct?
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*Substrate = 50% Florite sand 50% regular Florite
*Lighting 108W of a 216W T5HO Aquatic Life hood 25" from substrate 8.5 hours daily.
*Amarath Redroot, Waterhyssop, Brazilian Pennywort, Water Wisteria, Jungle Val, Moss Ball, Riccia, Nana, Java Lace, Cryptocoryne, Pigmy Chain Sword.
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Old 07-23-2012, 12:46 AM   #6
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Thanks. So, a simple test to check the gh of my tap water and then add a gh booster if an increase in gh is needed. Is that correct?
Yep. Like I said though, I doubt calcium is the issue since you are using tap water. Everytime you do a wc/top off, you are adding ca back into your tank unless your water is extremely soft. But, yes, a gh test will confirm this to a point.
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:18 PM   #7
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don't forget potassium adds to water hardness as well
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:46 PM   #8
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Potassium would be tested as part of the TDS.
Potassium deficiency is not stunted growth as described above. That does sound like Ca deficiency, so a GH test is a good place to start.
A test specifically for calcium would fine tune the GH test. If you do both GH and Ca tests you can figure out the Mg. Look for the formula, it is not just GH test minus Ca test.

If this distorted growth happened before the CO2 went on the fritz then the problem was not caused by lack of carbon, unless there was a problem with distributing the CO2 even while it was working.
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:43 PM   #9
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i have hardly encountered Ca deficiency even at 1 gh, problem might be somewhere else. here is my experience when you see those symptoms.

lack of co2, KNO3 (very high 60+ppm), not enough K

you need to give further detail about what your test kits shows.
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:41 AM   #10
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Potassium would be tested as part of the TDS.
Potassium deficiency is not stunted growth as described above. That does sound like Ca deficiency, so a GH test is a good place to start.
A test specifically for calcium would fine tune the GH test. If you do both GH and Ca tests you can figure out the Mg. Look for the formula, it is not just GH test minus Ca test.

If this distorted growth happened before the CO2 went on the fritz then the problem was not caused by lack of carbon, unless there was a problem with distributing the CO2 even while it was working.
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i have hardly encountered Ca deficiency even at 1 gh, problem might be somewhere else. here is my experience when you see those symptoms.

lack of co2, KNO3 (very high 60+ppm), not enough K

you need to give further detail about what your test kits shows.
Thanks. I've often wondered if I have enough co2. I am using about 6 bps through an Atomic diffuser that sits directly under my canister filter intake. From what I can tell, I think the co2 is completely absorbed. I've slowly increased it over the last few months to the point where I see some affects in fauna. However, I have high plant growth and would assume that I would continually need to increase co2, which I have not.

That said, I'm embarassed to say that I only test for Amonia, phosphate, Nitrate, and Nitrite. Could not tell you what my kno3 is. I guess its time to purchase some test kits.....

FWIW, I get a little BBA on just my Rotella, and java lace - coincidence?
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:08 AM   #11
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Oh, I forgot to mention that I dose Root Medic 5 times weekly and do 50 - 75% weekly water changes.
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*Lighting 108W of a 216W T5HO Aquatic Life hood 25" from substrate 8.5 hours daily.
*Amarath Redroot, Waterhyssop, Brazilian Pennywort, Water Wisteria, Jungle Val, Moss Ball, Riccia, Nana, Java Lace, Cryptocoryne, Pigmy Chain Sword.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:23 AM   #12
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I think it's co2 myself. Same thing just happened to me. Now I have stunted tips and some bba. found the tips about four days ago, found the bba today.
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:59 AM   #13
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I think it's co2 myself. Same thing just happened to me. Now I have stunted tips and some bba. found the tips about four days ago, found the bba today.
Interesting. I would not have thought they (BBA) and stunted growth could be related. Is your BBA on the plants with the stunted growth?
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*Lighting 108W of a 216W T5HO Aquatic Life hood 25" from substrate 8.5 hours daily.
*Amarath Redroot, Waterhyssop, Brazilian Pennywort, Water Wisteria, Jungle Val, Moss Ball, Riccia, Nana, Java Lace, Cryptocoryne, Pigmy Chain Sword.
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:38 AM   #14
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Interesting. I would not have thought they (BBA) and stunted growth could be related. Is your BBA on the plants with the stunted growth?
the old classic CO2 deficiency is progressively smaller tip growth. With other species, the tip will completely stunt. Some species just sit and get algae covered and the aquarist thinks well.....I just cannot grow that plant.

Algae are also good indicators of stronger CO2 issues or a lack of ferts perhaps.

BBA is a strong indicator of a CO2 issue.
Some greens are tough once they enter due to a minor lull in CO2, say the 1st 1-2 hours of the light cycle(I have no reason to doubt this, but have little evidence to say so also).

Tweaking the CO2 has cured each and every green algae issue I've had other than Green water.

And 100% of all BBA issues I've ever had or anyone's tank I've served or helped in person. After 20 years, I think the record there is pretty strong.

Several plants might grow well also, but a few might not. Plants will and do compete with each other for nutrients/CO2, but light/CO2 more than anything. If they can start photosynthesis before their competitors..........then they can start taking up the CO2 1st...........leaving little for the other plants/species etc.

So a Myriophyllum might do very well, while the Downoi does poorly.
When everything grows well, then you know the CO2/ferts are not an issue.

that's what you are looking for.

Do this adjustment VERY SLOW, watch and observe, get the PSI up to the 30-40 range for those types of diffusers. I use mostly NW pumps and need only 10psi etc.
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:00 PM   #15
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the old classic CO2 deficiency is progressively smaller tip growth. With other species, the tip will completely stunt. Some species just sit and get algae covered and the aquarist thinks well.....I just cannot grow that plant.

Algae are also good indicators of stronger CO2 issues or a lack of ferts perhaps.

BBA is a strong indicator of a CO2 issue.
Some greens are tough once they enter due to a minor lull in CO2, say the 1st 1-2 hours of the light cycle(I have no reason to doubt this, but have little evidence to say so also).

Tweaking the CO2 has cured each and every green algae issue I've had other than Green water.

And 100% of all BBA issues I've ever had or anyone's tank I've served or helped in person. After 20 years, I think the record there is pretty strong.

Several plants might grow well also, but a few might not. Plants will and do compete with each other for nutrients/CO2, but light/CO2 more than anything. If they can start photosynthesis before their competitors..........then they can start taking up the CO2 1st...........leaving little for the other plants/species etc.

So a Myriophyllum might do very well, while the Downoi does poorly.
When everything grows well, then you know the CO2/ferts are not an issue.

that's what you are looking for.

Do this adjustment VERY SLOW, watch and observe, get the PSI up to the 30-40 range for those types of diffusers. I use mostly NW pumps and need only 10psi etc.
Thanks Tom. I thought I had my co2 tweeked perfectly becasue any additional increases resulted in stress to the fish. However, I have not been able to make small subtle increases. I am using a Milaukee regulator and the needle valve does not allow for accurate tuning. For example, if I am running at about 5 bps and want to increase it slightly, I am unable to obtain, say 6 bps. A slight adjustment may cause 8 bps which stressed fish.

So if I understand what you are saying, even those slight (5 bps increased to 6 bps for example) co2 adjustments are necessary and may make the difference between some algae and no algae?

FWIW, I get just a little green spot algae on the plant leaves but thats about it. I am concerned about the BBA as it is slowly becomming for prolific.

Thanks.
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*Substrate = 50% Florite sand 50% regular Florite
*Lighting 108W of a 216W T5HO Aquatic Life hood 25" from substrate 8.5 hours daily.
*Amarath Redroot, Waterhyssop, Brazilian Pennywort, Water Wisteria, Jungle Val, Moss Ball, Riccia, Nana, Java Lace, Cryptocoryne, Pigmy Chain Sword.
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