Water Parameter Choices - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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Water Parameter Choices

Hello all,

I have a simple question, which water parameter according to you is better for keeping aquatic plants?

Sample #1 :
kH : 0-1 dkH
gH : 0-1 dgH
pH : 6.8-6.9
NH4, NO2, NO3, Fe and PO4 are 0 ppm.

Sample #2 :
kH : 3 dkH
gH : 3 dgH
pH : 8.0-8.1
NH4, NO2, NO3 and Fe are 0 ppm except for PO4 is 1 ppm.

I will be keeping HC, HM, Java fern "narrow", Ludwigia, Downoi, mosses and anubias and will add CO2. Thank you very much.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 05:33 PM
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I doubt that there would be any noticeable difference between the two. Of course you would need nutrients in the water to grow plants with either one.

Hoppy
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
I doubt that there would be any noticeable difference between the two. Of course you would need nutrients in the water to grow plants with either one.
Thank you very much Hoppy, I am not pursuing anything here simply like to know which water parameter between the two has a better condition for my plants to grow.

Of course I will add nutrients. I just too confuse as some claim that a kH lower than 4 will make the pH swing drastically but some also say that is a myth and the other side I have a choice of more dkH water but contains PO4 and the pH is way too high (8.0-8.1), doesn't it too alkaline for freshwater plants and fishes although I am adding CO2 and using ADA AS II for the substrate.

Thank you very much.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 07:46 PM
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Low KH will result in lower pH if there is any CO2 at all in the water. And, most tap water does contain some CO2, plus the CO2 dissolved from the air around the tank also results in a little in the water. But, the lowest that CO2 can drop the pH is to about 5.5, at the temperature that we keep aquariums at. That isn't low enough to be a concern. I believe, but I'm not sure, that there are more plants that will do better with low KH than there are that will do better with high KH. But, 3 dKH is not high KH. That is the basis for what I said in my first comment.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 07:56 PM
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Sample #1 :
kH : 0-1 dkH So Low the pH could vary, especially w/ CO2
gH : 0-1 dgH So low there is no or close to mo Ca or Mg for the plants. Gotta supplenent to bring this up to around 3-4 degrees.
pH : 6.8-6.9 Not as critical, but a good value for nutrients that are bound in the substrate.
NH4, NO2, NO3, Fe and PO4 are 0 ppm. Well, plants need nitrogen in some form, and phosphate. Will there be fish to raise the NO3?

Sample #2 :
kH : 3 dkH Much better!
gH : 3 dgH Much better!
pH : 8.0-8.1 At this level I wonder if some nutrients will get bound up so the plants cannot use them. Given the low KH this ought to be easily remedied, perhaps with some peat moss in the filter.
NH4, NO2, NO3 and Fe are 0 ppm except for PO4 is 1 ppm. Well, one out of 4 is not too bad!

I would run a test with sample 2 in a bucket with some peat moss. Maybe the pH could come down into the 7s.
I would run a test with sample 1 in a bucket, adding something like Seachem Equilibrium or Barr's GH booster for GH and baking soda for KH. Try to get each of these to around 3 degrees and see what this does to the pH. And if it is stable. Run the test for maybe a week.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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We still don't have tap water supplied in our area, we usually use ground water for our other purposes and usually we buy the water from the local drinking water depot as our ground water has some slight bad smell and discoloration.

I buy the water from the drinking water depot to keep fish and plant. I have 2 choices of water parameter that I've tested them like above from 6 depots.

It appears that Sample #1 is RO water since it get nothing in it and Sample #2 is filtered water so it contains PO4 of 1 ppm and the kH and gH is 3.

The purpose that I'm asking in this forum is which sample should I pick the best and of course I will add some nutrient in them. It happens that sample #1 is better than 2, only it lacks of gH which is the source of Ca and Mg, right? I've contacted several chemical stores around and found out that they do sell MgSO4 but not CaSO4 but instead of CaNO3, will it be ok? Though I know that in the same time I will dose nitrate too beside calcium, right?

Thank you very much Hoppy and Diana.
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