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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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soft water question

Our local water is pretty soft. 3 GH (1-3 depending on time of year according to our city water report) 3 KH
Also according to the water report we have 44 ppm CaCo3 on average.
Having said that should I be using a GH booster?
New leaves on H. difformis yellow and curl one day after the come out and my amazon sword has clear leaves with veins remaining green.
Is this MG deficiency?
thanks for helping a noob!
Tank specs-
2 WPG PC lighting
DIY Co2 (2 -bottles change one per week) Hagen mini m diffusor
Dosing Seachem ferts until they run out


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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 05:59 AM
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Up here in Portland I'm getting 1KH from the tap and it's pretty much staying that way in my tank. I'm having no problems. With reasonable CO2 my pH can drop to 6.0 however. I have a second tank that I put a coral chunk I had in, and its KH has been ~10 degrees, and pH up around 7.5 or 8 and it's doing fine also.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 03:05 PM
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How big is the tank? What's the pH reading?

Maybe you're going too heavy on the CO2 or maybe the ferts?

65g planted tank - 200W heat - PC 192W/6700K - Eheim 2217 - Pressurized CO2 - EI Dosing
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 03:27 PM
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Nate, Sounds like most of the GH in your water is from calcium, which can lead to magnesium deficiency. Also, the GH is not a stable quantity, is always rather low, and sometimes very low, leading to deficiencies in both Ca and Mg.
I would dose GH booster in the tank or at least with each water change, to get the GH to a stable 3 degrees. If you know that the calcium is always there in the water, then you can try Epsom salt (doses magnesium, but no calcium) or perhaps just enough GH booster (which doses both Ca and Mg) to keep the GH at 3 degrees, then just a pinch of Epsom salt to balance the Ca in the water. As a general guide, most aquarium plants seem to do well when the Ca:Mg ratio is pretty close to 4:1. That is, 4 parts calcium to 1 part magnesium. This does not have to be exact, though, and the GH booster plus the small amount of Ca in the tap water without adding Epsom salt might be about right.

If you are keeping hard water plants you might want to dose enough GH booster to raise the GH closer to 5 degrees.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help Diana! I was afraid the mg might be a little low considering the numbers. I will pick up some Equilibrium today and see if that might help. I will try to remember to post an update in a few weeks.

fyi tank is a 20gln cube-
ph in tank-6.8 -7
ph tap-7.6 (after offgassing for 24 hours)


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-05-2010, 08:18 PM
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oregon's water is so soft, i'm here in corvallis, have dosed varietys of amounts of EI + Flourish iron/flourish for trace. starting seachem excel with Pressurized CO2 and 265W CF over a 72 bow which is deep... I think my plants have calcium/magnesium deficiency and have seachem equilibrium coming right now
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