can anyone help me with this. I have been reading articles on it off and on the past three days. Either I need Ca and advice on what source to use, or I did the wrong thing adding Mg to my tank and need to rectify my mistake-
Details (sorry if this is repeating from some earlier threads I wrote): I have a 10 gal and a 38 gal, both low tech, 1/3 EI dosed weekly, safe-t-sorb and a little bit of gravel/coarse sand substrate. When I first set up the tanks I tried to soak the STS in ferts and baking soda to ameliorate how much it would strip carbonates out of the water, but maybe I didn't do enough.
I've always felt like my tanks were odd about calcium- hard tapwater gh is 10, yet the snails have pale/eroded shell tips and some plants (I thought) showed symptoms deficient in Mg- pale leaves w/darker veins. When I dosed some Mg (epsom salt) this symptom went away so I thought that was helping. I only did it once a month.
My usual dosing on the tanks-
38 gal has good number of fish. Tends to still have 10-20 nitrates end of the week. I noticed I got GSA and thread algae when nitrates were high, but BBA if nitrates were close to zero. On this tank I usually dose:
KN03 1/32- 1/16 tsp depending on how much ppm nitrates tested
K2S04 1/8 tsp
KH2P04 1/32 tsp
30ml Seachem Flourish Comprehensive for micros
10 gallon has one betta and some snails. Usually at end of week nitates are 5ppm or less. I dose
KN03 1/16 tsp
K2S04 1/32 tsp
KH2P04 1/64 tsp
Flourish Comp micros 4-5ml
but if nitrates are 10-20ppm I dose
KN03 1/32 tsp
K2S04 1/16 tsp
KH2P04 1/128 tsp (roughly)
Have I been doing it wrong?
I noticed when I just started using a bit of Mg recently, my rotalas and java ferns straightened up and the plants started pearling so I thought that was good for them. The color in the leaves evened out some. But now I see other things- newer crypt leaves have this rippled look and are more brown- is this what's called 'hammered' texture- is it desirable?
anubias leaves in my tenner are hooking downward severely
Edges of java fern leaves, some buces look wavy.
Hygro compacta, rotalas are starting to look a little puckered on their edges too. Way back when I had rotalas growing out new leaves with twisted shapes and I thought this was from too much micros? that's when I cut back on my micros. Now I wonder if it's too little or too much Ca? because I never dosed that w/the Mg - although I did have a piece of cuttlebone in the tank to add calcium, it's starting to crumble away
My tanks have come so far in a year- green and growing instead of stagnant and death- but now I feel like I don't know which direction to go. I tested pH today and surprised to find it was 8.2 in my main tank. Tap is 7.6, for a long time in the tank it had been 7.6-
Got the idea that Safe-T-Sorb was still sucking Ca and Mg out of the water and that I needed to dose it? (I never did gh booster because I don't use carbon) so this week I was thinking to get:
Gypsum- but the powder I find at home depot has five or six other substances in it so I don't know
Dolomite- I've read of people using this but again, the stuff I find at garden center seems to have a lot of extra stuff in it I don't know where to find it 'pure' just Ca and Mg
CaS04 from same source I got my dry macro ferts- but don't I already have plenty of S04 from the K2S04 and epsom salt, how would I alter my dose accordingly?
CaN03 also dry fert I could get but will this give me too much N03?
I am thoroughly confused. I thought w/my hard water I didn't have to worry about Ca and Mg but then I thought from symptoms I saw on snails/plants I do need it because the substrate might be sucking it up- but now maybe I did the wrong thing or not enough (needing Ca since I used Mg)
help! before I make a wreck of things
Maybe I should just go back to how I did it before- put a little piece of cuttlebone in and dose Mg once a month? I'm not sure if that was the right approach at all (If I were starting over I don't know if I would use STS again but it's what I got now so I want to make it work)