Deficiencies Galore? - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 06:28 PM
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No wonder my poor plants are showing such strong deficiencies.

Plants really don't care about KH all that much in general. Actually usually they prefer lower KH and most people choose to run tanks at KH 1-2. So this is not likely the cause of your issues.
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post #17 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Yes but KH also increases the waters buffering capacity which is helpful when it comes to CO2.
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post #18 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 06:55 PM
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Hi All,

dKH measures the dissolved carbonates (and bicarbonates) in the water and does help to maintain a stable pH when using CO2 in our tanks and helps us avoid "pH crash". The dissolved carbonates can be calcium, magnesium, sodium, as well as several other minerals that are also nutrients utilized by our plants. I don't think we can make a 'blanket statement' about plants preferring a low dKH. Many of the plant species we grow in our tanks are native to moderate and even hard water environments and actually suffer in soft water conditions.

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post #19 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Any recommendations for raising it? Baking soda?

I was quite surprised it was so low. Can’t believe my tap water is that low.
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post #20 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 06:59 PM
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Yes but KH also increases the waters buffering capacity which is helpful when it comes to CO2.

As stated previously, your plants show textbook signs of magnesium deficiency. Before worrying about KH or even CO2, I would check how much Mg your water has and not rely on your water report or incorrect calculations presented earlier in this thread.
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post #21 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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As stated previously, your plants show textbook signs of magnesium deficiency. Before worrying about KH or even CO2, I would check how much Mg your water has and not rely on your water report or incorrect calculations presented earlier in this thread.
I am dosing a GH booster ("Mineralize" per the bottle: 13.5% calcium, 1.2% magnesium minimum.), which at 300 as of today, is a big improvement over what it was. The plants, due to my CO2 being cut out while introducing new fish, haven't had the chance to show any improvements yet. But I would like to address the KH issues as well, as the more stable the environment overall (which without KH, I am at risk of PH swings) the better both my plants, and more importantly, my fish, will do.
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post #22 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 07:27 PM
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Hi @Little Soprano,

I suggest that you get the dGH adjusted so the plants are growing well, then double check your dKH before making dKH adjustments. In the meantime when you turn your CO2 back on watch the pH so it doesn't drop precipitously.

If you feel you must increase the dKH add 1/16 teaspoon of Baking Soda (NOT baking powder) will increase 3 gallons of water approximately 1.0 dKH; I would not increase the dKH more than 1.0 degrees per 24 hours.
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post #23 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-04-2018, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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So when I went for some meds for my angels I noticed that Aquavitro line has a KH booster (potassium bicarbonate). Dosed per the bottle to raise the KH by one. My plan is to dose once a week for the next three-four weeks to get my KH to 4-5 and then just dose every month or so to keep it stable. Nice that it’s a boost of potassium as well!
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post #24 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-04-2018, 07:42 AM
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Just a heads up, Aquavitro Mineralize is like an 8:1 Ca:Mg ratio. You are also paying a ton for what is essentially water, gypsum salt, and Epsom salt.

I really don't understand why Seachem chose such a poor ratio, but you really want more Mg in that balance.

I would highly recommend going and buying the cheapest, unscented Epsom salt you can find and dose that based on the recommendations you have received or from rotalabutterfly.com (nutrient calculator, enter your volume, select DIY, select MGSO4.7H2O, and target 3-5ppm as a starting point).
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post #25 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-04-2018, 01:52 PM
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Hi All,

dKH measures the dissolved carbonates (and bicarbonates) in the water and does help to maintain a stable pH when using CO2 in our tanks and helps us avoid "pH crash". The dissolved carbonates can be calcium, magnesium, sodium, as well as several other minerals that are also nutrients utilized by our plants. I don't think we can make a 'blanket statement' about plants preferring a low dKH. Many of the plant species we grow in our tanks are native to moderate and even hard water environments and actually suffer in soft water conditions.

I have found this site very helpful when researching various plants. One bit of information that they list for many of the plants is the preferred dKH range. My tank typically runs 8dKH which can be an issue with some plants. Many of the plants listed will thrive within 2-21 dKH.



https://www.flowgrow.de/db/aquaticplants



https://www.flowgrow.de/db/aquaticpl...haris-vivipara - this plant prefers a dKH of 2-5. Would likely be pretty unhappy in my tank.


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- GreggZ Tank Parameters
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post #26 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-04-2018, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by natemcnutty View Post
Just a heads up, Aquavitro Mineralize is like an 8:1 Ca:Mg ratio. You are also paying a ton for what is essentially water, gypsum salt, and Epsom salt.

I really don't understand why Seachem chose such a poor ratio, but you really want more Mg in that balance.

I would highly recommend going and buying the cheapest, unscented Epsom salt you can find and dose that based on the recommendations you have received or from rotalabutterfly.com (nutrient calculator, enter your volume, select DIY, select MGSO4.7H2O, and target 3-5ppm as a starting point).
I can always try doing that in a week or two. Figured I would try the Mineralize and see what response, if any, I get from the plants. If it turns out thats what they needed, I can always go the DIY route afterwards.
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post #27 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-04-2018, 04:37 PM
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I have found this site very helpful when researching various plants. One bit of information that they list for many of the plants is the preferred dKH range. My tank typically runs 8dKH which can be an issue with some plants. Many of the plants listed will thrive within 2-21 dKH.

https://www.flowgrow.de/db/aquaticplants
Nice database but how credible the KH information really is. They wouldn’t test all the plants in all the KH ranges one by one. It is most likely a summary of people living experiences with these plant species. So, the data would look very different when completed in Europe versus Asia because of varying KH water sources.

Truth is that many of the listed species I have grown in zero KH don’t show as such in this database and that is because most people still believe in pH crash and ghosts and wouldn’t even go there to try it.

On the opposite side of the KH scale, people living in very high KH areas should post more experiences and try to construct a database. I think that would be interesting because there are fewer plant species to list.
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post #28 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-05-2018, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Little Soprano View Post
My LFS didn’t have any equilibrium left but they hadn’t Seachem’s Aquavitro “Mineralize” which is supposed to raise GH. It said it was calcium and magnesium. Figured this one was worth a try. Dosed per the bottle for 120 gallons today during my water change.
If it is a Mg/Ca deficiency, Mineralize will help. I use it mostly because I got some on the cheap from a local store, and it simply does the job. Dry GH booster like Nilocg’s stuff is certainly cheaper though.
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post #29 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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I tested all my parameters after three WC total of adding the KH and GH boosters. I am up to a GH of 11.2 (I did the math this time haha) or 200ppm. KH is at a perfect 4.48 or 80ppm. Going to leave it this way for a while and see how it goes. I have a lot of diatoms going on, but the new growth is looking better - and totally different. Still some deficiencies going on. My phone has one hell of a time taking pictures through the thick glass on this tank, so excuse the blurriness. This is the same plant....

The leaves have completely changed.


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post #30 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 05:38 PM
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Hi @Little Soprano,

Glad to hear the addition of GH Booster (magnesium and calcium) seems to be resulting in an improvement. Please keep us posted as this progress!
-Roy
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