Do Plants need GH/KH? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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Question Do Plants need GH/KH?

We have Rainwater here in Seattle area, the water out of tap is very soft with close to no minerals.
Reads around 6 ph, 0-1 kh, 0-1 gh.

I know keeping a stable parameter is critical for livestocks but is this same for plants as well?

I'm trying to find out if I need to buffer my water with product like seachem equilibrium or gh booster
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 05:38 AM
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Hi damgyeah,

Yes, we have extremely soft water here in Seattle. In Renton it comes from the Cedar River; further north it comes from South Fork of the Tolt River. The water out of my tap is <1.0 dKH, 1.0 - 2.0 dGH, and [email protected] de-gassed after 24 hours.

Yes, to successfully grow healthy, green, lush plants we do need to add something that provides calcium and magnesium to our water along with the typical nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and the various micro-nutrients. I have used Seachem Equilibrium with success in the past but with 5 tanks I now make my own GH Booster. When Tom Barr spoke at the Greater Seattle Aquarium Society (GSAS) he suggested adding sufficient Equilibrium / GH Booster to increase the hardness by at least 2.0 dGH. If we are using CO2 in our tanks we also need to increase the dKH to avoid a "pH crash" from the CO2.

Is it possible to grow a healthy tank of plants without CO2 here in Seattle.....sure! 10 gallon, low light ([email protected]), no CO2 but ferts and liquid carbon
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Last edited by Seattle_Aquarist; 04-01-2019 at 05:03 PM. Reason: sp
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 08:51 AM
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The following are needed for plants to grow Excluding light, water, CO2. Nitrogen, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, phosphate, Sulfur, Chlorine, Iron, Manganese, Boron, Zinc, Copper, molybdenum, nickel. So yes calcium and magnesium are needed.
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