are Calcium and Magnesium necessary? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2011, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
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are Calcium and Magnesium necessary?

Hello!

I was just wondering if I need to dose calcium and magnesium? I have very soft water (2dH), and am injecting co2 and using high light (2-t5ho on 55G), I currently have flourish for trace, kno3 for nitrates and potassium, and using fleet enema for phosphate. Is it fine to dose these as such or do I need the others as well? I've read on this forum that co2 ph changes don't hurt fish and that it's not necessary to buffer my water. I gather calcium and magnesium will affect water hardness. Is it needed otherwise? Thoughts? Thanks
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2011, 06:59 AM
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If you were trying to imply that adding calcium and magnesium help to buffer your water, they do not. Calcium and Magnesium affect general hardness (GH). Only carbonate hardness (KH) will help to buffer against pH swings. Calcium and magnesium are used by plants as trace elements.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2011, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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oh really? ok, i was reading GLA and they said this : "Sometimes, but not necessarily, people will add Magnesium Sulphate (MgSO4) to help with the buffering capacity of the water (measured as KH)"
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2011, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr_Bubbles View Post
oh really? ok, i was reading GLA and they said this : "Sometimes, but not necessarily, people will add Magnesium Sulphate (MgSO4) to help with the buffering capacity of the water (measured as KH)"
That must be a mistake; to my knowledge epsom salts don't increase kH. I think they meant baking soda instead of MgSO4 (epsom salts).

You should test kH (carbonate hardness/alkalinity) and gH (german hardness/Ca+Mg) separately instead of using a measure of total hardness. Both are important measures, and yes, magnesium and calcium (as measured by dgH) are essential secondary macro nutrients for plants. kH doesn't directly affect plant growth aside from inhibiting it at higher levels (IME).
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2011, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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ok thanks for letting me know, i'm sure i can find epsom salts, are there any commonly sold products that I can use for calcium, or am i stuck trying to find a place to order from?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2011, 04:14 PM
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You can find epsom salts in any drug/grocery/walmart/target etc. For Ca buy plaster of paris (CaSO4).
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2011, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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how do you use plaster of paris, just mix it up and put it in like any other fert? does it cloud up the water? also, is this suitable : http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/brows....jsp?locale=en .. this is from my local canadian tire, so if i could use this that would be great.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2011, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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also, should i dose it at the same time as my macros or micros? and should i dose it as often or just once a week? using high light and co2 thanks!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2011, 06:14 PM
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how do you use plaster of paris, just mix it up and put it in like any other fert? does it cloud up the water? also, is this suitable : http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/brows....jsp?locale=en .. this is from my local canadian tire, so if i could use this that would be great.
I just dump a 1/4 tsp in every few days, It will cloud up at first then dissolve. I use DAP plaster of paris from Home depot, I believe it is 75% calcium sulfate, 24% calcium carbonate and 1% silicate (sand). The carbonate will buffer your water too a bit. If you buy calcium sulfate online it will be the same consistancy and cloud at first too.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2011, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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ok great to know, glad I can buy this stuff locally, shipping to Canada tends to be pricey
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