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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Calcium

I have seen several threads that mention (usually as an aside) the use of calcium. I expect to read most of the rest of this forum to learn more about it, but given the size it may take awhile to learn what I need to know.

So, I would like to ask what role calcium plays in the keeping of plants and the best way to add it to an aquarium?

I am working on a 125 gallon tank with lots of light (it is exposed to sunlight), a pressurized CO2 system that controls the pH to 6.2, and am dosing nutrients using the EI method, using CSM which I mix 10:1 with boron, magnesium sulfate, potassium nitrate, potassium sulfate, and potassium phosphate. I also add chelated iron, but am still trying to learn the best method of adding that one as well.

Once I get this 125 "figured out" I want to start on a 220 I have that is currently just full of green water that I'm growing daphnia in.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Mike
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 11:26 AM
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Most tap water contains enoug calcium. Also general hardness booster cotains a fair amount. U may not want to mix macros and micros. Phosphates react with iron in close proximity. That is one of the main reasons why macros are added one day and micros the next. Csm also contains iron.. sometimes not enough but for most plants it is

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 03:00 PM
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A GH booster once a week with your water changes will give you enough Calcium and Magnesium. These nutrients are also typically found in your tap water but it is hard to say by just testing GH, it is possible that you will get an adequate reading from your test but it won't tell you how much of each is there - ie your reading could be from high magnesium and very low calcium or vice versa. This is why it is best to just dose a GH booster once a week.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 05:22 PM
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mr. krazyfish. don't assume gh booster adds all the necessary magnesium.. it does not add all that my tank needs. i add extra epsom salt and iron to my tanks 3x a week during my trace dose..i follow EI.. there are some plants that require more or should i say, that don't get enough because others take it all

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies, everyone!

I guess I should mention that I use pure RO water that I reconstitute with Kent Marine salt such that my TDS reads about 120ppm, something I've been doing for about 10 years now. The tap water here comes from wells that has quite a few contaminants, the types and amounts of which vary through the year (I live in a densely agricultural area along with vast oil-drilling activity).

Thanks,

Mike
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 10:29 PM
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Kent Marine salt? Are you running a saltwater tank or what?

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HD Blazingwolf View Post
Most tap water contains enoug calcium. Also general hardness booster cotains a fair amount. U may not want to mix macros and micros. Phosphates react with iron in close proximity. That is one of the main reasons why macros are added one day and micros the next. Csm also contains iron.. sometimes not enough but for most plants it is
While RootMedic has way more iron, I can't actually find an example of an iron deficiency in someone properly dosing csm.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 01:52 AM
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overstockec.. i am doisng the recommended lvls of csm in my 29 gallon.. 1/16 tsp of dry dosing.. i believe it is attributed to other plants absorbing more.. my bacopa carolina just would not grow properly.. i added magnesium thinking that to be it.. it helped for about 2 days and then the leaves became even worse.. i dose 2ml of extra iron every micro day and its taking off quite nicely..its a very odd situation. all the other plants were and still are fine but this one finely doesnt have algae and is growing properly.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 02:25 AM
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Buy a sack of GH booster. When you see a deficiency do a shotgun dose of GH booster (Mg, K and Ca) and see if it's rectified. If it is still unchanged try boron. If it is still not changed try both. Then If it's still insufficient try upping micros in general etc. Getting plants to grow right involves lots of troubleshooting.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Kent Marine salt? Are you running a saltwater tank or what?
VeeSe:

No, I add the marine salt at the same concentration advised on the Kent RO Right container, initially at 1/2 tsp per 10 gallons of water until I got a TDS meter. I now dose less. The TDS is now 110 ppm.

I've had zero problems with it, and both the fish and the plants seem to like it, if their reproduction and size are any indications.

Mike
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 05:56 PM
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Getting plants to grow right involves lots of troubleshooting.
TRUER words have never been spoken

I've tried double the dosage of csm+b in my tank which was 1/8 of a tsp. didn't help. im seriously wondering whether my csm has iron in it at all..... but with extra magnesium and iron dosing on my micro days my tank seems to be doing just fine... bacopa no longer has algae and now has big fluffy well colored leaves for its species

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 09:13 PM
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Maybe the salt is your problem, some think the use of salt in the cleaning proccess of the resins used in water softners is no good for stable or good water in a planted aquarium. You should try a gH Booster and MgS04 to make good water, any Ca needed will be contained in the gH Booster.

I may not know what the hell I'm talking about, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night!!!


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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Maybe the salt is your problem, some think the use of salt in the cleaning proccess of the resins used in water softners is no good for stable or good water in a planted aquarium. You should try a gH Booster and MgS04 to make good water, any Ca needed will be contained in the gH Booster.

I may not know what the hell I'm talking about, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night!!!
If you are talking to me, I am really not having a problem...I am just curious about what the role calcium has in a planted tank since I've seen it mentioned a few times and I don't know why it is added or by what method (for example, do you use calcium carbonate, calcium chloride, calcium nitrate, or what. And why?).

I've been using marine salt as a reconstitution of pure RO water for more than 10 years without any issues. I've had a number of fish spawn in this water, including Pelvicachromis pulcher, Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, Otocinclus, CRS shrimp, rasbora, danios of various types, white clouds, guppies (of course...I think that they will reproduce in used motor oil ). And I'm currently raising daphnia in another tank in harder, green water, but using the same salt for reconstitution.

I used the Kent Marine salt for two reasons (I'm not using pure NaCl). One, it was Kent RO Right for which I was substituting with the salt. Two, I was using the Kent Marine salt for my reef tank so I had some laying around. I haven't tried any other salt mixes. The salt I have now is years old (though very dry and doesn't appear to have degraded. I was told by my LFS that this brand is not what it once was since the company that made it was taken over by another company. I won't name names because I have no proof that the salt has dropped in quality.

Mike
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 11:06 PM
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So, I would like to ask what role calcium plays in the keeping of plants and the best way to add it to an aquarium?
Calcium functions in plants much like it does in animals, it is a key element in the structural integrity of the plant's cell walls (much like how calcium keeps our bones strong). This is why the typical signs of calcium deficiency in plants is often limp or deformed leaves, or leaves that do not entirely emerge. Calcium also serves to move nutrients and other elements in and out of cells.

Like the others have mentioned, I think there is a sufficient amount of Ca in tap water so that it is not a limiting nutrient for most of our plants. As far as adding additional Ca to the aquarium, I just looked at my Flourish Comprehensive fertilizer, and it claims to contain 0.14% Ca. Ironically my trace fertilizer that I use doesn't contain any Ca.

Andy
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 01:01 AM
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I am just curious about what the role calcium has in a planted tank since I've seen it mentioned a few times and I don't know why it is added or by what method (for example, do you use calcium carbonate, calcium chloride, calcium nitrate, or what. And why?).
CaCl2= maybe for marine tank to booster Ca++ levels. CaCO3, mostly to increase KH, but also to add both Ca and KH. CaCl2 dissolved very easily, CaCO3 is very slow and tough to dissolve. Ca(NO3)2 is eas y to dissolve and good where you have N and very soft water, RO or to dose to a marine planted tank.

I have yet to see a singe documented, verified case of Ca++ limitation in natural or in planted aquariums.




Quote:
I've been using marine salt as a reconstitution of pure RO water for more than 10 years without any issues. I've had a number of fish spawn in this water, including Pelvicachromis pulcher, Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, Otocinclus, CRS shrimp, rasbora, danios of various types, white clouds, guppies (of course...I think that they will reproduce in used motor oil ). And I'm currently raising daphnia in another tank in harder, green water, but using the same salt for reconstitution.
GH booster is generally cheaper.
You might add 3 tsp a week in the 125 Gal.

Quote:
I used the Kent Marine salt for two reasons (I'm not using pure NaCl). One, it was Kent RO Right for which I was substituting with the salt. Two, I was using the Kent Marine salt for my reef tank so I had some laying around. I haven't tried any other salt mixes. The salt I have now is years old (though very dry and doesn't appear to have degraded. I was told by my LFS that this brand is not what it once was since the company that made it was taken over by another company. I won't name names because I have no proof that the salt has dropped in quality.
Mike
GH booster can be had from various DIY dry salts vendors on line.

As far as using RO, fine for your reef tank there........but the tap is okay for plants, at least you can blend with RO also. This will save you massive time, energy messing with the water changes.

I lived in Davis and the water is rock hard deep well water.......the oil/ag stuff is minor, the drinking/cooking water is where you should spend time using RO, the plants mitigate most of the issues. KH for some fish might be your only variable you may wish to adjust, baking soda does that trick easily.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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