One tank or both at the same time ? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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One tank or both at the same time ?

Have been using distilled water along/w tap in my tanks.
After a discussion here on a thread I have decided to do without the distilled water. I had been using MGSO4 to compensate for the distilled.
So I should change back to all tap, but this takes time to complete.
I changed it slowly and will do it to change back. No large water changes. So by changing only 25% each week but using only 4
weeks the water should be all tap...correct ?
At this time I will test to see what the GH is( have no kit now) but will eliminate the MGSO4 till I do that test. This should also clear the water of any of it. I use three basic Macros...KNO3/K2SO4/KH2PO4 plus now
the MGSO4. I recently added CaSO4 cause I was told it needed to be there to balance the Magnesium I think. For the plants.
So when I eliminate the MGSO4 till the test, do I still need the CaSO4 ?
I have no Millers/GH boosters or etc that I use other than the three ferts I listed.
I do NOT have a heavily panted tank.
I do NOT want fast plant growth.
I just do want good healthy plants.
So I've been using a reduced version of "EI low light/weekly" @ once a week using these...
1/8 tsp KNO3...1/16 tsp K2SO4...1/32 tp KH2PO4 after water change.
1 ml Flourish Comprehensve..5ml Tetra Pride the next day.
Excel @ 2x recommended dose daily.
Plus I had been adding MGSO4 and just did one dose of CaSO4 so far.
Basically don't know if I should do this in both tanks or wait on the other one till the results are in on the first one.
2 tanks @ 10g but no other similarities. one has a few shrimp and that is my first one to do this in as the second one has many RCS in it.
In another thread someone just mentioned that there is a steep learning curve at the beginning of planted tanks...I have just been through the
part where you might think "if some is good, then a lot might work even better" so I do have a couple of damaged plants and the rest are new(mostly) so I don't know if that's important to this.
The plants do need Calcium so do I continue the CaSO4 during the water change ?

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 04:30 PM
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When you change 25% of the water you are removing 25% of the water in the tank. When you do another 25% change you are removing 25% of the 75% that was left in the tank. Etc. So, no, 4 - 25% changes wont remove 100% of the old water, just 68% of it. But, your plan is still a good one, doing 25% water changes until almost all of the old water is removed, about 10 changes to remove 95% of the old water.

I would do both tanks at once, since it will be the least disruptive to your routines.

Whether or not you need to add any GH builder or Magnesium sulfate or Calcium sulfate depends on what is in your tap water now.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 04:33 PM
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I never understood water paramter changes without first knowing what you are starting with. Adding distilled changes water parameters (ph/kh/gh). Not knowing what the values of your water before adding, and further not knowing what the changed values are, can be dangerous to certain species of inverts and fish. Probably hasn't affected anything you have, but not all species may not adapt as well with mucking with things that you may have no need to muck with.

You need to start with measured ph from your tap, gassed off for at least 24hrs, and then gh/kh measured from your tap. From there decide what you need to do in your tank with a desired goal. Without a measured gh from your tap how do you know if you really need calcium/magnesium? If you are going to add those, at least know how much you are increasing the gh by doing so first. You are right that plants need the calcium, but calcium is needed by your fish and inverts as well. Not saying you don't need per se, but I think you need to step back and test and learn what you're staring with and what you have after.

I assume with everything you add to your tank that you perform 50% weekly changes? You can still do 50% even while slowly adding less and less distilled to get it all back to "normal".

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