Minimum acceptable GH? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-09-2014, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Minimum acceptable GH?

Hello all,

My tap water is very soft, with a GH of 3 and a KH of 2. I've been adding GH booster and sodium bicarbonate to raise each to about 5 or 6 degrees.

While I plan to keep adding the sodium bicarbonate, I wonder if I could get by without adding the GH booster? I mostly keep Vals and Crypts for plants, I have pressurized CO2, and I dry dose a typical EI regime.

Any thoughts? I'd like to not add any more to the water column than I have to.

David


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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-09-2014, 09:04 PM
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You don't need to add either with most species. I would not recommend adding baking soda unless it's for very specific fish. However, in that case, it probably wouldn't be a planted tank anyway.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-09-2014, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not adding it for fish, but for the plants. No fish in the tank yet. I need to raise my tap water's KH to help prevent possible pH crash. 2 degrees I don't think would provide adequate buffering capacity with pressurized CO2; therefore, I raise it to around 5 or 6 degrees KH.

The GH I was raising primarily to add calcium for the plants.

David


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-09-2014, 09:34 PM
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My kH is 2-3. pH is not something you need to worry about. However, huge swings in hardness may be a concern for sensitive fish.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-09-2014, 11:18 PM
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Crypts and vals were fine with my 2-3GH water but some stem plants stunted until I used some GH booster at water change time. Try without the booster then with to see if you notice a difference.


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 12:33 AM
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2-3 degrees of each is just fine for most plants.

Monitor the GH through the week. If a hobby test cannot tell the loss, then it is insignificant. If the plants are growing so well they are removing significant amounts of Ca and Mg, then I would just dose GH once, mid week.

Allow the tank to run with just the KH you have and see if the pH stays, not the same, but follows a cycle through the day with the high and low being about 1 unit of pH. For example, from a low of 6.5 to a high of 7.5.
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