Low KH (1.25 dKH) - try to grow D. Hairgrass - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Low KH (1.25 dKH) - try to grow D. Hairgrass

I live in the Seattle area and I am trying to grow a carpet of Dwarf Hairgrass. Some plants grow well in my tank (Val) and other do not.

I have med tech tank, (dosing PPS Pro, tanked CO2 injection, 80 watts LEDs). 72 Gallon Bow front.

My water is soft. KH in the 1.25 dKH range. My GH test kit is expired and I can not get a reading from it.

I normally do a every other week water change of ~40%, adding some salt and Prime.

Should I be adding some GH / KH boosters as well?

I would like to keep the tank as 'simple' as possible wrt water changes.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 08:27 PM
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Why are you adding salt? I thought salt was an absolute no-no for planted tanks? Someone correct me if it can benefit in any way...

Be patient with DHG... It took a solid 2 months for mine to start really taking off (I have DHG Belem). You will need good CO2, decent amount of light (medium +). I doubt that your GH/KH are going to have an impact on growing this stuff. People have been successful with all kinds of plants in just about all kinds of conditions.

I have also found substrate is important for a good DHG carpet. I had horrible results in eco complete but now that I use black diamond (much finer and consistent grain size) the stuff spreads quite nicely.

I also found if you "don't screw with it" and let it do its thing it is happier. Be careful around it - don't disturb the substrate it is rooted in.

I always thought low GH/KH is ideal. Pretty sure that as long as your plants have enough Mg, Ca then you should be all set. If you really think it will make a difference then add some GH booster. Don't think it will hurt...


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 09:53 PM
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Stop adding salt.
Get a proper http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00027ZVH8?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00.
Once you know the GH and KH you can adjust it to be suitable for DHG. From what I've read, it likes a KH of 4-8 dKH so 6 would be a good target. GH should be about equal to KH.
Use http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0002A5WQA/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3PLVG7DWQRTFR&coliid=I1AY5A77GRGOLA to raise GH.
Use http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0064GZPU4?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=od_aui_detailpages00 to raise KH.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 10:12 PM
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I'm sure your not adding table salt :P I imagine that you are referring to baking soda or Epsom salt. Baking soda (Sodium bicarbonate) is kind of like a salt think... And Epsom salt is MgSO4 which is great for planted tanks.

I too have soft water here in Portland, OR... It has been the limiting factor for my hightech planted tank. That and the fact that I have a substrate (Turface) that lowers my KH. That being said my plant growth was limited and erratic with signs of deficiencies. Even with the use of GH booster and Sodium bicarbonate. I finally got sick of it and kept researching. I have found that adding Mgs04 is absolutely critical for my planted tank. My plants have finally started to pearl, and their growth rate has doubled. The plants that were struggling are doing way better and almost all signs of deficiency are gone. You might want to look up the aquarium calculator Aquarium Calculators | Aquarium plant food / fertiliser calculators for correct dosing. I find that there is not near enough emphasis on the levels of magnesium or calcium, and or w/e make up GH. For some reason GH booster hasnt been enough for me. I raised my KH and GH to 3 , and I had a noticeable improvement, but still had some major issues going on. I am now dosing 2 1/8 tsp of MgS04 3 times a week, and the results are remarkable... Good luck


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayazGouramiz View Post
I'm sure your not adding table salt :P I imagine that you are referring to baking soda or Epsom salt. Baking soda (Sodium bicarbonate) is kind of like a salt think... And Epsom salt is MgSO4 which is great for planted tanks.

I too have soft water here in Portland, OR... It has been the limiting factor for my hightech planted tank. That and the fact that I have a substrate (Turface) that lowers my KH. That being said my plant growth was limited and erratic with signs of deficiencies. Even with the use of GH booster and Sodium bicarbonate. I finally got sick of it and kept researching. I have found that adding Mgs04 is absolutely critical for my planted tank. My plants have finally started to pearl, and their growth rate has doubled. The plants that were struggling are doing way better and almost all signs of deficiency are gone. You might want to look up the aquarium calculator Aquarium Calculators | Aquarium plant food / fertiliser calculators for correct dosing. I find that there is not near enough emphasis on the levels of magnesium or calcium, and or w/e make up GH. For some reason GH booster hasnt been enough for me. I raised my KH and GH to 3 , and I had a noticeable improvement, but still had some major issues going on. I am now dosing 2 1/8 tsp of MgS04 3 times a week, and the results are remarkable... Good luck
GH and KH of 3 seems very low. It is the bare minimum for some plants and not enough for others.

Seachem Equilibrium contains magnesium. Perhaps if you increased GH & KH to 6 you wouldn't need to dose with magnesium?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 05:14 AM
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GH and KH of 3 seems very low. It is the bare minimum for some plants and not enough for others.

Seachem Equilibrium contains magnesium. Perhaps if you increased GH & KH to 6 you wouldn't need to dose with magnesium?
I nvr really thought of that... lol. For some reason I thought Gh and Kh of 3 were good as I read that KH above one was good and 3 was a good target, and that a lot of plants that I have prefer low gh. That being said I may try to do this.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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So it sounds like I should shoot for a GH and KH in the 3-6 range.
I have some Seachem Equilibrium that I can use to raise the GH.
I will use some Seachem Alkaline Buffers to raise the KH.

Then I will add a 1 tsp of Equilibrium at water change (~30 gal) as well as some KH buffers.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Shanefe View Post
I live in the Seattle area and I am trying to grow a carpet of Dwarf Hairgrass. Some plants grow well in my tank (Val) and other do not.

I have med tech tank, (dosing PPS Pro, tanked CO2 injection, 80 watts LEDs). 72 Gallon Bow front.

My water is soft. KH in the 1.25 dKH range. My GH test kit is expired and I can not get a reading from it.

I normally do a every other week water change of ~40%, adding some salt and Prime.

Should I be adding some GH / KH boosters as well?

I would like to keep the tank as 'simple' as possible wrt water changes.
Hi Shanefe,

Welcome to TPT! I too live in the Seattle area and am blessed / cursed with the very soft water that comes out of our taps. Although you are up north and get your water from the Tolt River and I am south and get mine from the Cedar River we both have low mineral content 'snow melt' water with minimal minerals. Here is the Seattle Public Utilities website where you can see the various levels of nutrients in the water; we are very, very low in all minerals including Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), and Potassium (K).

For us in the Seattle area (or any soft water area) adding nutrients to avoid deficiencies is a must. When Tom Barr visited the Greater Seattle Aquarium Society (GSAS)
in September of 2010 I specifically asked him about soft water since he has similar issues in the Bay Area where he lives. He stated that he didn't worry too much about dKH but tries to maintain about 4.0 - 5.0 dGH. I on the other hand like to maintain about a 2.0 dKH level and a 4.0 dGH level.

Hair grass needs a fair amount of light. I grew it in my 30 gallon where my PAR reading is +/- 100 umol. It is unlikely with an 80 watt LED over a 72 bowfront that you are attaining that level of light intensity. GSAS has a PAR meter that members can check out for a week at no charge, it is a very useful tool to determine if I have low, medium, or high light in a new set-up.

75 gallon planted

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75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1XFluval F&P 2.0; 45 Gallon Tall, 96Watt AH Supply CF 6700K; 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 and (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay

Last edited by Seattle_Aquarist; 09-29-2015 at 10:45 PM. Reason: ..
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