Northern NJ Hard Water, High pH, HC Carpet?
(Edit: In Substrate instead of water parameters due to possible affect on my choice of substrate..)
I just assume I have hard water as my pH is 8.3 out of the tap, and when I fishless cycled a previous tank it stayed around 8.3 for 3 weeks and then overnight plummeted down to ~6. I don't know for sure but I believe I have read that is indicative of pretty hard water which then crashes after buffer is depleted. If anyone in North Jersey (Union County) is aware of hard water conditions you can chime in please, although I do plan on getting a test kit next visit to the LFS.
So as I research and research regarding setting up a dedicated planted tank (I do have live plants in my Cory/Tetra tank but plan on removing them due to playsand substrate and going back to a plastic setup in their 20H, and setting up a 40 or 50 "breeder" size planted tank, as my first real attempt at planting a tank) I read that people have encountered problems with HC and other carpet plans and hard water, particularly while using Eco Complete. Well, for a few weeks now I had been thinking I was going to use Eco and try to grow HC (will have pressurized CO2 if I am able to control it, as I already have all of the expensive parts except reactor or diffuser) and will have 2 T5HOs suspended above the tank. What kind of water quality do I need in order to successfully grow HC or other carpeting type plants, and is a pH of 8.3 too high or do I need to switch my mindset over to ADA Aquasoil which may or may not make my water a much lower pH?
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