Very hard water (800 TDS, very high calcium/magnesium) and growing plants. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Very hard water (800 TDS, very high calcium/magnesium) and growing plants.

Hi everyone,

I moved in the middle of October to Cambridge Ontario. Went from neutral water with a pH of 7.4 ish and around 8-9 gh and kh and TDs of about 175.

See attached and the link below for info on my current water.
My Water Hardness | Water Softener Facts
Cambridge and the surrounding area is the hardest water in Canada. In my specific area we are look at 24-28 grain per gallon of hardness. Hard water marks on everything

Anyways, my tank has been an a steady decline and is showing no signs of improving at all. I am wondering if I simply cannot do plants in this sort of water.

Plants I have are bolbitis, anubias Nana petite and barteri and needle leave Java fern
The picture hides the ugly stuff pretty good.

Symptoms are:
Hardly any growth, stalled.
Algae starting to creep in, haven't had algae in this for a long time.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Thinking about pulling all the plants and selling what I can before it gets to bad and focusing on hardscape only.



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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 11:40 AM
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I know it's probably not the answer you want but you could install an RO/DI unit and either do full RO w/ remineralization or a mix of the two.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipraposo1982 View Post
In my specific area we are look at 24-28 grain per gallon of hardness.
I agree with @bk. on the RO water. If you did half tap/ half RO it would knock that down to the 14 range, which should be good with your plant selection. 24-28 is crazy high!

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 12:08 PM
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24-28.. I can't even. I agree with the above posters. Start using RO/DI Water and save your tank. Either do something about it now or watch it go down slowly. Good luck to you!

Bump: OH and that's the first time I've seen the term GPG. Google saved the day and I learned something new.


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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Is a RO system something I can do in a apartment building?

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by philipraposo1982 View Post
Is a RO system something I can do in a apartment building?

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Sure. https://www.amazon.com/Aquatic-Life-...+for+aquariums
The three stage is pretty entry level, the 4 stage adds a DI chamber. You can pay a lot more for bigger units but it gets to a point where all your benefitting is more gallons per day on those

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipraposo1982 View Post
Is a RO system something I can do in a apartment building?

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For sure. Just hooks up to the sink using standard attachments. As long as you have enough water pressure you're good. Even if low pressure you can get a booster pump.



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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Would I need to use a holding tank for the water? Or does it fill directly to the tank ?

And just so I am clear, its either ro/di or I won't be able to grow healthy plants right?

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 01:17 PM
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I put a standard garden hose y-splitter off of our washing machine hookup. Set up the water to run through the RO unit and run the discharge water down the washing machine drain.

The nice thing about a standard RO/DI unit like spectrapure or a bulk reef supply unit or the like is that the replacement filters are readily available. I've seen people recommend the unit referenced in an earlier post but I have no experience with the ease of replacing those filters. They may be just as available.

Edit:

You'll probably want to store the RO water in a separate container. This way you can remineralize or pull that water to mix with tap water when doing your water changes.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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My apartment is tiny, I don't have the means to store the water. I also have a laundry room but no laundry in my unit. I don't think I can do the RO/DI setup successfully based on the little I have read here,

Sounds like the plants may have to go...

Time to start planing a simply elegant hardscape only tank for my green terror.

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 01:47 PM
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You might want to look into crypts. My water is fairly similar to yours out of the tap. For most of my tanks I run RO/DI at about 90-95% to 10-5% tap. I have one tank that I run just tap and I have just crypts in there and they love it.

Also I noticed you mentioned something about just having moved. When did the algae start to show up? Is there any chance your cycle was reset during the move somehow? Media dried out, froze, or became anaerobic?



also to note: In my experience anubias take some time to adjust to changing water parameters. I have gotten them to grow in fairly hard water, but they took several months to almost a year before they actually started doing well. Just my .02
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 01:59 PM
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You can do a perpetual system where you drip in the RO water but the hose from the sink to the tank would be a pain.


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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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I moved in the middle of October, never went through a mini cycle or anything. Algae is more recent. the first few weeks a lot of the plants showed signs of stress and leaves begin to wither away. I cut all of that stuff back (at the time this was fine do to how thick it was prior). Since then its been a steady decline. the bit of new growth I see just never looks great and shortly after start degrading. the anubias barteri is the only one that hasn't seem to mind the change to much.

I would look at other plants but because my pet fish is a Green Terror and he is constantly in the sand either looking for more food or just moving stuff, plants that require substrate is not really an option. Its for this reason that I have gone with the plant choices I currently have. Also to ensure low maintenance.

I also realize as he grow I will need to remove a fair bit of the wood that is in there just to give him more space. So I was planing on change the scape but still wanted to keep some plants. Maybe just try and keep some anubias barteri in there.

On the top of the tank I have a lot of pathos which helps remove nitrates and looks nice. So that will stay. With the large amounts of water changes I like to do it would seem difficult to incorporate a ro/di unit even if i had the room and could hook it up proper.

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 03:13 PM
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That's a shame, your tank is so cool. I'm sure your new layout will be impressive too though.
Another option would be to buy RO water from a LFS for each WC. Sounds like that would get old fast however.

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Change is always nice. I am going to try and hunt down some new wood that would be more suitable. sell what I can and start over. should be fun

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