Extremely hard water advise needed - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Extremely hard water advise needed

Hello ther forum! I'm new here and first post.
well firstly I live at Cyprus, Limassol if this is any help.

The water in my area is about 22 dgh out of the tap and in the aquarium it settles at about 20 Dgh, my ph is about 7.7

So I was wondering as I've been reading about this stuff for about two weeks now if you can help me.

I am setting a planted tank a 15 gallon one. I love plants and want my tank heavily planted. But I've reading people saying that plants need soft water and other people saying that soft or hard doesnt matter and its all so confusing.

Recently I've been reading that most plants will adapt to any water as long as you "feed" them properly. So I have been wondering is this correct? and if yes how much is enough? have plants to get co2 and too fertilize as often as possible
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 07:11 PM
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Common 'easy' plants can handle most water without issues but there are some plants that prefer soft water. Stick to easy plants and likely things will be fine. I find my tank is better off adding some GH booster even though my tap water is not particularly soft.

You could cut the tap water with some RO or distilled water to lower the GH if you decide your water is too hard.

Whether the water is hard or soft plants won't do well if they don't have all they need to grow. Light, water, carbon, nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, the magnesium and calcium in your hard water and a multitude of minor elements are needed. Usually with low light there is enough nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon from fish poop and respiration but usually potassium and micro nutrients are still needed for healthy plants long term.


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 10:37 PM
ony
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I have harder water than you and most plants do fine. CO2 is an option but if you check out the low tech forum you will find loads of people don't bother with it. Fertilizers usually come with a dosing recommendation on the packet, you can start at the recommended dose and then work up or down based on how the plants look. (lazy but works)

My family is from Larnaca, kind of weird seeing someone from that area on a random forum
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 10:56 PM
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My water is liquid rock out of the tap, sitting around 350-375 TDS and over 8.0ph. It's really horrendous. In my experience, I have found plants often listed as prefering softer water conditions will actually tolerate a fairly wide range of conditions. The overall consensus seems to be that unless you are dealing with a particularly sensitive species, it will likely adapt to harder water than it's optimal environment.

Depending on your set-up, c02 isn't an absolute necessity merely because you have hard water or high pH. I run all my set-ups non-c02, but I select for species that tolerate low-light, non-c02.


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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies people! And also glad to find someone from cyprus too!

Though as I like to explore every little possibility, I have been wondering as I have two T8 15W each (on a 60 Litre tank as a reminder and basically there would be about 50 Litres left after putting everything in it) would co2 really be that unnecessary? Should I not bother at all?

And lastly out of curiosity! Lets just say I have the chance to buy an osmosis system, would it be better to drop the DGH to about 10? is it gonna make a difference?

Thanks!
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 04:01 PM
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Depends on what fish you want to keep, I wouldn't bother with RO just for the plants but fish are more fussy. Also RO production wastes a lot of water, not good in summer.

I'd be very tempted to try CO2 if I was setting up a new tank but that's because I already have two non-CO2 planted tanks. Variety is good and both CO2 and non-CO2 systems have their merits.

Last edited by ony; 01-26-2013 at 04:02 PM. Reason: typo
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 07:12 PM
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Depending on how good the reflectors are your tank is right at the edge of using or not using carbon.
The easiest to use is probably a liquid source such as Seachem Excel.
The smallest pressurized set up would probably work, such as paintball or a similar sized set up.
An easy DIY system using yeast and sugar would work for that size tank.

RO is more for the fish. Fish from soft water habitats would have problems with GH over about 9 German degrees of hardness, and most would prefer GH under about 5 degrees.
There are plenty of fish that would work in your tank that come from harder water, so unless you are set on one or more of the soft water species, I would go with what you have, and not get into the complexity of trying to alter your water.
If you like trying such things, though, and can get the RO unit at a good price, it can be interesting. It really is not that difficult.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-27-2013, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for RO advises, it seems finally I will not be going for one.

But then I again I read somewhere that the harder you water is the more difficult is for your plants to receive nutrients.

How true is that?
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-27-2013, 01:31 PM
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i went from this:


to this:


in about thirty six days, and i have the same kind of liquid rock that weatiesl337 has. i dont think it really matters all that much.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-27-2013, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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what is you wpg mate? and any co2 in it? feritlizers? dosage?!

and wow!
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-27-2013, 02:20 PM
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DIY CO2(you can see the bottle sitting on top) no ferts, just sand, and four 32 watt 48 inch t8 bulbs. its just two of the larger shop lights they sell at walmart, the 48 inch dual bulb ones.

i should also mention that i never turn off my lights. i dont know if that made them grow faster or not. it does produce a lot of green spot algae.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-27-2013, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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how many litres is that tank?
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-27-2013, 02:49 PM
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about 245
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-27-2013, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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thanks! I was wondering would it be ok to combine on T8 lamp 15w with one T5 lamp 24w?
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-27-2013, 03:12 PM
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i dont see why it would be a problem...

if you end up with algae problems, dont panic, just go through the steps people usually go through to get rid of it; reduce photoperiod, add nitrates, ad CO2 if you can, etc.

if you dont think of algae as a permanent problem, you will likely have the patience to find a solution to it.
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