Plants that help eats hardness? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Plants that help eats hardness?

What will you recommend If I'm looking for plants that help eats water hardness from my tank? I can use any weed, especially the ones that are planted. Floating ones are also welcome at smaller amount (perhaps I will confine them by the edge or let them float inside my sump).


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 01:43 PM
 
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I dont know about plants that eat hardness . could you not add some peat?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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It is the easiest solution to slightly hard water and I cannot deny that (even though I'm not fond of how my tank will be stainned after - as it is already slightly yellow now after 3-4 days since WC).

I heard of brazilian elodia that use up some water hardness in order to strip carbon and stay alive. They do that to feed the demand of their constantly growing stems and leaves. Is this a fact or a myth? Are there other plants out there which behaves the same?

I sure wish I'm not going to have to do "mythbusters" on this one


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2006, 12:56 AM
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elodea, anacharis, egeria... yes, it can use carbonate as a source for carbon. that will lower your carbonate hardness, but not your general hardness. for that you either need some kind of water softening resin (ie Rena's water softening filter stuff), peat, or a source of distilled, ro/di water that you can mix with your tap water. I don't know of any plants that are calcium hungry enough to change water from hard to soft... why does you water need to be softer? *most* plants can adjust to a variety of hardness levels just fine. in fact, in a high light + co2 scenario, I'd rather have too much hardness than too little. plants can cope with water that's a little harder than their "ideal range", but put them in water that's softer than they require and you'll be fighting deficiencies and cursing your brand new RO unit. If you want softer water for fish, then I'm assuming they must be very sensitive fish, or you must be trying to breed them. if that's the case, then see the suggestions above. if it's neither of those, then I'm assuming you're wanting to grow one of those pain-in-the-neck tonina type plants that dies if you sneeze in its general direction. if so, best of luck with that... in any case, GH "eating" plants don't exist to my knowledge (you could switch to SW and corals would use up your calcium in no time!), but kH "eaters" do exist, but probably not enough of a difference to matter anyway... but beyond all of that, why would you want to lower your kh if your gh is ok?

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2006, 01:10 AM
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Anyone remember stonewort? Also known as nitella? Doesn't that use TDS for it's stems? Isn't that why it's called stonewort?

In college....so no aquariums for a while.....
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2006, 01:36 AM
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This concept works only if the tank is completely out of CO2. And it is connected with an increase in pH. Not a good ambiente for growing plants!

So... back to selecting plants, or investing in RO/DI. (And if Hygrophila doesn't grow in 10kH water, maybe something else is wrong?)


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2006, 03:03 AM
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I dont think there are any plants out there that will uptake calcium or magnesum fast enough to make a noticible diffrence. If your tap water is only slightly hard, like you said, then whats the problem? I keep my water slightly hard on pourpose.

75 gallon, fillstar xp2 with inline reactor, 12 Lb pressurised co2, 4.2 WPG-corallife 3x96 watt PC-, fluorite/silica-sand substright.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2006, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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I figure such plants would not be significant as they eat slow and by the time it is a bit softer by 1-3 degrees, it is time for another WC.... silly

It is frustrating enough that a weed like hygrophylla poliserma does not grow as weed in my tank(s) with controlled temp, high light, dosed ferts and injected CO2. It would be a big challange to find out what is wrong, because my tank is showing a dynamic result.

Some plants are doing good : vals (partial creasing but growing tall) crypts, swordplants, water sprite, ambulia, tiger lotus, anubias, ferns, moss, cabomba caroliana, etc.
Some are not (and some doesnt make it): small leaved bacopa, hygrophylla poliserma, milfoils, cabomba furcata,alternanthera, stellata, etc.

I will need lots of advise and experiences from you guys to find out what is wrong. I've already put out some factors and left with lighting, hardness and substrate as the questionable parameter. That is why I'm already running my other tank with different substrate to see if it is my problem. I'm sure there will be plus and minus noticed on both substrates.

If you generally think that 12 gH and 9 kH is acceptable for running a general tank like mine, then let it be that way.

*I do consider RO unit as a long term investment. For now I have to look for one that does not cost me an arm an a leg (I have seen so far which cost at least $1000). I can see that in USA there are lots of household RO for $100-200


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2006, 04:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medicineman
If you generally think that 12 gH and 9 kH is acceptable for running a general tank like mine, then let it be that way.
My kh is 8.5-9 in all my tanks, with a gh higher than 12. I have had zero problems with Alternanthera reineckii, HC, Bocopa monieri, Bocopa caroliniana. As a matter of fact the only thing that I have ever tried that didn't do well was Tonina belem, but that was expected. I agree with the others that said you should be able to grow near any plant with those parameters. It's got to be something else. Good luck.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2006, 05:11 AM
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I am really interested in this as well, my water is so hard that if you spill it on the floor it cracks I gave up on figuring out my kh, way too many drops and I always max out the LFS tests at 300 ppm.

I have seriously considered using peat in a sump, but I am not sure that would work for me. I think RO is my only hope and do a mix of tap and RO, lots of fun.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2006, 05:15 AM
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It just depends what you want... if you need to grow stellata and C. furcata and such, the kH needs to go (down). On the other hand, Alternanthera reineckii and Hygrophila and Bacopa shouldn't give you troubles at higher hardness, so perhaps there are other issues.

Think about it - while a collectoritis tank is nice to start with, once you get a little more into 'scaping you want to reduce the number of plant varieties anyway. It's really hard to get a satisfying layout with 7 different red and orange plants... Of course I am not saying that a one- or two-species tank is the ultimate goal

The trick is to grow healthy plants. A healthy Rotala indica or Java Moss or (insert 25 easy growers here) looks so much better than the latest discovery (insert highly prized/high priced plant here) that's slowly rotting to death.

It's somewhat similar with fish... do you need to breed discus if your tapwater is liquid rock? Why do you have to have rift lake cichlids if there is no Ca or Mg in the tapwater? Sure you can... but...


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2006, 07:16 AM
 
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Only problem I have is with Tonina species, I don't see anything wrong with all the other plants. R/O will lower the hardness and thats the best bet, but why spend $100 bucks on 1-2 plant?
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