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Discussion Starter #41
Depending on what the results are you may find the softened well water is the lesser of two evils. I have well water and it's very rich in iron, so using it directly was out of the question. But it does vary a great deal depending on your location.

And I ran my tank for quite a while with softened well water. While not ideal, you can still have a great tank. It does limit some choices of plants, but sounds like you are only going to be keeping a small number of species. If so, just might take some time to determine which ones like the soup you are serving.

And keep in mind well water can vary a bit. My KH would fluctuate seasonally, going from about 12 to 18.
I think I'm going to use softened well water as a last resort. I don't have a water softener installed yet, and my original plan was to bypass the softener for tank water. I'm going to stick with this plan for now, and if it proves to be unmanageable, then I'll switch to softened water. Lastly, if that still doesn't work, then I'll switch to RO and install all of the nonsense that goes along with that whole mess =)

For the time being, I'm just going to try to work with what I have.

And holy smokes on that KH. What kind of ph does a KH of 18 come in at? That's nuts!
 

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Just for the record, even when my KH hits 16, I have no problem getting my ph into the mid-6 range with co2 from a tap of 7.5 I don't have a fruit salad setup, but my bolbitis, moss, buce and hairgrass grow very well. My tetras and shrimp are unaffected by the high KH. Still can't keep a snail alive though (too much co2, I think for their shells.)
 

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Discussion Starter #45
So, I just did a big cleanup and water change. Levels after the water change are now:

NO3- 7 ppm
PO4- 3-4 ppm
GH- 13
Ca- 60ish
Mg (calculated)- 20ish
KH- 9

Some of these numbers just don't make sense to me...

Per Nilocg website, each dose of Macro should be adding roughly 5.75x NO3 than PO4. Is there something that will inhibit PO4 uptake, that would cause my numbers to be that skewed? I'm hesitant to increase dosing to get my NO3 to 20ish, because I don't want to end up at like 9-12ppm PO4 (if the ratios I'm seeing above stay the same). My only other option would be to get individual macros and make my own mix.

The other thing that weird is the Mg is suddenly much higher, even though I only added 7.5ppm. I ran out of time, but I think I'm going to redo the GH and Mg tests later today. This seemed of to me.
 

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Hi @jellopuddinpop,

Why would you think that something is 'inhibiting' the uptake of PO4, it is lower in the tank than the amount you are dosing. Again, if you look at the Mulder's Chart you can see what does inhibit the uptake of P. I made a calculator for Mg calculation on Excel, if you give me the dGH and ppm of Ca I will be happy to verify your estimated Mg level. -Roy
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Hi @jellopuddinpop,

Why would you think that something is 'inhibiting' the uptake of PO4, it is lower in the tank than the amount you are dosing. Again, if you look at the Mulder's Chart you can see what does inhibit the uptake of P. I made a calculator for Mg calculation on Excel, if you give me the dGH and ppm of Ca I will be happy to verify your estimated Mg level. -Roy
I think something is slowing the PO4 uptake, because the ratio I'm adding to NO3 is different dosing vs measured. I would think since I'm so low on NO3, I should be low on PO4 as well.

As far as the Mg calculation, I have that down pat. I think my dGH or Ca measurement was off, causing the Mg calculation to be skewed.
 
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