Barr's GH booster and soft water issues

carlsburg

Junior Poster
Dec 8, 2007
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Hi all, so after a long time I've gotten back into the hobby, this time I started real slow with an ADA mini L tank ... roughly 10gallons which I planted emersed for about a year with HC and anubia nanas. I have recently filled it and started pressurized co2 injection.

I live in the east bay area of SF in california and we are fortunate enough to have really high quality water at the tap. However, according to their annual water report and the tests I've done myself, the GH of the water hovers around 1 or lower. 14 to 22 mg/l. I have been trying to raise my GH slowly to around 5 as I figure its a good middle ground between the needs of my plants (specifically HC) and my fish (galaxy rasboras). However, it doesn't seem like I can add enough of the GH booster to make a difference and I am scared to just experiment without asking first.

Typically I would add a 1/4 tsp on waterchanges, but I was finding no measurable change in the GH. Today I dissolved 1/2 tsp in a cup of water and slowly added it to the tank throughout the day, and after retesting found my GH to be around 2.

Is this a healthy approach for my tank to just add quantities of Barr's GH booster in larger and larger doses until I get to my target level? Or is there another method to raise my GH safely?

Thomas
 

Biollante

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Jun 21, 2009
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Epsom Salt & Gypsum & Call Me In 2 Weeks

Hi Thomas,

Your plants may be using some of what you are not seeing. :)


It would not hurt to push the Barr’s GH Booster a bit. ;)


I do not know what the rest of your dosing is, but in addition to the Barr’s GH Booster, adding a half-teaspoon each Epsom Salt and gypsum would be a good start, try that for a couple of weeks and see what happens. :)


Biollante
 

Philosophos

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Mar 12, 2009
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What Biollante is saying will work. Experimenting won't really hurt either; some of us pour out 100ppm of Ca with 20ppm Mg from the tap, buffer down with aquasoil, and call it a day.

Just as a reference, I live with 6-8 KH, 9-12 GH, and 7.6-8.3 pH depending on what the weather and local farmers are doing. Soft water fish and plants don't just give up on living or suddenly fail in these conditions. Catering to them will reward you, but they are not required for a very pleasing tank.

I have "abused" my tanks with fertilizers in many, many ways. Most of us start off being worried about what we've been trained to think of as some kind of evil man made chemicals only to find out that what we add is only a fraction of what nature manages for toxicity without effort.

On top of it, don't worry about what your fish finds its self in as natural conditions too much. Rasboras aren't sensitive fish, even discus and apistos will get along in harder water than they'd ever find in nature. Most of it has more to do with carbonates than other sources of hardness when it comes to spectacular color and spawning.

For most fish/planted tank keepers, the issue is not caring enough or looking at the details. For you and I, it's excessive concern for the details that holds us back sometimes. Knowing how to put the numbers in perspective isn't easy sometimes, and the planted tank hobby has a lot of pretentious assumptions floating around
 

carlsburg

Junior Poster
Dec 8, 2007
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Letting Go

Well a lot of my experience in the fish keeping hobby has been in reefkeeping, which is all about maintaining a very strict narrow margin in your values or those little colored sticks (sps) up and die. Thanks for your two cents ... it puts my mind at ease.
 

Biollante

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Jun 21, 2009
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Recovering Reef Keeper

Hi Thomas,

What Dan says if certainly correct, not to mention the resident precision dosing expert. :)


Planted tanks are an incredibly forgiving, certainly compared to reef systems.

Most recovering reef keepers have problems with planted aquaria from of over thinking, over tinkering, with planted tanks, when in doubt, don’t. ;)


Light is the exception to the “too much rather than too little” rule. Otherwise Justus von Liebig rules. :)


Patience and observation are rewarded. :cool:


Good luck,
Biollante