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Calcium Deficiency ? Barr's GH Booster

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by jmendler, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. jmendler

    jmendler Junior Poster

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    Hello all,

    I am experiencing a bit of curling on the leaves of my Madagascar Lace. From my limited experience (~1year), curling tends to point towards a calcium deficiency, correct?

    The tank is a well stocked 55, with 110 watts with AHS reflectors with injected
    CO2 adjusted for the drop checker to stay green with a standard 4 kH solution.

    I use the EI method dosing with PMDD solution mixed al a Greg Watson, and to maintain the kH and gH, I add in 1tsp of MgSO4, 1tsp Bicarbonate, and 1tsp of Barr's gH Booster every few days.

    Honestly, i haven't tested in a while, but I am almost positive that a there is no lack of N, or K. And I dose P every few days, and a bit of Flourish Iron once or twice a week. (i am a bit conservative with the iron, since i had a nice hair algae festival when i first started planted tanks)

    In general all the plants grow quite well, and I haven't had any problems with algae (except for the occasional green spot type that grows on anubias if it too exposed to high direct light), its just been bugging me lately, and I'd like to sort it out.

    Any thoughts? or experience with lace?

    and is Barr's gH Booster a sufficient source of calcium?

    Or are there any sorely lacking aspects to my regiment?

    Much appreciated.
     
  2. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    Do you know the GH of your tap water? If it's sufficiently high enough calcium shouldn't be an issue anyway. If your tap water has 0 GH (like mine) I don't think 1 tsp of GH booster sounds like enough to bring your GH up on a 55 gallon. I use about 1 tbsp of pure calcium chloride in my 32g (if I'm dosing the whole tank) and that in combination with the same amount of epsom salts only brings my GH up to 20ppm, still really low. GH should be added back in when you do water changes to bring your tap water to the level you want, it's not like other ferts that get used up and need to be dosed regularly based on how fast your plants go through them. Bicarbonate (KH) is the same thing, you don't want to be adding more and more, you want to keep it stable. Most people now agree that it's not needed for plants, only for certain fish sometimes.
     
  3. jmendler

    jmendler Junior Poster

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    Sweet, thanks for the insight.

    As far as I remember, the tapwater in my area, SF Bay area is very soft, so you are probably right, I need to bump up my gH a bit more when I change the water. I'll try to calculate out a dosage based on your recommendations taking into account the ratio of Ca to Mg in Barr's gH Booster. To solve this curling problem, what level am I shooting for? You mentioned even 20ppm is low.

    The only reason that I keep tossing in the Bicarbonate to boost the kH is because is to keep the pH from dropping too low if I neglect o to change the water weekly, but you are probably right, i should adjust appropriately when I change the water.
     
  4. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    Well if my memory serves me right, you want to aim for at least around 20 - 30ppm or maybe higher for the plant's sake. I would just add enough GH booster to get yourself up around that level and see what happens. For a reference point, 1 tbsp of epsom salts will bring your magnesium level up to about 8.5ppm in 50 gallons of water. I'm not sure what the ratio is exactly for GH booster because I've never used it but I would imagine that you will need to add a couple of tablespoons to a tank that size if you are starting off with 0 GH. I would stop adding the epsom salts because I think GH booster already has the correct ratios to use by itself, adding more magnesium could throw it off and isn't needed. Then when you do a water change only add the appropriate amount of GH booster, so if you do a 50% water change add 1 tbsp of GH booster etc. to keep things stable for the fish.
     
  5. rthomas

    rthomas Guru Class Expert

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    Carissa,
    What is your tank size and how many tsp of epsom do you add to your tank after a WC? Do you add in anything for Calcium? If so, how many tsp? TIA.
     
  6. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    It's a 32g and I add 1 tsp epsom salts and 1 tsp calcium chloride every 50% water change. Keeps GH from 30 - 60.
     
  7. rthomas

    rthomas Guru Class Expert

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    Ermmm. Mine is a 160g and I'm adding 2 tsp Calcium Sulphate and 1 tsp epsom salt after a weekly 50% WC. I have noticed that leaves of my H.Difformis curled.

    Carrisa, with that amount, your adding something like (using Fertilator) 13.16ppm Ca and 3.94ppm Mg. And for me, I am only adding 2.83ppm Ca and 0.79ppm Mg :(

    Should I increase my Ca and Mg ?
     
  8. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    I don't have any GH in my tap water so what I add is all I get in total. I just did a quick search and found one source that says that you want around 10ppm of Mg and 50ppm of Ca. So I guess I should probably increase what I'm adding too.
     
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