My city's tap water is 13kH and 23gH. Filling up 4 5-gallons jugs ($1.50 a bottle at HEB) every week can put a big hole in your wallet and break your back. What are the solutions to this kind of hard water if I want to plant glossos?
I was rather hoping one of the much vaunted, oft ballyhooed, and rarely heard from Gurus might answer this.
As unworthy as I am, I shall in attempt an answer:
I am working with no information about your tank(s) or its other inhabitant’s flora and fauna wise. I also do not know the basis for your definitive pronouncement on the condition of your tap water and being a potted plant, I don’t get out much, I don’t know what “HEB” is or stands for, I am assuming it is the water purveyor. US $1.50 for 5 gallons of good quality water does not strike me as a terrible price, especially if it is reverse osmosis (RO) or de-ionized (DI) water. Lugging the water around just means, you have no need of some expensive gym membership.
First, I am not entirely sure Glossostigma elatinoides will not grow in your tap water. Have you tried?
I read a comment (I failed to note the source) that growing Glossostigma elatinoides is a good example of the sliding scale of hard and soft water.
I do not have a great deal of experience with Glossostigma elatinoides, what I have found is that above all else they like light, lots of light, same goes for CO2, many start them emerged, me I float them until they grow out, I dislike planting things without decent roots, just irritates me and tears up my substrate. They like good circulation and high nutrients, high nutrient substrate and I have read they like extra iron in the substrate so I provide extra iron.
I have found Glossostigma elatinoides to be one of the least demanding of the ‘demanding plants’ I am not sure why it has such a reputation for being difficult, as with my daughter, give glossos whatever they want and they aren’t the least demanding or difficult.
Just observing my tanks with Glosso, Most are around 6 to 8 dKH (105-140 ppm) and seem to be doing well. I will say that the under 4dKH (70 ppm) tanks do seem rather more lush and dense and harder to contain.
My reading the last day or so seems to indicate a preference for lower KH, but I really have not found anyone willing to be definitive, this is one of the reasons I was hoping one of the aforementioned Gurus and not just some administrator would step in, but it seems to be just me and thee.
To your water, assuming the 13 dKH in your tap water obviously filter or neutralize the chlorine or chloramines and simply cut the tap water with the bottled water. How much to cut really depends on what is in your bottled water.
Another option is a simple filter such as a cartridge filter for an icemaker, get a de-limer, reasonably sure that you are not the only one with these problems in your area. Likely, a local hardware store Tru-Value or ACE could set you up with everything you need to knock the hardness down a bit and rid you of chlorine/chloramines. Just avoid using the water that has passed through a water softener.
I think that glosso will grow in most waters, it may need some adaption period. I think that as pointed out, c02 and nutrients are important. I disagree slightly that they need HIGH light, but no matter. The important thing is that you have ENOUGH light, and I think Tom has mentioned 30-50 micromoles which is not that hard to get.
Getting some current down to the substrate will also be helpful to spread nutrients/co2 and remove waste products.
I would try it with your tap first, also as advised
You can always go to plan B if the tap doesn't work out.
Gerry may not be a ‘Guru’ officially, but Gerry is awfully dad-gummed smart. Therefore, I listen, when Gerry speaks.
I suspect the “any water conditions” is correct, though sometimes it has to do with the talent of the individual in pressing the envelope. I do, as I said before, recommend, trying the Glossostigma elatinoides in your tap water, hate to find out you went to all the trouble and some potted plant steered you wrong.
For me it is the Tonina fluviatilis, belem and manaus that just kick my butt when I even think about 4 dKH and at 8 dKH, just die. Yet I know folks Tom Barr the Administrator and John the Moderator Guy among them have no problems at 12 dKH. So my lack of talent, likely with substrate mixes keeps me at 2 dKH or there about with the Toninas and Eriocaulons.
As to the lighting, my admittedly limited experience with Glossostigma elatinoides, leads me to think that rather higher lighting is necessary for us, mere mortals when it comes to the low growing dense carpeting I think most expect.
I do not have a PAR meter yet, waiting as I am for the group buy. However, if those micromols which seem suspiciously like the microeinsteins of antiquity, all I have to say is that is one heck of a substrate if folks can grow dense low growing carpet of Glossostigma elatinoides in 30 micromols of Photosynthetically active radiation, PAR irradiance, I will obviously never be able to compete with that.
My Glossostigma elatinoides actually vary in height by shade in the tanks, I’ve got one going now where I am attempting to use shading to ‘paint a picture’ in Glossostigma elatinoides. Even in a medium-lit tank, I have areas where, do to shading, the Glossostigma elatinoides grow taller, three to five times taller and I am quite sure I am getting more than 50 micromols of irradiance. (Properly I suppose would be 50 micromols photons/M^2/second, since photosynthesis is a quantum process, photosynthetically active radiation, PAR being that measure of the photosynthetic photon flux density, PPFD (It strikes me this may also be a clue to the cyanobacteria thing.))
I am genuinely flummoxed. I cannot find the energy at 50 micromols, let alone 30. Where is the energy coming from? What am I missing?
Oh well, do what the smart people say. There is a reason I am no one here. Maybe if I had a brain.
Wow... so does the water pour out as a fine sand with those parameters?
I'd be tempted to run a very strict EI schedule for a while to start things off, just to get your variables nailed down. Pull something like 80% RO to start, then slowly back it off by reducing the RO 5% every week. Given a months growth lag, when the growth starts to go bad, you know it happened at most around 20% more RO than what you were using. From there you can fine tune.
My first post
I have found glosso will adapt to the hardest of water. Good quality light and c02 is required for lush growth. As for nutrients well, I have grown it at both high and ultra low nutrient levels and find it does best when starting out at low levels and over time you can move to ei or other dosing system and it will continue to thrive.
Do you adapt the Glosso or do they sort of just adapt themselves?
I am not surprised that they adapt well to different water conditions.
I have thought the CO2 and light were key.
Though now I am assured they don't even require much light at all.
My experience has been through 8 dKH, GH does not seem to make any difference.
Under moderate to high light as the light tails off the Glosso grows taller, though not entirely unpleasant they just don't look right and less than moderate light get stringy and tall and kind of pale..
I suppose it could be a nutrient thing, you mention low nutrient moving to high.
Also I have started using much richer substrates and may be the reason I have had problems at lower light levels, I would love to back off the light, it puts other plants into hyper-drive.
Do you mind sharing basic information such as substrate and such like?
I guess adapts itself. that said it can take weeks to months if you buy it from the lfs. Guessing that it's grown outside and not submerged.
Glosso in my experience will grow vertical mostly after it has covered open areas. From my experience high light will do little to stop it. I just trim it as desired.
Some other observations !
lack of c02 for more then just a few days in a well grown out tank will cause it to melt down. big mess.
Will grow very well but slow at low nutrient levels. "levels where some other plants will just decline, ie swords,sag..."
Does not compete well with other plants at high nutrient levels.
Will grow over solid rock and attach roots to it. So imho rich substrates are not required.
good quality light and c02 is the key!
55 gal tank
t5 ho lights 108w with good reflectors,bulbs and ballasts
first 1.5 years diy c02, now has pressurized c02 dosing
Changed to ei dosing about 1.5 months ago.
tap water "liquid rock"
20 neons, no other fauna
Thats about it!
best part , I have not cleaned the glass in over 4 months,
Thanks mountaindew, I kind of suspected the substrate thing, the Glosso I've had the longest has jumped my little seperators, climbed all over everything, for a 'difficult' plant it is kind of overwhelming everything.
My apologies to carbotex, I should not have attempted the answer, I just couldn't stand seeing an honest question go unanswered.
I think CO2 is key, what Gerry and mountaindew have said is based on far better experience than mine, sorry for any confusion.
I have just ordered a PAR meter and I am going to look at the lower light thing. I have been significantly backing off light and really found that things are going very well.
I like the look of the Glosso but it is a bit aggressive for my tastes and purposes. I guess a lot of thew folks using Glosso tend to keep short term tanks or scapes I guess is the better term.
I guess I still don't know what HEB is or if that was RO or DI or what and if it US$1.50 for 5-gallons or if that price was in lieu of a Gym membership.
I just took some PAR readings where the glosso is currently growing well and in the direction it is headed
Currently growing well at >=30 micro moles and is heading to ranges of between 10 (in the shade) and 45 in the open, so will report in the next 7-10 days as these areas are about 6-8 inches away
Shouldn't take more than that to reach those areas.......
I now have my lights 4 FEET above the substrate, to give you an idea of what 3x150w MH 6500k will get you. Mounted 24" above the tank and the tank is 24" deep.
I also have a TINY patch of HC that is FINALLY rooted (I think). It looks like it actually spread a tiny bit, so am hopeful it will finally take......
So, we will see what min PAR at least each seems to need........
Had I known THEN what I know now about light, I never would have gotten such is high powered fixture. I was under the impression that MH was NEEDED for a nice tank. Little did I know.........
Oh well, lessons learned
Nice tank! I very much like the choice of apparently just the two species of plants.... I like the aromatica(?) with the glosso. Nice contrast... I have the same two in mine but not limited. You have excellent growth!!!! I hope to emulate and show a pic in a 5-6 weeks....
Thanks for the kind words. I am certainly underserving of such praise as I hired a ghost writer for the harder threads LOL