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Soft water +gh booster = some plants happy others terrible! Help:(

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by ibenu, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. ibenu

    ibenu Junior Poster

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    Living in Vancouver BC our water is so SOFT hardness is practically zero.. I have been growing way too many plants to list however great success with..
    P.Stellatus
    Broadleaf Stellatus
    Blyxa Japonica

    Failing plants

    Rotalla
    Willichi
    Indica
    macranda
    ericulons
    aromatica...

    Upon adding less than discus levels of a kent ro right liquid I saw a dramatic improvement in what was failing and a strange wrinkling if new growth in my stellatus both P and broad..

    I am loving the improvements and hating having my new broad leaf looking sad.. Even my aromatica is so much better.

    Wondering if there is a middle ground for both sets of plants or if I need to have just a soft water tank for my beloved Stellatus varieties....

    Thanks in advance for sharing your insights...
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    If you will share more details of your tank size, dosing regimen, maintenance schedule, lighting, c02, substrate, etc, etc I and many others will be happy to share our insights!

    Sorry, but there are too many factors that affect plant growth to assume it is due to hardness.....

    Using c02 or not will make a huge difference.

    The more info you can provide the better advice you will receive....
     
  3. mi5haha

    mi5haha Prolific Poster

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    diferent plants require different water hardness. some good at GH4, some GH6, some GH12. you need to search for a rough hardness scope, and try them in your tank, and get the most suitable ones in your tank.
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Those are CO2 dependent plants you have issues with, the others are not demanding in terms of CO2.

    Adding nutrients, GH booster etc, drives more growth, which drives more CO2 demand.
    Some speciues can deal with low CO2 better, others are simply better competitors for the little amount that is there, more aggressive weeds etc............

    So if uyou limit K+, PO4 etc more than CO2, then add those nutrients........Liebig's Law will predict you go from one limiting nutrient to another.
    If the nutrients are non limiting, and the CO2, then there's no issue(the reference or control).

    I have all these species without issues, I add about 1 tsp per 60Gal 2x a week of Gh booster.
    My tap is also snow melt, super soft.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. ibenu

    ibenu Junior Poster

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    [​IMG][​IMG]

    250g tank
    350+ watts t5
    50% water changes weekly
    60-90 ml metricide 3-4 times weekly
    seachem florish or tropica master grow knock off 4-6 times weekly30-45ml
    photoperiod 8-9.5 hours daily
    Shultz aquatic soil over worm castings with osmocote plus at very bottom, in small amounts under some groupings of blyxa...
    k2po4 small doses.. 2 squirts = 1.25ppm in about 200g water.. 2 times a week

    These are before the addition of the RO right/gh booster. It is really the only differing factor in months for my regime.(just to show you the stellatus all through the left especially of the tank.. ) you can see the growth pattern in the second photo, I was very happy with it and it grew like this since its addition many moons ago LOL... Now its crinky and stunted kinda, where as the rotallas are thrilled, red and all around better and bigger..since the gh increase...

    I trimmed it as usuall last time, before the addition of the blyxa.
    The stellata was the most successful plant in the tank.
    I will reduce the RO right to half next time and see where I am at. The discus look better for the change, so If it means I have a tap water only tank for my stellatus I really think I would do it..
    So there's some more info.. I dont think I forgot anything you asked...
     
    #5 ibenu, Jun 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2010
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Stop with the Excel sub metricide , and focus more on more current and O2, and then add more CO2 progressively and slowly.
    Wait, watch, discus will turn dark and not eat much,m be as frisky if there's not a good CO2/O2 ratio.
    But.........you need good O2.

    Do not add RO right.
    I get fat P stellata, dime size stem diameters with the routine I've suggested.
    I also grow some nice Rotalas............Erios, Hydrothrix, D diandra, S. belem, R wallichii all together.

    About the same light.

    I think some Staourgyne might make it in the foreground.
    Downoi also. Moss stones another idea.
    Discus will color up better with higher GH.

    I'd add a bit more PO4, about 2x that amount.

    Then focus strongly on slow careful adjustment of CO2.
    Watch plants and fish carefully with each change of the CO2.

    Turn knob for needle valve 1/20th etc each time and watch and wait.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. ibenu

    ibenu Junior Poster

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    I have no pressurized Co2 on the tank (or any tank yet for that matter) have always used he faux excel. Do you mean I Have to get Co2? Or were suggestions under assumption I already had running?

    Lisa
     
  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Lisa,

    You don't NEED c02 to grow plants, but many will not grow well without it.. Excel is merely a carbon substitute.

    Is why I asked if you were using c02 and the details around your tank..

    I would follow Tom's advice on the dosing and investigate adding c02. Is less expensive than you may think, but has it's own set of challenges also.

    I think we all assumed you were using c02.........

    T5's can produce a lot of light. Higher light requires more demand for c02 and other nutrients.

    You cannot use the WPG rule to determine lighting levels. Only a PAR meter can accomplish that.
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    This assumed you have it to begin with.
    If you are okay without using CO2 gas.........I guess.
    But given your goal, your tank volume size, this is really the limiting factor.
    It's not cheap if you are buying name brand Excel, the Met is a lot cheaper, but 250 Gal tank is still 50mls per day and this assumes you add it every day.
    1.5 liters a month so a gal will last 2-3 months or so, not bad economically.

    Still, the decision to chose CO2 should not be based on fear, rather the goal, once you use/learn to use it, it's great. Do not allow fear to dictate this decision.
    You have lower light and seem to care for the tank well, so this will not be as hard as many think, the biggest issue is the 1st step :)
    I avoided gas tanks for a decade, so I know this well.........



    I think the issue may be due to the response of the plants to Excel/Met also potentially .............rather than anything to do with nutrients.
    Still, the addition of nutrients or GH booster etc(RO right is not really GH booster, GH booster is much cheaper BTW) will increase the rates of growth by the plants.
    When this happens, you might switch froma nutrient GH limitation, to a CO2/Met limitation.

    Simply adding more Met will not supply enough Carbon like adding more CO2 gas. Perhaps it may.
    Try dosing a bit more. You can figure Excel is a 1.5% solution.
    So 50mls or so per day will give you about 2ppm, you can go to about 3ppm per day or so without issues.
    I'd not go beyond that though.

    So upping the dose to 1.5X, use GH booster instead and then seeing.
    If that is not working, then you can look into CO2 gas, which you might want to anyways.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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