Water types: Soft vs. hard & "soft water "plant

DavidR

Prolific Poster
Apr 1, 2005
38
0
6
Texas
I've been growing plants for some time with great results, but I've had trouble with a few. These plants have been labeled as "soft water" plants that grow best in "low conductivity" waters. Some examples are Blyxa japonica, Rotalla macranda, etc. I've had trouble with both of these plants, while others grow well.

My question is more specific than general, as I know the vast majority of plants grow very well in a wide range of water hardness. I'd like to focus more on these plants, and others like Tonina, L. Pantanal, etc., as they have been deemed to grow best in "soft" water. I've moderately hard water (KH 12, GH 18), and I've love to grow some other plants.

Do these few plants really need "soft" water? My latest ongoing experiment of about 9 months is with R. macranda. I am barely sustaining this plant. I'm down to 1 stem with a side shoot, and it looks nothing like it should; it's spindly as can be, but it is blood red. I know my nutrients are good since all my other plants are doing exceptionally well (that's the EI for ya!), and my lighting is adequate (3.4 wpg PC). I tried blyxa as well, but it just looked miserable even though it did grow a little. I really like some others, but I'm afraid to try them.

What's the deal with these certain plants? I want to grow them; what does it take? Is water hardness to blame? :confused:
 

baruch mor

Prolific Poster
Jan 23, 2005
30
0
6
Re: Water types: Soft vs. hard & "soft water "plant

toninas n l pantanal grow best in soft water and acidic substrate such as aquasoil - couldnt grow them in another setups...
r. macrandra n blixa japonica are growing well even in hard water if u give then enough light and co2 and good amounts of ferts.
 

Paul

Guru Class Expert
Jan 24, 2005
169
0
16
48
Droitwich, UK
Re: Water types: Soft vs. hard & "soft water "plant

Cabomba doesnt like hard water I dont think - mine literally fell apart :mad:
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,696
747
113
Re: Water types: Soft vs. hard & "soft water "plant

I've done well with all of these in harder water, R macrandra will certainl;y do better in softer water, perhas a couple of others, but most don't care.

If Tonia has to have ADA aqua soil etc, why does mine grow 2-3 inches every week(both species) in moderate tap (KH3 GH 5) and Onyx sand?
Unlike doing better like the Rotala, it does well in both cases.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

baruch mor

Prolific Poster
Jan 23, 2005
30
0
6
Re: Water types: Soft vs. hard & "soft water "plant

dont know what to tell u tom, but certainly there are a few water parameters that we can never test - maybe they r the answer. i have more then 6 planted tanks - all of them with plants that considered difficult n very difficult - sometime when a plant dont look good i transfer it to another tank and it starts to bloom , and vice versa...
from my experience - toninas, r. wallichi, eriocaulons, r. fussila and a few more plants dont look good in hard water
 

andrewmcleod

Junior Poster
Mar 29, 2005
10
0
1
Re: Water types: Soft vs. hard & "soft water "plant

I very much doubt there is anything Tom can't get tested - not even true KH, which probably no hobbyist has ever measured ;) (since all kits measure alkalinity)...
 

baruch mor

Prolific Poster
Jan 23, 2005
30
0
6
Re: Water types: Soft vs. hard & "soft water "plant

its not that, what i mean is that even if yo place two simmilar setups with the same light, substrate, plants and plants arrengment , ferts etc. u can c usualy different growth, different colors etc.
 

andrewmcleod

Junior Poster
Mar 29, 2005
10
0
1
Re: Water types: Soft vs. hard & "soft water "plant

baruch mor said:
its not that, what i mean is that even if yo place two simmilar setups with the same light, substrate, plants and plants arrengment , ferts etc. u can c usualy different growth, different colors etc.

True - but only to a limited extent.
And that is not true of anything general - in other words, whether or not a plant will grow in hard water - either any given plants will (on average) grow better in hard water or not.