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Try doing this hobby in water that is 16 KH and 24 GH. Higher than usual Mg, almost 1:2 Mg:Ca. A real PITA.

I had to settle for the simple plants, and even they don't do great. Letting the tank run low on N is the worst thing I can do. It's a 90 gallon with a 250W 6500K and a 175W 14,000K MH for noontime. Ridiculous amount of light, and sluggish growth. The green dust algae is my bane, but easy to clean off.

For those of you fighting BBA, try removing the driftwood. Yes, I know it's part of the 'scape but you will do yourself a big favor without it. It's several -pounds- of dead stuff, for which BBA is evolved to decay it. Worked for me.
 

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Is RO/DI not as popular in planted tanks as it is in reefkeeping? Almost everyone serious about reefkeeping has one. I am just getting started in planted tanks and bought a 150GPD unit that takes my 480ppm tap water down to 11ppm after the RO and down to 0ppm after the DI.
I use RO for evaporation replacement, just so the hard water won't get any harder. But for large water changes on a regular basis, it took all the fun out keeping the tank and made it a chore. No point in that. I'll occasionally do a big RO water change to reset the tank (some of those top-offs are tapwater) but it's just not worth the bother as a regular thing. 'Serious' about growing plants under water? Are you insane? ;-)
 
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