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I can't remember what my kh is, but it is pretty high since I live in N. Florida and use well water. I have had problems with stunting if i don't dose enough as well as the algae. I am especially having troubles in my 55g with crypts where I don't dose ferts or co2, but rather put in fert tabs. The bba is coming back but not too bad as long as I do WC. I have pressurized co2 for my 10g and 20g, and I still have bba popping up even though in the 10g it seems to be dying and growing at the same time. I can grow Ludwigia repens, but that is common in Florida. I am growing Rotala mini type 2 very well as well as indica. I haven't tried growing anything too difficult yet. I have noticed that aqua soil amazonia softens the water, but I tried amazonia 1 and it is leaching tannins into the water, while amazonia 2 does nothing to the water color. Then again the ada site says thats what amazonia 2 is for hard water, but it disintegrates too easily.

These problems probably have to deal with the excess Ca in our water and not enough other nutrients to allow the plants to uptake the excess Ca.
 

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I don't dose any Mg other than what comes in Flourish if there is any. I have considered on buying the dry ferts and mixing a bottle of Mg ferts for my tanks.
My co2 is now at the point that I can't turn the co2 up without damaging the livestock. I have already lost 6 CRS when I had the co2 too high and it ran out too quickly and gassed the tank. I think I may try collecting rain water and seeing how things improve.
The main thing that bothers me the most is the bba. Other algi are fairly easy to get rid of, but the bba is something that can take over easily and is difficult to get rid of especially if you have mosses and can't use excel to kill it. I have a lot of light on my 10g and I am now trying to do the noon burst because the bba is starting to grow more as well as other weird algi. The odd thing is that all the algi including bba are growing white or light green.

Avalon or Bert, have you tried mixing well water with RO water? I would imagine this would decrease Ca in the water and at the same time you would not have to add any minerals to the pure RO water and make the water softer. What do you think would be a good mixture?
 

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The water we get here in Florida comes out of the limestone and has both high amounts of Ca and carbonates raising the GH and KH really high.

I would not want the GH or KH to be low or high. The hard water has its benefits in that it has quite a few minerals for the plants and it certain plants flourish in it like some crypts. But problems arise like what Bert originally posted. I think it would be far better to have a tank that has a mid level GH and KH since most plants and fish enjoy the mid level.

I think though that the hard water is definitely beneficial when dealing with plants and animals that require hard water. I would imagine it is fairly difficult to keep hard water crypts when all you have is soft water. Then again its probably cheaper to make soft water hard than to make hard water soft.
 
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