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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the second time I observe this phenomenon:

A tank with very high KH, GH, and a lot of CO2 and light turns the plants into photosynthesizing machines. Think Anubias covered in Oxygen bubbles. The first time I had that happening there were plants growing at an insane rate - 2 inches per day.

The first time I experienced that was about 2 years ago. I posted on the rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants newsgroup about that but noone had an explanation.

Here are the similarities between the 2 tanks in which the above happened:
- new set up
- KH=16
- GH=15
- CO2=30-45 ppm
- No Fe/Traces added
- around 2 wpg
- N and P are unreadable
- No additional K or Mg added
- No fish
- The plants were received directly from the supplier (never been held in a LFS tanks)

The first case was a mishap - I had used limestone as gravel. The more I increased the CO2 bubble rate the more the KH grew. The tap water was KH=2 but it increased to 16 in my tank. I didn't measure GH but I imagine it was sky high. As I mentioned above - some plants grew up to 2 inches per day with 2 wpg.

The second case is a 250 gal. tank that has EcoComplete mixed with inert gravel. The tap water is KH=16 and GH=15 and we have pH= 7 (with tons of CO2). N and P are inreadable. Light is 640 watts of T5's. I went to see the tank today and I was shocked to witness A. nana and cafeefolia covered with bubbles and producing long strings of bubbles. I don't know how fast will the plants grow but the pearling is very heavy. The tank has been set up for 3 days now.

What is your explanation to the above?

The first thing that comes to mind is that the plants that come directly from the supplier are loaded with nutrients and they are using them up. But I'm not sure that is everything.

--Nikolay
 

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Have you tested the level of CO2 in your water. Perhaps your high KH makes it impossible to dissolve enuff CO2 making the water easily saturated with the O2 comming from the plants..

I can be wrong...


Do you keep fish in this liquid rock tank? :D
 

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I too have fairly high KH/GH and my plants are doing very well. :D It is co2 injected. Two plants I have had difficulty with are Echinodorus and Ludwigias, for whatever reason. After all, the hardness = minerals and these are needed for growth.

I think there used to be a feeling that soft water was better for growing plants. All you have to do is come to north Florida and visit a spring run or two and you will see some wonderful growth in what is truly 'liquid rock'.
 

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Niko,

I agree with BertH. All the Ca and Mg in the water plus all the other traces are helping speed the plants up. Also, I've noticed that all the plants I get direct from the nursery are chock full of nutrients and will survive in just about any tank with light for a week and show signficant growth. Those anubias probably love that hard water and are showing their gratitude. :)

Is this the LFS tank in Plano?

Best,
Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Synapse,
According to the table with KH=16 and pH=7 we have CO2 of 48 ppm.
With water that hard it's very dificult to lower the pH and we are bubbling the gas at about 5-8 bubbles per second. The tank has no surface agitaton whatsoever.

Bert,
Yes, I too start to feel that soft water may not be mandatory for good plant growth. I can't say if KH of 16 is good, but the bubbling that I observed once again today is truly exciting. I will probably set up a 10 gal tank just to figure out a bit more what happens with the plants in such hard water.

Phil,
Yes, that is the big tank at the LFS in Plano. Today we did a 50% water change using RO water because the owner wants discus in there. Unfortunatelly I will not be able to observe what happens with the plants in water with KH and GH about 15 each.
On a good note - that will be the first planted discus display tank in the Dallas area. :D

--Nikolay
 

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Niko,

What kind of water are the discus in right now? RO/tap mix? Congrats on the first! Next time you see the owner tell him to learn a lesson from me. Take care of the plants and let the plants take care of the discus. As soon as I handed maintenance of the discus display at the store I'm at to someone else they changed stuff and the entire tank went to hell. Not just the plants, but the fish too. It was pathetic! Make sure D'Wyatt goes in there and kicks a little ass if he needs to. :)

Best,
Phil
 

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Warning- OT!
Niko- What store? (If you can say?) I just moved out of Dallas (15 year resident) and still visit QUITE often. I'd love to swing by and see it if I could...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Phil,
They put 2 discus in the tank today. The KH is now 6 - after using RO water for a 40% water change. GH is 11.

The fish like it very much - swim everywhere and are not shy at all.

Cheyd,
It's Exotic Aquatics in Plano: Website.
The tank did not look too good today - the A. nana and Java Fern are pearling well but the A. cafeefolia is melting as are the C. wendtii green and brown.

--Nikolay
 
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