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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went open top on my 40 gal tank about a month and a half ago and since then my GH has gone from 13 to almost 20 dGH and my KH has risen from 7 to 12. Until I went open top the KH and GH were pretty stable at around tap water levels (the 7 and 13). So by topping off the tank with tap water I guess I've been building up the mineral content of the tank overall. Tomorrow I'm going to pick up some distilled water and do a partial water change to try and get back closer to tap water levels. I'm also putting the glass top back on the tank to cut down on evaporation.

What's driven me to this has been the recent demise of my L. repens and the poor health of my recently added L. 'cuba'. The repens has, up until the past few weeks, been growing like a weed. Now its vertical growth has reduced dramatically...it used to grow 6"+ vertically every week or so, now it grows maybe 1-2". It's also been dropping leaves at a very high rate. The leaves will start turning gray at the base until half the leaf is that color, then it drops.

The cuba's condition has been chronicaled in another thread here, going from developing emersed-type new growth to looking very ratty and nutrient deficient over the course of two weeks. I've since moved a couple of stems to a coverd 29gal tank (whose KH and GH has remained near that of tap water levels) to see if it'll make a comeback there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oops. Forgot to mention one other factor in closing the tank back up...having another two Cherry Red shrimp jump ship last night.

On a positive note I did discover an additional three baby Cherrys that I'd never knew were in the tank before. :D
 

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Partial water changes with your tap water will also lower your KH and GH. For example, a 50% water change with tap water should lower your GH to 16.5 and your KH from 12 to 9.5. A 75% water change would get the values down to 14.75 and 8.25.
 

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Your tap water is not the problem with growing this plant.
Your dosing and water changing are.

RO is not going to help you. Doing some water changes and dosing properly will.

I had a GH of 24 and a KH of 10, I can grow most anything in that water.
Now I have a KH to 3 and Gh of 5. Same thing.

Plants don't care about the KH and GH as long as there is some(CO2 in the case of KH).
I do not know what too high of a KH or GH is really. 24-25 is pretty darn high, about 99.9% of tap waters are lower than this.


reagrds,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tom,
Thanks for following me with this. I did four 30% water changes over the weekend and added 7ppm of Mg (via MgSO4) yesterday. And to your credit the new growth that's emerging on the 'cuba' is looking good (narrow leaves and no curling). It's great when changes can be observed so quickly! :D

I'm hoping that this will also clear up the L.repens situation (and the failure of some L ovalis, too). The picture below shows the condition of the repens where the leaves are starting to die back. Does this look like a K deficiency? I ask that because I also have noticed some pinholes in my Red Temple. It's a curious condition since I had been dosing K2SO4 in addition to KN03 to try for 20ppm of K. Would a shortage of Mg cause K deficiency symptoms to occur?

 

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Well, the condition should clear up with routine weekly 50-70% water changes and good dosing thereafter.
I think many folks underdose their KNO3.
I dose a fair amount of KNO3 and unless you derive 75% of your Nitrogen needs from fish waste, you will always have enough K+.

So adding K2SO4 etc is not needed unless you want to alter the level independently and see how higher levels effect plants.
I've never found any differences.
So I don't bother. One less thing to dose.

I dose KNO3/KH2PO4 right after the water change
I dose the traces the next day.

I dose every other day with the macros on days 1,3,5,7 and the traces and days 2,4,6.

This should take good care of the plant needs.

So per dose on your 40 gal add:
10mls of traces(TMG or Flourish)
KNO3 1/4 to a 1/3 teaspoon
KH2PO4, about 1/16th, (1/4 divided into 4 parts)

Up your CO2 to 30ppm or so, never less than 20ppm.

Do that, I do not think your plants will hate you.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, Tom's dosing recomendations have completely turned around all that ailed my plants. But now I don't know if I should thank Tom, or curse him, as all my plants have kicked it into overdrive and it looks like I could be in for twice a week trimming! :D
 

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Yes Bill, I am going thru the exact same thing...regular water changes and regular dosing of macros and micros has turned my tank around as well. Plus adding bicarb. and equilibrium for soft water. I've been adding these two, and the no3 and po4 right after water change, mixed in w/ the flourish/csm. Nice and easy....so why Tom do you not do it all in the same day? Is it significant?

Chris
 

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You ask for good growth and then when you get you all complain:)

Slower growing species, more wood, rock etc, less light will slow things down as far as the work.

Dosing:
I do not think it matters too much but it's easy as far as a habit.
That is a personal issues rather than plant issue.
3-4x a week is fine, you can miss a day or two.

With less light, 2x a week even once a week in low light CO2 tanks will work.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Would there be any benefit to adding Flourish Iron in this dosing schedule? Or does Flourish already contain ample amounts?

-Naomi
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The only thing that seems to benifit from Fe is the hair algae that has overtaken my driftwood. Even the increased Flourish dosing has it...well, flourishing! :D I pull it out so that there is only a green fuzz on the wood, then in a week it's a 1" thick mat. It looks kinda nice when it's kept in check so it's just another part of the weekend maintenance routine. What I find realy cool is that right after I pull it out the shrimp and SAEs are all over the freshly trimmed patches.

Another thing that following Tom's dosing recommendation has done is greatly reduce the amount of green spot on my Lobelia. It was over taking the older leaves for a while and now it's almost completely gone.

Post edit: I should add that I do have a bit of an Fe leaching problem form the laterite that is mixed into my gravel. Rescaping and uprootings have pulled a fair amount into the upper gravel bed so any additional Fe into the water column puts the hair algae into overdrive.
 

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Do you think the dosing of traces can be obviated?. I'm a little amusing on promoting disequilibriums on micros components touching it so much, perhaps tap water changes are quite enough to dose the necessary levels.
Maurici.
 

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Maurici,

For some people, this may be the case. It really depends on what comes out of your tap. Bill and I are both in the San Francisco Bay Area, and we are both supplied by East Bay Municipal Utilities District (please correct me if I'm wrong, Bill), but the water treatment plants specific to our locations give us very different water. In my area, the water is very soft - dKH and dGH are often times 1 or less. Bill has explained to me that his tap water registers at 13 or 14 dH. Plants in my tank are probably more likely to suffer from deficiencies if I did not add nutrients. In some parts of the country, people have some ungodly levels of nitrates right out of their tap - way higher than our target level of ~10 ppm; here, it's below what our test kits can detect. It really depends on what sort of treatment our water goes through.

Bill - this is from a different post, but I'm wondering what's happening to your L. sp. 'Cuba.' Are the leaves still growing out looking like sunset hygro or have they resumed "normal" growth? I noticed the ones still at the shop did the same thing as yours, but eventually started to put out the normal-looking leaves. I'm wondering if maybe this species has an "adjustment period" during which it does weird stuff like that...? Just so you know, they don't add fertilizer to their tanks so the weird growth thing may not have had anything to do with a deficiency (since it did go back to normal growth without fertilizer). I know their plants sometimes show very poor color toward the end of the first week and into the second week after receiving the shipment - this is likely the result of lacking nutrients. They merely survive and grow due to good lighting and CO2 injection.

-Naomi
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Naomi,
Fremont gets it water from the Alameda Co. Water District, although it does purchase Hetch Hetchy water from San Francisco. But even within ACWD there is a lot of variation to the degree of hardness at differnt parts of Fremont (doesn't help that Fremont has such a large land area to cover).

As for the 'cuba', the new growth changed back to the thin (<1/8" wide) form, but after my last water change some of the stems are producing almost white leaves so I still have a balancing act to do regarding my hardness issues. I bought some Kent Ca supplement just in case, but for now I'm dosing some additional Mg to see if that turns it around. I just got the latest ACWD water report and they list hardness (as CaCO3) as 182ppm. Ca and Mg are 46 and 19ppm respectively. It would appear to be a good ratio so who knows why I need to do the things that I do. :roll: But the listed average pH is 7.9 and my tap is closer to 7.6 so without a test kit I'll never know for sure what's coming out of my tap.

Oh, and I went back to Albany on Saturday and their 'cuba' looked only slightly better than mine (don't know if that should comfort or disappoint me :D). The L. sp 'new' that you bought was either sold out or morphed into something unrecognizable :shock:. The labeling of the plant tank leaves something to be desired. But I really went there to get some Amanos (or at least a couple of SAEs) for my 29g tank but they were all out (of both). Well, there's always next weekend.
 

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bharada said:
The L. sp 'new' that you bought was either sold out or morphed into something unrecognizable :shock:.
Erm... That was my fault :oops:. A whole bunch of people sent me PMs last week asking me to pick up and send them some. I took the very last of it on Friday :oops:. Sorry!!! I was concerned about hogging them. They assured me that they would try to get more in their next shipment. Since next weekend is 4th of July, the shipment is being put off a week, so probably the 11th. I actually have more requests for this plant to fill. I'm also limiting high-demand plants to two portions per person so hopefully, there will be some left for the locals.

I guess the timing for you just doesn't work out too well - shipments come in Sunday night and are not available for purchase until Monday. But if you work and live too far away, you can't come in until the following weekend, when the plants have already been there for a week or gotten snapped up entirely. If you're able to lie pretty well (which I can't to save my life), you can call in sick to work on a Monday or Tuesday after a new plant shipment arrives :wink: ...

Well, I'm glad to hear that your 'Cuba' is beginning to take on a normal appearance. I'm sure the color will kick into gear in time... Like I said, it might just be taking some time to "settle in."

-Naomi
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
No problem on taking the Ludwigia. Like I said, I wasn't there looking for plants, but was curious to see it.

During the summer I'm telecommuting a lot (keeping the kids occupied during their vacation) so maybe I'll be able to sneak off during an extended lunch break.
 

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Bill and Naomi, I live just down the street really from them. If ya ever want or need something,I can easily stop by and pick some up for yas.

I'm going to host a a sfaaps meeting in july as well. Maybe for a bit of fun, we could run upto Albany for a look see as well? Anyway, the offer's there.

Chris
 
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