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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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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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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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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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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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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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