Aquatic Plant Forum banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,700 Posts
I use rainwater because my tapwater has nothing but sodium bicarbonate in it. It has a lot of sodium bicarbonate, giving it a KH of 9 or 10. There is no measurable calcium or magnesium, and I get a GH of 0. It is actually harder to get adequate calcium into solution with this tap water than it is with rainwater, probably because the rainwater has a much lower pH, encouraging the calcium carbonate to dissolve faster.

Ground limestone goes into solution slowly and lime (calcium hydroxide) goes in more rapidly. One has to be more careful using lime, because it is quite alkaline and could injure fish and invertebrates if too much is added at once. It is a good idea to add CO2 while adding lime to keep the pH under control. Calcium chloride is highly soluble and ought to be dirt cheap because they use it as a de-icer. Kent turbo-calcium is basically calcium chloride.

Whatever source of calcium you use, you ought to get the GH up to at least 5. GH measures magnesium, also, and most lime and ground limestone is actually part magnesium and part calcium.

See the thread on burned/curled leaves-tips on how to improve the condition. Somebody there said that a GH of 4 was not enough to cure the deficiency symptoms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,700 Posts
so what would be the proper way to raise the KH and GH?

Baking soda, epsom salts, calcium chloride? (Id rather use this stuff than the seachem equilibrium stuff)
Baking soda raises KH (alkalinity), but has no nutritional value for plants and makes it harder to get enough calcium in the water if you are adding calcium carbonate. I don't recommend it. Instead, use limestone, clam shells oyster shells, egg shells or some other use of calcium and magnesium carbonate. Or, for a quicker fix, use lime, but be careful and monitor the pH.
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top