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Tiny Leaf Manifesto

Hey everyone.  Thank you all so much for helping me
with my problems.  I stayed up kind of late watching
the San Jose/St Louis game, and I'm pretty tired, so I
think it would be easier and better to combine all my
responses to everyone who has offered advice into one

Hey Andrew,

I know that Flourish Potassium is in the sulfate form
becuase Greg Morin told me.  I originally thought it
was gluconate too.  If you call 1-888-sea-chem and ask
for him when the lady picks the phone up, he'll be
there.  I've talked to him a bunch of times, and he's
pretty nice about it.  Don't bother e-mailing them
when this is so much faster.  :)

The only kinds of things plant places around here have
are Miracle Grow and similar blended fertilizers. 
Really.  Seachem's product isn't real expensive.

I have some calcium gluconate, but I haven't been able
to get some calcium carbonate yet (all I have found
are pills with other stuff in it).  I found some at a
home brewing store, but it's kind of far...
What is another source?

I guess the recipe for the exact ratios per gallon or
whatever is on the Krib?  I would want to get the
potassium first though.  What about other elements?  
I noticed that my rubin sword has grown a curved leaf
recently.  Ludwigia that was starting to grow better
sprouted some tiny leaves.  I added only pure water
last week in an attempt to reduce the GH after putting
in way too much Equilibrium.  It could be it needs
calcium, because that's sure what it looks like.     

I think it's important to tell you that until a couple
weeks ago, I was using RO Right with the same
problems.  I discontinued use because of the chlorides
and sodium.  Also because it gave me a rash on my arm
(a problem no longer since I stopped using it).
Why the same problem with both?   Even if Equilibrium
is flawed in some way, why would there be similar
problems?  I don't think I'm doing anything unusual. 

I can think of absolutely nothing that would have any
toxic effects in my tank.  No nylon, and I removed a
few lead weight awhile ago.  Only plants, fish, water,
gravel, snails, a few Caridina, a Duetto, and a UG
filter plate way under the gravel.  

I have no choice but to use reconstituted water.  My
tap water is hard, with at LEAST 2 ppm of phosphates. 
I had some severe algae problems a long time ago when
I didn't know that was what was brining in all those
phosphates.  I now have almost no algae at all.

James: I would like a PH testing pen or meter.  I'm
really sick of this tint matching stuff.  MY neighbor
gets stuff dirt cheap at a pet supply store becuase he
works there, and I could probably get one for 25 or 30
bucks US.  Unless they have tank and regulator setups
available through the store, I can't get that.  I do
repay favors though:)  Can anyone recommend a good

I have found that by regulating the amount of time an
airstone is on at night, I can control the PH.  I
moved it up to 6.4 doing that.  As long as I replace
the yeast after a week (well before it starts to peter
out) I think I can get a handle on the co2 and prevent
the ph from getting low enough to get me nervous.  

Paul: I have never used any other kinds of buffers.  I
only thought about it.  Not guilty!  Seriously though,
could trying the calcium carbonate in proper relation
to magnesium instead of the sodium bicarbonate take
care of my GH/KH issues?  I have a feeling it might.

Roger:  I carefully studied the excellent plant
nutrient deficiency article you pointed me to, and
none none of the toxicity symptoms match. One of my
Aponogetons and some of my stargrass are flowering
now, so that should eliminate a bunch of them.  Could
it be an imbalance of some other element in relation
to calcium causing the problem?  As I mentioned above,
some of my plants have gotten better and then worse
after I added only distilled water last week.  Could
it really be that calcium is in short supply and
magnesium is making up too much of the GH?  As I
touched upon above, Andrew suggested trying
reconstituting the water with a carefully measured
calcium/magnesium mixture.  Sounds like it's worth a

I have come up with the following possible recovery

1.  Let phosphates creep up a bit.  
2.  Increase potassium level.
3.  Stop thinking about fiddling with the water 
    too much.
4.  See about correcting any calcium/magnesium 
    imbalance that might exist.  

Sound promising?  

Later everyone, Cavan.

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