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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #336

     Dave G.'s generous offer on the list prompted me to ask a question or two. I
have very soft (GH = 1) and unbuffered (KH <=1) water and I was looking for a
non-sodium buffer (since I may need/want CO2 later).  I have a basically Amazon
tank (tetras and cories with a few dwarf rainbows thrown in for variety) planted
with with 8 species (amazon broadleaf sword, amazon 'ocelot' sword, Elodia, Java
fern, Hygrophila difformis [wisteria], Pennywort [I think it is Hydrocotyle
leucocephala], 'Corkscrew' Val. and  red Ludwigia) comprising about 40 plants.  I
have about 110 watts fluorescent light on the tank and may up this to 160 watts in
the future.  I am using a fluorite substrate mixed w/ Schultz aquatic plant soil
and I add about 2 ml of Seachem "Flourish" liquid once per week.  Currently, all
the plants seem fine: growth is evident, no yellow leaves and most of the leaf
shedding from transplantation has stopped.

    I have a source for potassium carbonate at the following price points:
4 oz    $3.00
16 oz  $5.00
5 lb.      $15.00
    Is this a reasonable price range?  I was thinking about getting the 16 oz,
figuring that it would last me quite a while for dosing a 55 gallon tank.  Is the
potassium carbonate a better or worse idea for my water chemistry?  Thanks for the

Tim Goodin
Durham, NC