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Re: Hard water
- To: <Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com>
- Subject: Re: Hard water
- From: Thomas Barr <tcbiii at earthlink_net>
- Date: Mon, 04 Dec 2000 13:56:58 -0800
- In-Reply-To: <200012030848.DAA14655 at actwin_com>
- User-Agent: Microsoft-Outlook-Express-Macintosh-Edition/5.02.2022
> I have the interest of
> changing my tanks from all fish to planted tanks.
Dang I fought it this issue for years! So easy for some folks:)
I think that they look
> realy cool. I have had many types of fresh water fish all of my life.
> Since I've moved to Indiana my water has constantly had Extremely high PH.
> It goes off the scale even after adding too much PH down. (the water here
> is from a well, the city softens from what I was told)
Indianapolis gets their from the White river as I recall. You live in a
limestone area (as do I at present) so you'll have scary hardness but check
your KH, don't worry about the GH too much. pH down is Phosphoric acid
pretty much. Adding that is like adding PO4. No worry there unless you add
lots in which case you'll have lots of PO4. If you KH is 8-9 or less you
should be fine. My GH is 24 and my KH is 6-7 or so and I'm fine with almost
every single type of plant. Use the CO2 is my advice. I grew up awhile in
Bloomington(about 50miles south of there) and had all the soft water fish as
well using the tap. No problems. Had several species of silver dollars. No
need for pH adjusters, just add CO2. Unless you have super rock hard water
the pH will be fine 7.5 or less using the CO2 to push the pH down. Most
every fish is fine at this level.
> Here is a the tank I am experimenting with first. 75 gal, 160 watts of
> Croma 50 lights, Lifeguard AF-19 filter and DIY CO2.
I will suggest since your going to have more plant tanks to get yourself gas
CO2 since you can add to another tank easily (and cheaply) as you get around
to it. You will be doing lots of yeast bottles and always worry about enough
CO2 for your tanks otherwise. Big tank does better with gas CO2. Fine for a
20 or a ten etc.
> (I use Peat Moss in
> the Filter) In a couple of weeks I intend to dismantle this tank to add
> plant freindly substrate. (currently all gravel)
I stopped using peat moss many years ago but it won't hurt since the water's
rock hard. Won't help too much either unless you are trying a peat substrate
etc. *I'd pass on that if I were you. If your trying a non CO2 tank it is a
great method though. Or breeding etc.
> My question is that I constantly need to lower the PH and supliment Iron
> to everything.
That's what the CO2 is for. The fish are fine. Try flourite for the iron or
sand plus laterite. Additions of trace elements to the water column work
well too. This what most of us here do. Your asking for it trying this soil
acidifier. It may do okay, it may kill. The above method will not.
>I have found a soil acidifier that works well for my garden.
> It analysis is S - 3.10%, Cu chelated 0.12%, Fe chelated 4.60% and Zn
> chelated 0.12%. I have previously add very small amount to the tank and
> imediatly saw a white precipitate. Does anyone know if I could add this on
> a regular basis without harming my fish.
I'll say it again. Use CO2 to lower your pH. It won't harm your fish and it
will **help** your plants. Don't adjust the pH with chemicals other than
CO2. Give that notion up and you'll be happier. I'd be worried about this
stuff. Store owners and pet stores and other folks often tell new folks that
plants need soft water and slightly acid water. They don't tell you about
CO2. Adding CO2 has this "air of mystery" for many new folks or those who
don't know much about it. Bugs the hell out of me as people often try all
sorts of methods to acidify and soften their water often spending hundreds
for nothing. If your KH is around 7-8(okay I'm hoping it's not more than
this) at pH of 7.0 to 7.2 or so would do fine. Your fish would be fine and
so would your plants. Hopefully the KH is not beyond that and if it is, I'd
still try to use CO2 to drop it as well. Check out the pH/KH/CO2 table and
adjust what your needs are to that table. Simply add more CO2 till you get
the desired pH. Nothing else is needed nor should be added for pH. Iron can
be added to the soil or to the water column when you feed your fish etc or
both methods. Playing with peats will cause the table to not be as acurrate
as they will change KH which tends to be stable from your water
supply(hopefully). It won't do much harm since you have rock hard water but
if you get/have/make soft water, that's another story. I think your fish and
plants will be less happy with you playing with it(GH/KH) rather leaving it
alone and simply lowering the pH with CO2. I would stick with that method as
it is the safest and quite proven for fish and plants. It will be easy,
simple and less labor than the other methods, of course you may like to to
do extra work:)
> I have a Silver Dallar in the
> tank, which I purchased in 1988. He has been through 6 moves with me.
> (going thru school) I take every precaution to keep him healthy.
Now you know what to do with the trimmings:) I think your chances of causing
harm are much greater doing this and you and your plants & fish will much
better off if you use the CO2 instead. Check out the KH.