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Jcwheel76 at aol_com:

> After some trials (failures) to see what i could do to get the new growth on *some* of my
> plants to stop coming up distorted and small, I have decided that I have a boron deficiency.
> I tried CaCO3 and epsom salt for a few weeks now, and I think that there was some deficiency
> there too, but to only *some* avail.

I had a similar experience.  After I began adding K and Mg,  all my
echinodorus bleheri leaves went white as sheet.  So I jacked up the
calcium to no avail.  Finally concluded the same as you.

> I have 2 questions:
> 1. My water is soft (1-2 gh/kh) and I wonder if there is a correlation between that and a
> lack of boron?
My water is very similar so probably.

> 2. Is the boric acid you see in the drug store safe for aquarium use? It is also used in
> roach preparations, but I'm not sure that's the best way....hehe. And are there guidelines
> such as tsp/gal, etc for dosing?

Yeah, should be, though I used borax.  What I finally did was take 2.2
grams of borax and dissolved it in 250 mls of water.  Then I added it to
the tank at a rate of 1 ml per 10 liters, increasing to 3 ml/10 liters
to get results.  Now here's the interesting bit.  Green hygro was
unaffected by boron deficiency, Red hygro may have been affected.
Echinodorus bleheri showed paper white leaves that did not recover,
after treatment newer leaves came out green and healthy.  A. ulvaceus
(sp?) and L. brasilensis (sp?) simply refused to grow well until after
boron was added.

Things grew well for a while but then I started to get what appeared to
be K deficiency manifesting itself, but wasn't.  I figure if hygro was
unaffected, then it my reason that it would also show B toxicity first.
So I'm will try stepping back on the dosage to see if this is the case.
I figure the deficiency caused an increased demand that once satisfied
resulted in buildup and toxicity.