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Re: water hardening / wallichii follow up

My tap water is extremely high in phosphates and
nitrates.  Must be some farm runoff or something.  I
can't use it without getting lots of hair algae.  I
could invest in a ton of phosphate absorber or

I've been using those calcium carbonate diet
suppliment pills.  You're right, they don't dissolve
very easily.  But, I've noticed that soon after I add
it, the hardness registers higher than it eventually
will.  That is, the hardness has tended to decline,
not rise.  

I guess what I'd rather do is switch to something more
reliable for reconstitution.  So far, I have been
unable to find an exact water change size and exact
recipe to leave me with exactly the same water
parameters before and after a change.  Now that
Seachem's Equilibrium is reformulated, I may give that
a try.  From what little experience I have, I think
that the ratios of calcium and magnesium are
important, though I can't say why.  You may remember
my tiny leaf problem from a while back.  While
somewhat reliable, my current formulation has solved
that problem.  From here, I move on to what is
described in the second sentence of this paragraph. 

I would like to shoot for a hardness of 6-7 dGH.  I
have found that my wallichii tends to better when 1)
the hardness is 8 or below, even when there has been
no imput of calcium for a long time, 2) when my co2
level is adequate (rare), and 3) when micronutrient
levels are raised a bit over normal.  My tank
conditions are unstable now, but I can definitely see
it grow better when all those conditions exist. 
Letting it grow long before trimming also helps.  I'll
bet that if I can keep the hardness where I want it,
set up my high pressure system, and keep up with the
nutrients, my wallichii will do well.  I don't think
there's any magic bullet for keeping this plant.  A
few factors play a part.  Thoughts?    

I also have some rams in the tank, and some Eusteralis
stellata on the way.  The one true soft water plant?  
6-7 seems to be a good hardness to satisfy one and
all, does it not?   

Speaking of hardness, I was looking through Nature
Aquarium World today.  Almost all the tanks have a
hardness of 2 dGH.  2!  Why so low?  

Look at the wallichii on pages 11 and 67.  It's alive
and growing, but could look better.  Now look at the
stuff on pages 124-125 in the top center.  THAT'S what
it should look like.  

Thanks so much, Cavan


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