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"Just a few questions. How important is GH? Is calcium needed for plant
I cant seem to find KNO3 stump remover at the local garden stores. I have
Muriate of Potash, the bag says it is 0-0-30 and Nitrate of Soda 60-0-0.
Currently I use KCl and Epsom salt along with Flourish for micros, and Im a
little concerned about the Cl. I beleive that Cl might be a micro nutrient,
it's listed on the Flourish bottle. I guess what Im looking for is a PMDD
recipe, given what is available to me.
My KH and GH read 0 or 1. I add bakind soda for KH at water changes and use
DIY CO2 to drop the pH from 7.6 to 6.4-6.8."
I just KNOW I'm going to get bitten on the back for this, but I think it
needs to be said - if you don't know which elements are considered
"essential" and the difference between a macro and a micro nutrient, you
really shouldn't be fiddling with strange chemicals around your aquarium.
Not that its difficult to learn the basics - its just that the potential
damage you could do, to yourself, your plants and/or your fish is too great
when you don't know what you are doing. There are many commercially prepared
fertilizers designed for use in an aquarium which will do a perfectly fine
job of fertilizing your plants. Just becasue half of the members on this
list act like little chemists doesn't mean that everyone has to (I have to
admit to being more than a "little chemist" myself).
One of the BEST articles on what elements are essential can be found online
at this URL:
It is written from the perspective of growing plants on land in soil but the
basic principles are the same.
GH (and Calcium) is important to plants and many "soft water" plants
actually grow better in waters which are moderately "hard" (i.e. contain a
moderate amount of Calcium and/or Magnesium). Calcium is a macronutrient and
this means that plants need a lot of it - it isn't in most fertilizers
because most soil contains plenty of it and so does most water. If you have
really soft water, a few marble chips or some calcium tablets might help -
but make sure you need it before you go adding it. If your GH is testing 0
or 1 (I doubt that it is really 0), you could use marble, limestone or
crushed coral in a bag submerged in your filter to slowly add Calcium to
your water safely. KH can be increased using plain old Baking Soda from the
grocery store. Why do you want a pH of 6.4? Most, if not all, plants will do
just fine at a pH of 7.0 (so will most fish, and those that won't generally
only need the lower pH during breeding season).
Doing some reading to find out the basics is ESSENTIAL to your development
as an aquatic gardener.
Read the article and then come back with more questions. Good luck.