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[APD] RE: Ca???

>Of course, it's N that is usually much higher in animal products than in
Plant matter.
>NO3 is the final state of N in any aquarium, I guess you did understood

For the record, there is no "final state" of N.
It is a cycle.

General inputs are fish food and/or KNO3 in most cases.
Outputs are N2 gas, plant and detrital biomass removal or as DON + water

I was being specific for Daniel's tank, not everybody's. I've seen a number
of his plant pics. 
If you KNOW your GH is low and the other nutrients are fine, then it's a
simple matter to add Ca/Mg and be done with it.

In any event, having good NO3/PO4/CO2 Traces etc will only make the issue
better and narrow the issue down to something like just GH's, Mg and/or Ca.
If you know it's low, adding more GH is not going to "hurt".
Neither you nor Daniel would hurt the tank by adding more Ca/Mg.
And not just some minimal amount, add GH of 5 or even more. CaCl2/MgSO4 are
cheap. About 8$ for a few year's worth.  

The problem exist when you add more Ca and you still have similar probelm
that you might think are Ca related. So focusing your routine can really
help figure out these questions.Either way, you will closer to better plant

I've had GH's of 25. I've pulled plants from GH's of over 30 in nature. K+,
Ca, SO4, Mg etc seem to be able to be very high with no ill effects, these
are many of the same ions found in rift lakes also. So why not add some
Dolomite of CaCO3? Or CaCl2 or CaSO4 if KH is not low? Or add SeaChem

Seems simple enough to rule out. Rather than guessing, go down and add each
one. If you know it's low or suspect, add more. But don't guess or assume
it's something till you rule out NO3 etc, go down the line. 
More everything except NH4 or too much CO2 generally will help with in

With all the fish and feeding in your tank, the issue is not NO3, it's NH4
and the potential for algae, but NH4 to my knowledge and experiences with
it never harmed plants at moderate levels in the .5ppm range etc. That will
drive the PO4 and other nutrients down as well. From what you said, the
fish load is high, you might not need any KNO3. Bob has 13 full grow Discus
in his 120 plus more other fish and he needs about 1/2 the normal dosage of
KNO3. He might not feed beef 3x a day nor is there any reason to do that
unless you want them as big as possible or breeding as many as possible,
but that's a fish issue then and not so much a plant issue. Plants are
secondary considerations at some point there. You can get more fish out of
a bare tank and more food etc if that's your goal. So if you want to go
down that path, go fish only tank etc. Bending some both ways if you want
both Discus and a planted tank works well but trying to push the fish
feeding/loading of the tank is reducing the wiggle room with good plant and
fish health. How much work do you want to do, close do you want to cut it
or automation do you want to set up?

By ruling out the NO3 etc, then you can narrow it down, it's a step wise
process, not some one piece of advice fits all. We try until something DOES
work well.
Sometimes it takes a few things to uncover the issue, but there is a method
to it and it is not endless guess work that goes nowhere.
The issue does get dealt with if the person wants to. Depends on them. 

Also depends on how well they are able to maintain CO2/K+/PO4/Traces/good
pruning etc. If you test the other nutrients and want to say something
specific about them, you must keep the other independent variables constant
during the test. 

But back to NO3, generally I've seen a number of folks bottom out their NO3
levels, this causes more issues for plants than PO4 bottoming out. NO3 and
CO2 if out of whack will cause sosme big plant growth issues more than any
other 2 things. Many Nitrogen issues express themselves very similarly to
Ca deficiencies. Using a  fast grower like Hygro will show signs of this
occuring faster than other aquatic plants.

This method requires water changes, and dosing of dry chemicals that are
common and fairly easy to obtain pretty much everywhere. It's fairly easy
to add more to check. More Ca/Mg/K/PO4/Traces/NO3 etc do not seem to cause
issues but too low can. So add more in a step wise manner and see for

This will give you the best results anyway since then the N/P/K/Ca/Mg/Trace
etc are all in good shape. Each nutrient you get and maintain in a good
range allows you one more step closer to planted nirvana. Better to have
9/10th right than 7/10th. 

Tom Barr 



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