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[APD] Re: hard water

"I have some concern about the hardness of my water.  I can use either
untreated water or water which has been treated with a softener.  The
untreated water gH = 13.8 and KH = 11, the water from the softener is gH =
<1 and the same KH = 11.  The question is which water source should I use?
What other problems do you think I will run into with water this hard?  I
plan to use Glossostigma extensively and from what I read they do not like
hard water."

"For the substrate I am going to go with flourite.  Given the hardness of my
water, should I put a fine layer of peat on the bottom or not?  What effect
will peat have on my CO2 levels (i.e. the CO2/KH chart)?"
1. Tank water volume: 135 gallon
2. Tank lighting: IceCap w/ 3ea. 5' VHO URI AquaSun 460 watts, 3.12 w/gal
3. Tank filtration: Trickle
4. Tank substrate: Fluorite
5. Automatic CO2 w/ Controller"

Use the tap water. You heard WRONG about glossostigma preferring or otherwise growing better in soft vs hard water. I know of of no real clear cases where this is true and certainly not with 99% of all aquatic plants.

Peat is for the substrate and the small amoutn will not influence the water column.
You have posted this on other forums and the advice will be the same from me here.

Keep the prefilter level high in the overflow, remove the trickle portion and use a bag style filter(common in Berlin SW systems) and maybe some sponge media, but the prefilter often has enough or uses that so you might not need much there.

Crank the CO2 to about 25-30ppm. 

You can also get a nice timer for the VHO's and that would be a nice addition.  Getting the gloss to grow will not be so much of the issue, keeping from growing so fast will. Less light will help, so later you might not need to use all 3 bulbs. 2 w/gal is fine with a reflector.

You will want to get some familarity with KNO3, KH2PO4, Traces and water changes. Setting up and good water change routine so that it is as easy as possible for you might be very wise.

Some techy people like automatic float switch style water changers. Water slowly drains out of the sump and is replaced slowly from the tap through a carbon filter. You can hard plumb a set of drain and fill valves also for quick manual operation. 

This will allow you to re set the tank's nutrient levels easily and keep on top of the plant's health without testing. Since you have a pH controller, you will not need to do much there except prune/garden/dose nutrients and water changes. A dosing pump can take care of the nutrients. 

Add mulm from an established tank to the bottom layer and perhaps 8-10 handfuls of ground peat, cap with 3-4 " of flourite. Add as many plants as will fit from the first day.

The softened water will be very high in sodium, Na, while low in Ca, Mg, both of which are macro nutrients for plants, high Na is bad for plants.

Tom Barr





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