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Re: Hard water and fertilization

I really don't want to "open a can of worms" or really start a thread, but
most of the aquatic plants that we purchase are raised in the good HARD
water in Florida.  A greater variety is grown there than any other place in
the world.  They do use soil under the gravel or some use regular brown
builders' sand.  Unless you have a problem with your water, IMHO you
shouldn't change things around and make problems. 

The next problem causing agent is fertilization.  In the aquarium,
providing you have fish, the only time you might need fertilization is when
starting a planted aquarium and only a few fish.  After that, only use an
iron and manganese solution that is readily available in good shops.

Personally, in Baltimore water, which is 12 DH, I add Aragonite powder even
in preference to clam or oyster shells; and I don't have the problems that
keep appearing on APD.  (Aragonite is available at most shops that sell
Marine Fish; from Carib Sea -- I buy the finest that is available and crush
it to a powder -- using a tablespoon to 50 gallon aquarium.)  Perhaps there
is more minerals in Aragonite than just calcium carbonate, but it works for
me.  I don't need many complex test kits and continual testing.  I enjoy my
aquariums without algae problems.  Many people on APD have seen my
aquariums (including Claus Christensen of Tropica) and I give plants away

Why do we try to make this so difficult and technical?  Let's try to make
it easier for hobbyists to be successful.  I have done it the easy way for
many years and that's why I'm still in it.  Everyone doesn't have to be a
scientist or chemist to have a gorgeous aquarium. Takashi Amano is not a
scientist or chemist and he has gorgeous aquariums because he's an artist
that cares to have it as a beautiful work of art.

We can do it simpler and better all the time without all the high tech
equipment; but if that is what you like, great!  Do it!  But so many
hobbyists are having so much trouble as I lurk through APD, I just had to
post this.

Incidentally, another good additive and water conditioner is a piece of
cucumber.  It's good for your fish, for your water, for your plants.  Just
weight it down with a stone and rubberband and replace it in four or five
days if it hasn't disappeared.

Let's enjoy the greatest hobby in the World and not make it a chore!