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Re: Perfecto SHO vs. Power Compacts and where to buy?

> From: "Darren R. Gold" <dargol at email_msn.com>
> Paul,
> Your symptoms of deformed new growth would appear to indicate a calcium
> magnesium deficiency, which is something reserved, usually, for us R/O
> users.  You say that you neutrally buffer your water?  I assume you mean
> are just adding a pH buffer of some kind and this is not enough. R/O water
> severely lacking in calcium and magnesium, and these must be added back
> before using the water for plants or fish.  Try a product such as
> R/O Right.

Hi Darren,

I've just started using Kent R/O Right, and am using enough of it to
hopefully land between what Kent calls "soft" and "medium hard" in the
instructions for the stuff.  I started out using straight tap water (very
hard -- about 18 dGH, 9 dKH, 8.0 pH), and the swords didn't like that at
all.  So when I got the RO unit I initially did a couple of 25% water
changes just with pure RO water (that seemed to shock the swords the most,
though the fish were fine with it).  By now about 50% of the tank volume
should be R/O Right-treated water.  I've been a bit lax with the KH and GH
tests lately but I should be around 8 dGH and about 2-3 dKH if Kent's
labeling can be trusted.  When I say "neutrally buffered", I just mean that
the pH has been hovering around 7.0-7.2 for the last week or so, with a KH
of about 2.  I also have some Kent pH*Stable to add buffering if I need it.
As I mentioned, the swords seem to be doing a little better lately but still
not great, so there's still more to be done.

Also, I've been fertilizing the substrate with Flourish tablets, and I was
using liquid Flourish and Flourish Iron for a time, but that only seemed to
encourage green thread algae.  On the advice of several people, I will start
experimenting with some CO2 (even at my lower light levels) along with very
small additions of micronutrients.  I'm also going to remove the rockwool
from around the roots and maybe replant them in pots with some potting soil.

> Providing more light to these plants will just make them try to
> use up what
> little resources are available faster, so it will only accelerate your
> problems.
> Welcome to the balancing act!

Thanks!  This is turning out to be quite challenging, but at least it keeps
me off the streets :):).