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Re: Calcium Additions

Roger S. Miller wrote:
> When plants do suffer a
> calcium shortage they show it by producing stunted, gnarled new growth.
> Some plants are more sensitive to the absence of calcium then others, so
> only one or two plants in a tank are likely to show the early stages of a
> calcium shortage.

This is very misleading! Calcium _deficiency_ shows as deformed growth
but a calcium shortage will be evident as slow growth rates for many
plants especially Echinodorus species. I believe that there is a range
of symptoms of calcium shortage which become more extreme as the calcium
concentration goes lower.

> [snip]
> > What is the best way to add calcium ?
> Lime adds calcium, but it also will drive your pH high ...
> You might be better off using calcium chloride (sold as deicer) and
> calcium carbonate (oyster shell).

You can also use calcium nitrate but don't add too much at once because
it will increase the nitrate concentration too. I've recently tried
using some and it has produced some very good results. It dissolves
fairly easily in a jar of water. Don't mix it ahead of time and
especially don't mix it together with other nutrients in PMDD because
the high sulphate concentration in the stock PMDD solution will
precipitate the calcium. It only takes a couple of minutes to dissolve
in a jar of water so I suggest you only mix as much as you need at one
time. I suspect that it might not store well in solution.

Steve Pushak                              Vancouver, BC, CANADA 

Visit "Steve's Aquatic Page"      http://home.infinet.net/teban/
 for LOTS of pics, tips and links for aquatic gardening!!!