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Officially delurking, plus Anubias and water parameter questions

Greetings all,

Over the last year or so I've gone through the process of converting
my tanks from ugly plastic plants to lovely real ones and I'm happy
with the results I've seen.  I am currently running two very
low-tech, low light, non-injected tanks (mostly due to time
constraints).  Here's where my question starts--I've just moved from
Oakland to SF, and from what I can gather, SF water is a little
goofy.  My oakland water was a little goofy, too, but my I was able
to put together a collection of plants that did reasonably well in
it, even under my regime of benign neglect!  I have not yet had a
chance to test the parameters of my tap water so please don't throw
tomatoes at me when I ask the rest of my questions.

Tank parameters are as follows:
Tank 1--56 gallon tall tank, maybe 1.5w/gal (maybe--I use 2
garden-variety screw-in CF bulbs and supplement with a couple of
hours of afternoon sunlight).  I don't particularly like to fiddle,
so I don't test my water very often so I don't know current
parameters.  It's just straight SF tap water, with a 30% change 1x
per week.  I supplement with 2.5 ml Flourish 2x week, and am
currently adding about 10 drops of Kent Pro-Plant at the same time. 
The tank has a laterite substrate with plant tabs at the roots of the
heavy feeders, and there's about 1 cup of crushed oyster shells mixed
in the top layer.  I don't think they are doing much to affect the pH
or GH levels.

Tank 2--35 gallon hex, also tall, also maybe 1.5w/gal plus sunlight. 
No current parameters.  Supplemented with 1ml Flourish and 5 drops of
Pro-Plant.  This tank does not have a laterite substrate, but it has
had laterite balls and root tabs planted in the substrate at various

Both tanks have higher fish loads, so I'm not sure the Pro-Plant is
necessary.  I've achieved good growth rates with garden variety
swords, dwarf sag, Vallisneria, various Cryptocorynes, Java fern,
water sprite, Micranthemum micranthemoides, Elodea (although I've
pulled it from my tanks), without substantial algae problems, and I
have not yet been bitten by the "must have a new and exciting plant"
bug; I understand the high-power tank formula (CO2, nutrients, light,
etc--and I even understand most of the chemistry!) but at this point
I don't feel compelled to implement it, nor do I want to add CO2 to
my low light tanks.  I am, at least for the time being, a planted
tank minimalist (and much too susceptible to suggestion, so please,
please don't tell me to go out and get CO2 systems for my tanks).

On to my questions:

1) can anyone give me an overview of what SF tap water is like (Naomi
mentioned high pH and low levels of dissolved minerals--anything else
I should know about)?  I would also like to hear about how to adjust
pH levels with this quirky SF water.

2) My Anubias are not doing so well.  They were ekeing out an
existence before the move, but now several leaves have developed
pinprick holes and then yellowed on the barteri and there's a gaping
hole in the nana.  Based on SF water parameters, I'm assuming that
they are deficient in CA or MG and may possibly be suffering from the
lower CO2 availability in this high pH water.  Or am I seeing
symptoms of other deficiencies as well?  What can I do to salvage

Ok, I suppose that's enough for one message.  I want to thank
everyone on this list for providing such a wealth of timely advice
and information and TIA for any suggestions for how to deal with SF

Sarah LeGates

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