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Re: [APD] growing Tonia

>  While I haven't
> kept
> anything close to 1000 species of plants, none of the ones
> I've kept
> ever grew noticably better at low KH.
> If anything, the reverse has been true.

In most cases, this is __true__.
But as with most things, there are exceptions to the rule.
Rotala macrandra, wallichii, D diandra, Erios, Tonia's, etc will
grow in harder waters and may do well at moderate levels of KH,
but they do better/thrive at KH's of around 4-5 or less.
> For the
> longest time, it refers to plants that dislike high GH.  

I do not know of any plant that has high GH issues.
Some evidence for one Tonia, but not others indicated high Mg
might cause some issues. 

  Aside from Mr. Barr, I
> have
> not read a single account of _anyone_ who is able to grow
> these plants
> without using either Aquasoil or Florabase.  

Well, I have grown Tonia at higher rates than these other folks
using flourite alone. So........I really do not keep
secrets...and folks have heard what I do, the plants grow well.
They do grow a little better in ADA soil, but so what? It's only
a few plant species that seem to do better, much more an

Those "other folks" you keep talking about........hard
water(High KH). If you have Flourite, high light, mist CO2,
simple EI dosing, don't crowd the plants(same with ADA soil) and
use soft water, you don't have issues, the ADA stuff lowers
This affect last for awhile, then the bacteria stabilize things
but over time, the pH will rise and with many water changes, the
KH will rise if you have hard water and don't use RO.

So you see a nice start up, but over time, things will drop off
unless you use RO etc.

> accounts are
> strikingly similar to my own experience: these plants either
> refused
> to grow, grow extremely sickly, or die after the first
> trimming.

Guess you folks have brown thumbs:)
There have been many plants I've grown over the years many
EXCEPT myself have had trouble growing. Later, others figure it

But this case and habit is nothing new to me, I've heard this
same heehaw before and likely will again, seemingly every few

But today, folks have no trouble growing Gloss, Eustralis and
many other plants consistently.
> Now when we grew it in Aquasoil or Florabase, the difference
> is
> unmistakable: plants were vigorous from top to base, branching
> is
> prolific, and pruning is a non-issue.  What accounts for these
> immense
> differences?  

KH and some plants that evolve into aquatic habitat recently
evolutionarily, maybe retain their root based absorption rather
than using the foliar option.

There are not much nutrients in the water column other than CO2.
That's why I've been able to grow the beejeezes out plants using
the CO2 mist.

Dosing the water column allows me to supply the roots still, but
not like ADA. The NH4 in ADA soils appears to be the thing that
helps as well as the texture.

Tonia's not all the same either, some are much harder than the
others. But I have no issues with any of the varieties that are
out and available. 

Several are contending that it is the softening
> effect
> of the peat-based Aquasoil/Florabase.  Is it true?  I don't
> know.

Probably. See above, over time, unless you swap the substrate
out often, start using RO etc, you likely will have issues. 

Still, you can peat soften your water much easier than the
strong acid approach.

That's what us Apisto and Killi folks have done for
decades......and oh, they do know about the strong acid method
> But it was from that first thought coupled with repeated posts
> from
> folks who ask about how to soften their water that got me to
> start
> reading and researching.  The more posts I read, the more I
> didn't
> understand why the use of an acid is so advised against and
> that a RO
> unit is an absolute necessity when it comes to lowering KH
> since it is
> general consensus that high GH is not a problem.

Fair question. I've given you a fair answer and David's response
have been very good.
> So what is a "soft-water plant"?  What is the secret to
> growing the
> Tonina spp. along with other similarly fussy plants?  Has
> anyone been
> able to do so without using Aquasoil/Florabase?
> - cS -

Sure, KH about 2, use RO+ Tap to achieve this.
Buy some ADA soil(not powersand).
Use CO2 mist methods.

Works for Amano, myself and anyone else that tries it. 
The path is fairly clear, but you want to do it some other way. 
ADA soil is about the same cost as the Flourite. And no rinsing,
never scratches the glass, good rooting, nice aesthetics.

CO2 mist method is easy to do, unobtrusive and cheap.

RO is simple and taste great.

EI is also simple, cheap and easy.

I've clearly shown you the path, and I seem well able to grow
these species as well as anyone if not better. Anyone can if
they follow the advice. 

Tom Barr


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