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post #1 of 4 Old 04-02-2012, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Calcium & KH

I performed tests for calcium and KH. Calcium was 60 ppm and 150 ppm as calcium carbonate. The KH was 3.92 dKH. For a planted aquarium, should the calcium( Ca2) be at least 100 ppm?
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-02-2012, 10:49 AM
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Yes, but my question would be, how accurate is the test? I've never messed with specific tests for minerals like calcium, except years ago when I got nowhere with CO2 and iron. A GH test will in most cases answer this question adequately.

For plants, a GH above 4 dGH (roughly 71ppm) is considered minimum. I have basically zero GH in my tap water, and I raise the GH (using Seachem's Equilibrium which adds calcium, magnesium, potassium and something else I can't now remember) to 5 or 6 dGH and my plants have really responded. If your GH is below 5 dGH I would consider a similar supplement. There are other methods too, depending upon your initial GH and pH and the fish species, as they can affect pH which Equilibrium does not.

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Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-02-2012, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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The GH is 10 dGH. So then I am ok with calcium. I seen recommendations for 100 ppm calcium but I wondered if the recommendations meant calcium as calcium carbonate, hence my question. I did use Equalibrium but added a bit too much at 1 tsp per 20 gallons as I was looking for 8 dGH. So on my next water change (without Equalibrium in the makeup water) then it should lower the tank concentration some. I estimate my water changes at 42% . Thanks.
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-02-2012, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by rjordan390 View Post
The GH is 10 dGH. So then I am ok with calcium. I seen recommendations for 100 ppm calcium but I wondered if the recommendations meant calcium as calcium carbonate, hence my question. I did use Equalibrium but added a bit too much at 1 tsp per 20 gallons as I was looking for 8 dGH. So on my next water change (without Equalibrium in the makeup water) then it should lower the tank concentration some. I estimate my water changes at 42% . Thanks.
Calcium is essential for all life, animal and plant. Fish in soft water can obtain sufficient calcium from the foods they consume, and some probably from the water. Plants need calcium for cell formation. Most aquatic plants do not use bicarbonates; mosses for instance cannot at all, but some plants like Valisneria that naturally occur in hard water regions are quicker to use bicarbonates. The calcium in Equilibrium is calcium sulfate which is simply calcium salts. Given the incredible response of my plants to this, I have no doubts.

If your tap water is around 10 dGH, it is likely more than sufficient in calcium, since this is the primary mineral causing hardness. Regular (weekly) water changes of 40-50% will replenish the calcium adequately.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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