01-31-2013, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Stoke88
I will most definitely look into an Equilibrium type product. The Equilibrium might be my only option as well. I'll do some looking on the web to see what some prices are. Now should I add this to all my tanks? Not all have Swords but if its going to benefit the plants then its well worth it IMO. Also do I replace what is lost in a water change? Will this affect my fish by changing the GH all of a sudden?
You don't need to raise the GH much. Walstad says 4 dGH is the minimum for plants; mine was less than 1, so I raise it to 5 or 6 dGH [one tank I keep at 6, the others at 5] and this made quite a difference in just a few weeks. In your case, at 30ppm [1.6 dGH] raising it to 5 dGH should be sufficient. At with such a low GH to start with, I have seen no issues with my wild caught soft water fish.
It takes some experimenting to get the dose correct, and yes you need to add it at every water change. One tablespoon raises the GH by 3 dGH per 20 gallons [Seachem's advice]. Start low and slowly build until 5 is reached when tested prior to the next water change; then depending upon the volume of the WC, add maybe one level tablespoon and test the following week. If you are consistent with water changes like I am, changing the same volume (half the tank) every week, it is quite easy to pin this down. As I posted in another thread yesterday, a week of tests showed that my GH in the 115g is 6 dGH prior to the WC, then it is halved to 3 right after, the next day it is back to 6 and it remains there for the week. The plants are using the calcium and magnesium obviously, but not so much as to make a difference with the API test kit.
All the plants will benefit, but if the plants in one tank seem fine now, I wouldn't mess with all this. The fish if soft water don't need it.