05-12-2012, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by freemike
Sorry for the delay I've been busy lately... The only thing I have to test the GH is strips and it shows somewhere between 25-75. I know they aren't very accurate but that is the best I have. I'm also looking into adding excel with the comprehensive flourish for a source of co2.
This likely explains the Wisteria problem. You have very soft water--I assume those numbers are ppm, since anything close to 75 dGH would be impossible. So at 75ppm, the highest in the range, it is just 4 dGH which is very minimum for most plants. This was one of my problems with Wisteria, and other plants too for that matter, as my tap water is near-zero GH. The calcium, magnesium and potassium in Flourish Comprehensive is minimal, since the product is geared for the "normal" North American water supply that is medium hard. Those of us with soft water need to supplement these three macros although slow-growing plants will manage on Flourish Comp. And Wisteria being a fast-growing stem plant will need additional macros. [By the way, I would verify your GH with the water supply folks; they might have a website with data posted, or they should be able to tell you.]
I do not recommend Excel as a carbon supplement. Some plants will die (Vallisneria, mosses, probably some others). Second, it is not really necessary in natural (low-tech) systems as sufficient CO2 will occur from fish and plant respiration and (mainly) bacteria in the substrate breaking down organics. Third, as this is chemical and given it kills some plants and has been known to kill fish if overdosed, I would not use such a product just out of principle.
The Flourish Comp will suffice generally; if the GH numbers are accurate, dosing calcium/magnesium/potassium will help fast-growing plants which otherwise might not last.