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Low ph for plants ?

Discussion in 'Planted Chit Chat' started by concentration, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. concentration

    concentration New Member

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    Hello I am new to aqua planting and have the following questions

    My current tank has around 3 plants with some fishes in it

    I was told plant need to be in acid water ( ph below 7 but of course doesn't need to be extremely acid )

    At first I think it's about the mineral in the water ( as I was told high ph water usually means higher in GH that mean more minnerial)

    However later on it seem that high ph water doesn't automatically mean high gh and

    And low ph water could simply mean higher potential hydrogen ( or sth that is not related to amount of minerial)

    Regardless I am living in an area where soft water is provided , ph around 7 or 7.5, I tested the water which has around 2-3 GH and 0-1 kh

    My question are

    1) why plant need to be in acid water ? Is it related to the minerial amount in the water ? Or it has no direct relationships?

    2) I read something about some kind of soil which is good for aqua plants but they all seem will make the water more acid , is the soil good because it turn the water to more acid ? ( Assuming plants need acid water ) or the soil is good simply because they provide the required nuturial to the plants but will make the water acid as a side effect ?)

    3) is GH a good measuring to determine whether I have enough minnerial for the plants ?

    Thank you so much

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  2. Demeter32

    Demeter32 Member

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    Whoever told you that plants need to be in acidic water is wrong. A pH of 7 is perfectly fine for growing plants. Most plants actually prefer a higher pH. My pH is about 7.8-8 and my plants have no problems. Hard water will often have more dissolved minerals in it, as water softeners actually remove the minerals (from my understanding anyways).

    The substrate, or soil, is important because just like regular plants, the aquatic ones need nutrients as well. This is often where root tabs and liquid fertilizers come in. You can grow plants perfectly fine in plain gravel or sand provided they have some source of nutrients (root tabs). The substrate is more important for providing a good media for root developments. It is far easier to take root in a finer substrate, such as coarse sand, than it is to take root in the common aquarium pebbles.

    Some aquarium substrates aimed towards plants provides nutrients and fine substrate so there is little need to add root tabs and liquid fertilizers. I use flourite black sand (which is a lot like silt in a river) and the plants do well.
    I also have a layer of dirt in one tank and then a layer of sand on top to keep the dirt out of the water column. The plants don't need and fertilizers in that tank and grow like mad.

    If their is one thing that I've learned about planted tanks, is you need to have good lighting. This is probably more important than having a special substrate. I'm not too great with recommending lighting, but I try to aim for 1.5-2 watts per gallon in florescent tube bulbs.

    What kinds of plants do you have? Try posting a few picks of them. Some plants don't need and actually shouldn't be planted into the substrate. These plant are either free floaters or will attach themselves to hard objects like wood and rocks.
     
  3. concentration

    concentration New Member

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    Thank you for your feedback and cleared one of the biggest question I have which is do I need acid water to growth plant, yes I should take some pictures of my plant and post it here ,

    I get your point that a good substrate and lightning is probably the key for plants, but GH in water important to plant ? Sometime I use liquid fertilizer as the water GH is pretty low and I am concerned that the plant may not be having enough mineral,

    But I when I try to put the liquid fertilizer ( not mixing with any water in it )for a GH test I am surprised it also only give a GH of 3-4 as well ,

    Is it because GH is not a good measure to find out how much mineral are in the water specifically good for the plant ? Or is it really that liquid fertilizer doesn't really help much (imagining putting that small cap of liquid fertilizer with a GH value of 3 into that relatively big size of pool water to )

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  4. Demeter32

    Demeter32 Member

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    I think you might want to wait for another person to answer about the GH as I am not too familiar with it. Perhaps @Byron can give some advice?

    With my relatively limited knowledge, the liquid fertilizers will be adding macro elements like nitrogen and phosphorus, and then micro elements like iron, calcium, potassium and a lot more. Plants need these to grow well and our little mini environments don't have enough of them to keep them healthy, that's why we often need to add them.

    Here's a link that better describes fertilizers: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=1117
     
  5. concentration

    concentration New Member

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    I see , thx for the link it help me to understand abit more, the only concern I have is I use to put some sort of dark soil as a bases for my plant and I think the plants are pretty happy about it but then the water turn acid and my fishes didn't survive it , do any one have that problem ? ( In that period of time I change water 2 times a week already but no help ) now I use those little stone (not sure their name ) and only put down abit soil for the plant , now fished is happy , water is not acid but then plant doesn't look too well , some of the plant (red leaves ) turn green and I was told other than light ,it's because my plant didn't get enough calcium or minnerial

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  6. flchamp89

    flchamp89 Fish Crazy

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    If you didnt mineralize soil there typically is an ammonia spike. If doing fish in. That scenario is difficult. But makes for a good option to a fishless cycle. Your params by most standards are good. What id call neutral. As a blanket statement most plants we see in hobby appreciate some gh/kh as that usually equates to some calcium and or phosphates at a minimum. But like fish certain plants will prefer softer water. Because everyones closed system is different there will typically always be plants that your set up will not grow well. Light is and will always be limiting factor.



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  7. Demeter32

    Demeter32 Member

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    I think iron is the usual deficiency for red leaved plants, but yeah specific plants need higher lighting to get the redder colors.
     
  8. concentration

    concentration New Member

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    I heard ammonia is produced by waste from fishes plant and food break down , why non mineralized soil may result in an ammonia spike?Is it because the plant isn't growth well so they don't eat up the ammonia ?

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  9. concentration

    concentration New Member

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    Thank you I guess more light will be good for my tank and I am trying to find a way to increase GH naturally but not sure what GH value will be good for plant

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  10. flchamp89

    flchamp89 Fish Crazy

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    Even organic soil (mgops)will have some life in it that will die off.
    More par is only of value if you have co2, macros, and micros to run it.

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  11. concentration

    concentration New Member

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    My main focus are the fishes and I just hope I can provide the plant at least a "ok" environment to live on , other than LED lighting I usually put some liquid fertilizer and CO2 into the water , but I never test is the amount is good , I read it's recommended to have CO2 of around 10-40mg/L in general and I think I should buy a tester for it .

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  12. flchamp89

    flchamp89 Fish Crazy

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    Im assuming you mean carbon (glut)-- not comparible. Most run co2 between 15 and 30ppm. You can get co2 level from ph but not with glut as there is none.

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  13. concentration

    concentration New Member

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    Hmm I am not sure , the. Bottle say "CO2 BOOSTER" it's not the same to setup a co2 filter? Other than effectiveness

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  14. flchamp89

    flchamp89 Fish Crazy

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    That would be carbon. It is beneficial to plants and can be used as an algaecide. But comparing it too pressuried co2 is like apples and oranges. In a low tech tank carbon may be fine. Plants will always benefit from co2 however.

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  15. concentration

    concentration New Member

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    I see guess first I should check if the co2 lv is good enough or not and then work on increasing gh (if GH is a good measure for minnerial for plant )

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