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Help choosing substrate and rocks/water plan

BigJohnnyTwoToes

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25 May 2022
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Hello Everyone!

Starting my first planted tank build. I live on well water which has a very low pH due to high CO2. I used to run it through a DIY co2 degasser stage before my RODI system when making top off water for my reef tank. Id prefer to not use my CO2 degasser and my RODI unit, I want to use water straight from the well for convenience. There are no contaminants or heavy metals etc, I test it every 6 months and it's always the same. Here are some of the relevant parameters from the last test:

PH: 5.8
KH: 2.3 dKH (42ppm)
GH: 2.4 dGH (43ppm)
Nitrate: 3.3ppm
Calcium: 11.1 ppm
Magnesium: 3.79 ppm

Pretty sure any gentle surface agitation would raise the ph fairly quickly. So maybe ould just "age" the water in a bucket with an airstone or pump prior to water changes. Do i need to adjust kh and gh before I fill up the tank/for water changes? Planning to keeping low-mid plants and fish as well as neocardinia shrimp if possible. Want some pockets of aquasoil but the whole thing capped with coarse and, similar to how this guy mdfishtanks on YouTube builds. I plan on providing low to medium light and no co2. I have one beautiful piece of manzanita burl driftwood and want to build up the scape with some stones. Haven't decided which though/if my well water should influence which I get. Same thing for aquasoil im inbetween tropica and SL aqua soil, not sure which is more appropriate/if there is even a difference/maybe there is a better option.


My question is, how should I approach the substrate/rock and water preparation for this tank. What is the ideal ph /gh/kh for the plants and animals mentioned? Just like reefing there are so many ways to do it and no single right answer, so just looking for some perspective from experienced people.

Any help would be greatly appreciated .

Thanks!



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BigJohnnyTwoToes

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One more thing I'll say is the goal is minimal maintenance/effort because i have a new baby on the way and I simply won't do a lot if I have to. Id like to do one 50% water change a week after initial stabilization and ideally that's it for 6 months outside of adjusting lights/general tank maintenance/trimming. I have some root tabs and ferts if needed but don't want to have to use the fertilizer on a regular basis.

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PARAGUAY

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No idea on Well Water. But going low energy in time the 50%wc change reduce to 20% say. You can have a lighting period of 10 hrs in time. Choose plants in the Easy plant category. Why do you not want to fertiliser regular? Using floating plants will indicate any need to fertilise
 
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Have a look at the "duckweed index" on this forum (sorry, I don't know how to add a link).
The basic idea is, because floating plants have access to the more abundant atmospheric CO2, the main deficiencies they can show are nutrient ones & they are likely to show symptoms before the submerged plants begin to struggle & stop growing properly.
If they go yellow, grow smaller leaves etc, it suggests the fertiliser regime needs addressing as a main nutrient may be lacking.
I'm sure you will receive plenty more technical replies which explain things far better than I have!
 

MrMarlow

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Leicester
Have a look at the "duckweed index" on this forum (sorry, I don't know how to add a link).
The basic idea is, because floating plants have access to the more abundant atmospheric CO2, the main deficiencies they can show are nutrient ones & they are likely to show symptoms before the submerged plants begin to struggle & stop growing properly.
If they go yellow, grow smaller leaves etc, it suggests the fertiliser regime needs addressing as a main nutrient may be lacking.
I'm sure you will receive plenty more technical replies which explain things far better than I have!

Ah, the duckweed index. I have quickly read over a thread on that somewhere. I shall read it a little more thoroughly this time. Thank you.
 

BigJohnnyTwoToes

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No idea on Well Water. But going low energy in time the 50%wc change reduce to 20% say. You can have a lighting period of 10 hrs in time. Choose plants in the Easy plant category. Why do you not want to fertiliser regular? Using floating plants will indicate any need to fertilise
Id just rather not have to fertilize as much but will if necessary. Thanks for advice. Very cool about the duck weed will definitely use that
 

PARAGUAY

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@MrMarlow We are no way talking plants dying what we mean is (see @The Miniaturist in his post) the Duckweed Index tells us because floating plants have access to unlimited CO2 we can work out what they need ,fertiliser,to add if they show any deficiencys . If you have a soil substrate it's likely got nutrients. And you can water column dose sparingly .Any issues and we have @Zeus. fertiliser mastro @dw1305 and others to help.
 

BigJohnnyTwoToes

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What do you guys think about my well gh/kh levels, can I use as is?

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Hanuman

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Thailand
KH: 2.3 dKH (42ppm)
GH: 2.4 dGH (43ppm)
Nitrate: 3.3ppm
Calcium: 11.1 ppm
Magnesium: 3.79 ppm
What do you guys think about my well gh/kh levels, can I use as is?
Looks fine to me overall. Maybe slightly bumping dGH to 4-6 wouldn't hurt since you are planning on having invertebrates. You can use the IFC Calculator to figure out the weights/ratios etc.
 

BigJohnnyTwoToes

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Looks fine to me overall. Maybe slightly bumping dGH to 4-6 wouldn't hurt since you are planning on having invertebrates. You can use the IFC Calculator to figure out the weights/ratios etc.
Is this ok for that?
feb964f5b2794a3233f94bb6451f1399.jpg


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