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  1. Thanks for all the info. I just did a 50% water change (after ripping out these nearly dead plants) and added 10% water diverted around the water softener. GH/KH are up nicely. Will keep testing and doing this for a while. I'm also thinking of breaking down and spending money on a CO2 system for the growth and pH. Another solution might involve throwing tons of money at this tank, getting kicked out by my wife and I can move someplace with proper water. 🤣
  2. Yeah, I need to replace our RO system and I am think about getting one capable of more gallons per day to allow for this. I did test my tap water that doesn't got through the water softener and the results were: GH >150ppm (unacceptable) Nitrite 0ppm (good) Nitrate 0-10ppm (good) KH >300ppm (unacceptable) pH >8.0 (unacceptable) So pH is always high and GH/KH are on the extremes.
  3. I haven't used RO water for the tank, just softened tap water with Seachem Prime and the ferts added. So I just got different test strips... GH <25ppm (unacceptable) Nitrite 0ppm (good) Nitrate 0-10ppm (good) KH <40ppm (unacceptable) pH >8.0 (unacceptable)
  4. We are on a softener! But again, I only have ever tested pH which always high from the tap and low from the drinking water RO system (it's too slow to top up the tank). My water colour gets dark pretty quick after a water change, which I attribute to tannins from the driftwood (or possibly leaching out of the rocks in the tank). I need to find a GH test!
  5. I don't have a GH test, but we have hard water. But isn't GH tied to magnesium?
  6. These specific plants for about 6 months. The others, longer. Just did a test: PH 8.2 Nitrite 0ppm Ammonia 0ppm Nitrate 10ppm
  7. Thanks. I am not having much luck with these plants at all.
  8. Beyond the photo, the lower leaves have melted away. Magnesium deficiency? I am using Thrive C Complete Low Tech Fertilizer. This is a 50 gallon tank and I am dosing once a week at 1 pump per 5 gallons (10 pumps) as per instructions. It says on the bottle that I could dose twice a week, but I'm worried about an algae spike. Help.
  9. Can you post an updated photo? Discuss pros/cons. I was thinking of almost the exact same setup.
  10. I have one of those air pumps. It is what I will use if I go that route. I will also put it on a timer to shut down overnight.
  11. Very true on the output flow; never thought of that. Going outside mainly aesthetic. Trying to build height upwards. I want rooted-in-water plants without having the roots right in my tank. Another idea I was playing with is a fancier railing planter, cutting holes in the bottom of one side and making it work like a sump somehow. Intake and output from the bottom. Weight also has to be considered.
  12. I am looking at the Fluval Hang-On Breeding Box to stuff an bunch of plants in behind my tank. I am wondering if anyone has had success introducing water into them without an airhose? I don't have an air pump connected to this tank now and prefer to keep it that way for the noise. Also, the intake with air attachment is pretty ugly (IMHO). I don't have a higher water volume to fill it by natural siphon (I think) but was thinking of maybe a micro submersible. Looking for inspiration!! Any other ideas welcome (as long as it will pass my wife's "it can't look bad" test).
  13. I recently bought the Fluval P25 Submersible and am impressed with it.
  14. Basically little white dots that swim around your tank. They are small scavenger crustaceans about 1mm that breed in the substrate and eat anything (bacteria, algae, dead stuff). I had so many that they were all over everything. My snail didn't appear to mind them latching on, but the shrimp disappeared very quickly. The photos are from a microscope (my kid took them to school).
  15. Unless anyone says "don't do it!", I think I am going to try Norman's Lampeye Killi (Poropanchax Norman). It's really the only thing that I can get in my area. There are some reports that they hug the bottom more and don't jump as much (I still need to get a proper lid).
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