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Old 09-19-2017, 10:24 PM   #1
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Thinking of getting first plants. Tap water is soft...

I'm planning my 35gal setup. I want to try plants but something small and simple to start. My tap water is SUPER soft and I use crushed coral in my two other tanks to stabilize the pH around 7. I would love to try drift wood, but heard it lowers pH. Could I just add more crushed coral? Or am I asking for a pH disaster?
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Old 09-19-2017, 11:03 PM   #2
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What's the pH, GH, and KH?
Buffers help prevent pH swings, especially with soft water. You could add more crushed coral but you should measure the GH and KH prior to doing so.
It's fine if the pH is less than 7.
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Old 09-19-2017, 11:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresh2o View Post
What's the pH, GH, and KH?
Buffers help prevent pH swings, especially with soft water. You could add more crushed coral but you should measure the GH and KH prior to doing so.
It's fine if the pH is less than 7.
Tank isn't even close to set up. All in pre-plan stages. My tap water comes out at pH 6.8, GH 0ppm and KH 40ppm. I use strips for the hardness measurements, so I know they are not spot on, but still very soft.

This is going to be a tiger barb tank and I know they don't mind acidic water... how tolerant can plants be?

And this is probably a stupid question... but if I left my tank with a softer, more acidic level. When I buy plants (assuming the LFS keeps them in pH 7) would I have to "acclimate" them to the pH change like fish??

Sorry for all the noob questions!
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:06 AM   #4
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Hello Blu...

Trying to maintain a specific water chemistry takes work and isn't necessary to have a healthy, well planted tank. You just need to have a steady water chemistry. Keep hardy, easy to care for aquatic plants like Anubias, Java fern, Banana plants, Swords and Onion plants. These will easily tolerate more acidic water.

To maintain a steady water chemistry, avoid putting chemicals and such in the tank water and just use a standard treatment to remove the chlorine and chloramines. Change most of the water every few days to maintain good levels of the trace minerals the plants use and you'll have a nicely planted tank.

Keep tank keeping simpler and you'll be more successful.

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Old 09-20-2017, 01:52 PM   #5
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Thanks BBradbury, I am definitely one who tends to complicate things too. And thanks for the plant suggestions!
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