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Hey guys,

Going to be starting a 75G planted aquarium very soon and I'm looking into dosing and fertilization and all that and I read somewhere that soft water is really not a good thing to be setting up a planted aquarium with, any truth in this as I'm sure some of you know the water in victoria is very soft!

Thanks!

James
 

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When I lived in Victoria back in the 1980's I had several planted tanks. Here in Vancouver (water is also soft, near-zero out of the tap in GH and KH) I have had planted aquaria for more than 15 years. I have soft water (mostly wild-caught) fish so have never done anything with the water. I have no trouble with plants, they grow like weeds in my 115g, 90g and 70g aquaria (all low-tech, "low" light).

I use Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement twice a week; in Victoria I used Kent Freshwater Plant once I think. I don't think the latter is available, I can't track it down anyway, and it is not the same as the Kent Plant-Pro line now out there. I would recommend Flourish, it has calcium and magnesium (which is primarily what adds hardness to water) so covers most bases. I suspect twice a week rather than once may be due to the soft water; I know of aquarists with moderately hard water who only need it once a week.
 

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You can also dose a bit of Epsom salts MgSO4) as part of your dosing scheme. EI dosing schemes include Epsom salts. Or you can order up some GH booster mixes from various places and dose those. A final alternative is to use Eco-complete which buffers the water a bit without you having to do anything, but of course that would eventually deplete itself.
 
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