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Use of Equilibrium vs. calcium chloride to raise calcium levels

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  • Use of Equilibrium vs. calcium chloride to raise calcium levels

    My plants are consistently showing signs of calcium deficiency including drastically twisted leaves and poor growth, despite dosing with various calcium sulfate based additives. Initially i believe this problem was caused by excess magnesium and almost no calcium in my tap water. I since have switched to remineralizing RO water, but I am having difficulty getting this right. It seems that Calcium sulfate based products do litte to help decrease signs of calcium deficiency for me. Dosing with equilibrium has helped a bit when dosing to reach 3dh but at this level growth is still slow and leaves are twisted . At 1.5x dose growth increases but leaves and stems may become even more twisted. Alternatively, dosing RO water with calcium chloride at 3tsp/40 gallon helps alleviate these symptoms but any higher and I start to see potassium deficiencies (pinholes).
    My question is, is their something that would decrease the solubility of calcium sulfate such that it does not increase the aqueous calcium substantially? The other is, is there something else that is deficient or in excess that could be causing me to see signs of similar to calcium deficiency? What do you suggest in this situation?

    My tank parameters:
    ph: 7.0-7.4
    temp: 74
    dkh: 1-2
    lighting: fluval 3.0
    photo period: 11 hours/day
    fertilizer: all in one, once twice a week
    CO2 injected: yes

    Please advise, thank you

  • #2
    Good day Chris,

    Is the all-in-one fertilizer the only thing you're using for nutrients other than Equilibrium or the CaCl2 product? I started using Equilibrium in my planted tanks, high and low tech, long before coming here to Seachem and found it to be an ideal general additive for Ca, Mg, and K. I normally add the full dose weekly after each 50-60% water change and a half dose mid-week to replenish what the plants have taken up. If I start seeing signs of Ca deficiency I add a bit more specifically for Ca, but since it has ideal ratios of Ca, Mg, and K, I know my plants are getting those as well.

    What substrate are you using?