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Re: [AGA-Member] Magnesium nutrient issues

I am also not sure about your magnesium ratios you are
trying to chieve. CA and MG are macro elements. The
plants use them for osmotic balance as well as
consuming themin trace amounts. The ratios between CA
and MG are usually 4:1 or 3:1. I think what you read
on Chuck's page was the minimum amount of 5-10 ppm MG.

Just a few questions/comments on top of Larry's excellent reply... where did we collectively come up with this 4:1 or 3:1 ratio in the water column? I understand thats the ratio in dry plant matter, but that doesn't logically mean we need 4:1 or 3:1 in the water column. At the conference Bailin and I were taking about this, I had thought the ratio was 4:1 Mg:Ca not Ca:Mg... I tried flipping this when I got back by adding Ca (I have very soft water) with disasterous results really, plant growth really slowed down. I re-upped the Mg once again and now things are back to normal, I'm closer to 1:1 or even heavier in Mg. As a second "data point", one of my tanks has Flourite, had the worse problems. The other tank is Eco-Complete, which I've been told leeches Mg didn't have any algae issues but growth did noticeably slow down.

Anyhow, my personal experience has been contrary to the "conventional wisdom" on Mg levels, YMMV, etc, but as far as I know no one has actually done a controlled experiment so I would tinker with the levels to see what works best for you...

Jeff Ludwig
Elkton, MD
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