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General Hardness- Part1

In some areas of the country, the water is extremely hard, meaning that there are a lot of minerals dissolved in it, most often calcium and magnesium. Hardness can be measured as German degrees of hardness (dGH), parts per million (ppm), or milligrams per liter (mg/L). Parts per million and milligrams per liter are analogous and are often used interchangeably in aquarists’ discussions. Most test kits typically measure calcium and magnesium, usually the largest mineral components to hard water. Another measure is total dissolved solids (TDS), which quantifies all (or most of) the minerals dissolved in the water, no matter what they are. Electrical conductivity measures the water’s ability to transmit and electrical current. Most aquarists do not bother much with conductivity or even total dissolved solids, preferring to measure hardness by degrees, parts per million,...

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Lighting In A Plantarium- Part 1

One thing that is absolutely essential to plant growth is adequate light. Some aquatic plant species have adapted to grow in shady settings. Among them are many ferns and mosses as well as Anubias species and many Cryptocoryne species. These plants have been the long- term mainstays of the aquarium world because they grow well even under fairly dim aquariums lighting. Other species grow wild in open areas with shallow, clear water. These plants, in general, are much more demanding in the aquarium, needing much higher light levels to thrive. Many of the most beautiful and brightly colored aquarium plants are in this category and are well worth the extra effort required to maintain them. Cryptocoryne Cordata is an example of a plant that has adapted to grow where many other plants cannot. This particular variety, from...

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