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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #28

In a message dated 00-01-14 03:53:20 EST, you write:

<< Also, how critical is the use of reverse osmosis water?  Basically, I've 
 where some heavily planted tanks have no algae because the higher level 
 out compete the algae for food and nutrients.  Is there anyone on this list
 that has absolutely no algae?  Or is algae something inevitable?  I also
 remember that phosphates are the main contributors to algae...  That's why 
 been thinking about reverse osmosis...to remove phosphates and the other
First, you're never going to be able to remove ALL phosphates from your tank. 
 And a good thing that is, too, because plants do require SOME phosphates for 
growth.  Reverse Osmosis water is not critical if you are blessed with soft, 
low pH water (such as found flowing from most taps in, say, New England).  
However, it does make life simpler if you happen to live in a hard-water area 
(such as the Rocky Mountains), where pH adjustments are very difficult to 
make due to high natural hardness and buffers in the water.  I do believe a 
certain amount of algae is inevitable, and not necessarily "bad."  In nature, 
algae is everywhere, and does contribute its part in water purification by 
consuming excess nutrients and waste material in water.  I have never kept a 
tank that didn't contain at least some algae, somewhere in the tank.  I don't 
know of anyone who has been able to do that.  The trick is in holding it down 
to low levels so it doesn't become obtrusive, or mar the aesthetic beauty of 
the tank.  At least, that's my personal opinion.