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Re: Sodium in planted tanks

On Tue, 25 Apr 2000, Cavan wrote:

> Roger and Andrew:  I switched over to Equilibrium from
> the RO Right to reconstitute my distilled water.
> Sodium only comes from what is in the Floursih itself.
>  I don't think there can be much sodium in the tank.
> I wonder if there's anything funny about the distilled
> water?

In order for sodium to be the problem it would probably need to be there
at something over 10X the concentration of calcium.  With 8 degrees of
hardness in your tank, I have a hard time imagining how that would happen.

> What's this about the balance between calcium and
> magnesium?  What should the ratio be?  Having heard
> all the postive things I've heard about Seachem
> products, I would think that the Equilibrium/Flourish
> mixture would give me the right proportions of
> everything.

In most natural fresh waters calcium is more abundant than magnesium.  The
ratio isn't at all fixed but it's fairly common for calcium content to be
3 or 4 times the magnesium content.

> I was thinking aboout possible substrate causes.  My
> tank has an old undergravel filter plate covered with
> normal gravel and topped with flourite.  I noticed
> some blackish areas in the gravel, and stirred them
> up.  I have a bunch of burrowing snails, and the
> healthy roots bring in oxygen to break up the dark
> areas, though some roots do sometimes show black
> areas.  A while back, I stirred up the gravel and a
> bunch of bubbles came up.  I wonder if any of it
> diffused into the water.  Could this be why some stems
> are fine when one RIGHT NEXT TO IT could be stunted?

I suppose this is possible but I have never seen it happen.  In fact I
have several plants that flourish with their roots in the anaerobic zone
below a chunk of driftwood.  At one time I uprooted a large B. longifolia
and found that most of its roots stretched out to one side, reaching out
about 6 inches and into the zone below the driftwood.  My experience is
that the oxygen-depleted zones are actually good for plants.

Roger Miller