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RE: Altering tapwater chemistry with peat

Wayne Swaby wrote:
> "The budget for this project is spiralling way out of control, but I'll
> think about stumping up for the RO unit if the consensus of the list
> is that I need one."

When I lived in Vancouver, where the water is very soft, I never had
problems with growing plants.  I have grown aquatic plant tanks in two other
locations, both with very hard water.  I can say that, in my experience, it
is much easier to grow most plants in soft water than in hard water.

I now mix my water 50/50 with R/O water that I buy from the supermarket and
my tap water.  Since doing this I noticed an immediate improvement in my
tank.  It costs me $3.00 to refill a 5 gallon container here.  Since I only
have a 20 gallon tank, it costs me little to use this water.  It would take
a lot of refills for me to pay for a R/O unit.

James Purchase wrote
> Very few hobbyists NEED a R/O unit. Those that do would have to
> have certain knowledge that there is something undesirable in
> their water which cannot be tolerated ...
> The ONLY sure way that you can decide this is with a full analysis of your
> tap-water. Most municipalities (at least here in North America)
> are only too happy to mail out a copy of the latest analysis of the water
> that they provide.

A note regarding water analysis is that the readings can fluctuate
significantly.  I don't know if this is as great of a problem in large
centres.  I used to live in a smaller city in northern Canada, and I was
shocked by the differences in the readings over a two year period.