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> What's this?
> Disparaging an unknown with drug- related humor, only to swing
> all the way
> out to the *other* extreme yourself?

Hey, at least I joke. But lets get to the meat....
An unknown? What's unknown about the fact the guy is telling him
to use DI? If he is saying this then they *must* be in a semi
hard to hard tap water area. Or is that analysis wrong? I've
done this a hundred, perhaps more times. I do have experience,
and then some, in this area. I've seen more issues by adding the
DI/RO than doing the right thing(adding CO2 correctly)and much
grief and money and dead fish is some cases and lots of algae.
We have no business softening the water to HELP the plants.
Hardening perhaps but not softening. Now if you have a KH of
over 14-15 or so *maybe* then...... but I have a darn good
feeling that doesn't include many of us here. GH is of no
importance unless you go below 3, mine's 24. I'd like to try
that kind of water for fun just to see(15+KH). I haven't found
any plant yet that needs soft water to "thrive". Using the gas
is the key along with good balanced nutrients. Oh, and I have
grown around 300 species of aquatics so we are talking about
most every plant there is in this hobby with a very small, very
rare, very unavilable group left out. Pick a plant and I'll grow
it in my hard as heck water nicely. 

> The only algae problem I've ever had in super- soft tanks was
> Cyano. Most of
> those tanks are less than 1 dGH, a couple on almost pure RO,
> and only a few
> with peat...

And these grow plants well? This is a plant list and I am a
plant person. My advice is based on plant tanks. I have had
tanks like these in the past but they are not good plant tanks
by any measure. 
> My Lake Tanganyika tanks, whose chemistry is detailed at
> http://www.mindspring.com/~nestor10/rift-fE4.htm
> are set up with algae growth as the intended outcome. 

I can grow lots **if** it's my intended outcome.....no matter
what the hardness(within a KH of 0-15 which covers about 95% of
the tap waters talked about here if not more). I can live with a
95% confiendence interval. I've maintained tanks in super soft
taps and rock hard ones and many in between. I am speaking from
experience not blowing smoke. If I don't know something, I don't
try to say or act like I do. I don't know beans about the
regulator threads and pressures rating etc. Don't want/need too
My water is harder than yours BTW referring to your site:)
TH is well over 400ppm. It don't taste good at all. You have
lots of sodium though. That one is bad. RO/DI would help in that
case, just ask Roger Miller.
FWIW as a former breeder of AF lake cichlids, you do not need to
match the lake to bred the fish.....O. ventralis, xeno's,
Cypri's, Tropheus's etc were done without messing with all that.
Love them fish! Love plants more dough....only got so much time
and tanks....someday I'll get back to it.

>The only
> algae I'm
> actually able to produce in them is the thick, spongy, brown-
> green "sheet"
> algae. *Super* hard, alkaline, and basic as all get- out...

I have done several inducements and removal test to see the
algae effects. My water grows stalagtites on my water fixtures,
liquid rock. I can grow about any algae that SF water can
produce which is quite pure, almost RO. Hair, thread, staghorn,
brush, browns, green water etc. and these have been induced in
the softer waters as well. It's about balance. Hardness is of
little importance unless it is too soft.
I have a research grant to study the algae and plants of Lake
Tanganyika actually that will hopefully come through by mid-Feb.
I may be able to bring some interesting stuff back from TZ this
summer. Algae included.

> My main tanks (tap) often go "green" when the weather turns
> cold and the
> utility starts adding a phosphate to the water, and it catches
> me off guard.
> Tap water...

I have to add P to my water to **prevent** algae. So do many
others. I use to be blessed with 1.2ppm PO4 levels and now I
have only .06ppm :(
I hate having to add it. It sure helps though. There's no doubt
at all on this issue. If your having algae issues on a well
planted tank, I would be careful to blame the PO4. I did a water
change and my plants grew like gangbusters and no algae at all.
I got witnesses and customers out the wazoo if you so
Try lowering your NO3 down in the 1-5ppm range and keeping the
CO2(and have a good amount of K+ - 20-30ppm) up higher or more
stable. If you do this with decent light and enough plant mass I
doubt you'll see the algae but instead see more plant growth
unless you dose P already. Do you?

> Would it not be better to have suggested _testing_ the tap
> source, perhaps
> identifying the reason for the clerk's statement? 

See above

>Maybe too
> much phosphate,

Again see above. Why would P cause a new set to be cloudy? Or
NO3 or? A good cycle will help that with some food for the
bacteria, not DI/RO pure waters. Old flithy water from a well
cycled tank is the best stuff to help this issue. I said that
part clearly.

> or nitrates, or _anything_ other than simply "hardness
> values"? S/he may
> have had a valid reason for stating such, but misunderstood,
> say, the
> owner's reasoning behind it.

Misunderstood perhaps.....lots of that here:)How's one to
account for it? All I know is what I've heard from this fellow
who's trying hard to get a good start. I'll trust him and give
him the benefit of the doubt.Am I supopose to give a full
disclosure statement everytime I say something here?
Good lord, I'll stop giving advice if it comes to that.

I get that balony at school were it belongs......in an abstract.

> I have to admit that, for once, you disappoint, Tom...

I made a joke of my judgement on the LFS fellow.
You said:
> Disparaging an unknown with drug- related humor, only to swing
> all the way
> out to the *other* extreme yourself?

What is this other extreme that you refer to? Saying the
opposite? That hard water will not cause algae compared to super
soft DI in a plant tank(this is a plant list)? I'll stand by
that statement just fine and get a good night's sleep as well.
I guess I may be becoming a curmugeon as it gets my goat that
LFS's tell folks to use RO/DI. They don't need it except perhaps
in very special cases that the LFS's would not be certain of in
the first place place - unless they were **extremely advanced**
plant keepers(example-if George Booth or Roger Miller worked at
a LFS:):):) 
Na sodium would be one such element. I cannot think of others
that would give cause for using it in regular tap waters and
most well waters.
We often blame the tap, PO4's and other issues when it is a
bunch of things causing the problem(s) or perhaps too low of a
CO2 level or K+ level. It's about balance. You can balance
almost any tank.

Advice is a gamble. No one is 100% right all the time in every
case. The person asking may have missed something and we all
could be barking up the wrong tree. But I have heard this DI/RO
a few too many times and I know it is only very, very rarely
ever even needed for plant tanks. 
LFS folks mean well. Did I jokingly bad mouth them here? For
spreading a myth? I listen to them rattle on, then I keep
bringing in bag, after bag, after bag, of plants to trade in
this same rock hard water.....gee he must know something eh?
Proof is in the pudding. 

> David A. Youngker
> nestor10 at mindspring_com
> BTW - to which post _are_ you referring? "Aquatic Plants
> Digest V4 #736"

I didn't hit reply so it did not use the <<'s
FWIW, in many of my disappointments I find enlightenment and a
lesson learned, especially with plants:)

Tom Barr

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