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Re: SEVERE algae problem - HELP!

>>d) Don't use tap water if you have an easily accessable source of
>>RO/distilled water

>If you use only distilled/RO water you will have no buffering cpacity.  If
>you have no buffering capacity you will problems like I do not wish to
>describe.  Cutting problem water with RO water is a good idea, but using
>straight RO only . . . well I wouldn't want to try and deal with that

I use straight RO water in my tank, and have for a while.  My city water is
really bad and plants (house and aquarium) tended to die if I used it.  That
in mind, I don't disagree with the idea of not using tap water, but as you
noted there are some problems that must be overcome.  First (as you noted)
is buffering capacity.  Second is micro nutrient shortages, since tap water
has a lot of micro nutrients.  Third, and perhaps most insidious, is
biogenic decalcification.  This is where your fish's bones slowly weaken,
and your snails shells dissolve.  All of these things can be overcome with
micronutrient supplements, Calcium supplements, magnesium supplements, etc.
A handful of crushed coral in your filter takes care of the calcium and
carbonate components of buffering and harness, Epsom salts in your dosing
solution take care of the Mg side of the equation, Borax for boron, micro
nutrient supplements for hydroponics etc.  So, with that in mind, I would
only use straight RO if you like the chemistry, or your tap water sucks.