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Re: [APD] Aquatic-Plants Digest, Vol 25, Issue 42

Quoting Tom Wood:

> We recently moved to a new home where the total dissolved solids (TDS) out
> of the tap measures 470ppm. According to the local experts, our tapwater is
> groundwater with a dash of bleach added for 'treatment'. The house also has
> a salt-based water softener. My high-tech planted 90 gallon aquarium
> cratered. Probably not coincidentally, I notice that the local waterways
> are almost completely bereft of plantlife.

470 ppm of TDS isn't particularly high.  Goldfish can thrive in water that is
much more mineralized than that.  I think that "bleach" (sodium hypochlorite)
is fairly commonly used as a disinfectant in small water systems.

The salt-based water softener is likely to be a problem.  The softener 
your TDS slightly.  It also removes calcium and magnesium, replacing them with
sodium.  That can create Na:Ca and Na:Mg ratios so high that plants can't get
to either the calcium or magnesium, both of which are essential for plant
growth.  "Cratering" doesn't always happen with softened water, but it
shouldn't be surprising when it does.

Your best bet is to just use unsoftened tap water.  RO and its reconstitution
are likely to be wastes of both time and money.

If your local water ways are absent plant life, then it is more likely 
caused by
intermittent flooding and rip-up then it is by water chemistry.  Besides, the
chemistry of water in your local water ways may have little 
relationship to the
ground water.  That depends on how much of the surface flow originates from

Roger Miller

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