re:water conditions

>I live in
>a rural setting on Canada's Vancouver Island and to date supply my aquarium
>with rain water collected off a cedar shake roof. We are in a rain shadow
>and with the warmer weather coming I fear my water source must soon come
>from elsewhere. Our well water is quite hard and alkaline and really tends
>to fluctuate in nature. Reverse Osmosis is a little beyond my financial
>reach at present. There is however a pond on the property that supports
>trout and all sorts of aquatic life and vegatation. The water conditions
>seem to approximate those of my aquarium.

Another possibility if you don't want to introduce pond water into your tank:

If you have a de-humidifier or air conditioner, it's condensation is purer than 
rain water (it has less distance to travel through the air, so it doesn't pick 
up dust).  You could use it.

You may need to adjust the condensate to make it compatible with your aquarium. 
 It will have virtually no carbonate or general hardness, but may have trace 
amounts of copper, aluminum or lead (probably immearsurable) from the 
coils/condensation tray.  It may also have a bit of household dust dissolved 
in.  The worst problem I can think of with condensate is the possibility of 
mildew.  I don't know how mildew affects an aquarium environment.

David W. Webb
Enterprise Computing Provisioning
Texas Instruments Inc.
(214) 575-3443 (voice)		MSGID:		DAWB
(214) 575-4853 (fax)		Internet:	dwebb at ti_com
(214) 581-2380 (pager)