Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #81
It is almost impossible to remove ALL the lime cost-effectively. It is far
cheaper to simply buy lime-free gravel, silica sand, peat or whatever you
want to use brand new.
The resin ion exchange filters work out pretty expenisve: they don't soften
much hard water between charges. I find them a waste of time. It s FAR
better, if you live in a hard-water area (like I do, in London) either to
use reverse-osmosis (expensive) or simply choose a hardwater set-up. I used
RO water with my reef tank mostly to remove nitrate. It cost about 2
UK-pounds (3 dollars-ish) per gallon from a retailer.
Lots of plants thrive in hard water, especially those that can use
carbonate as a source of carbon for photosynthesis (like Elodea). Your
local pH of 7.5 is fine for the usual community of fish and plants. That's
what I have here...and I have to give away plants every month!
Measuring pH is a good thing: but at an alkaline pH and medium-hardness
upwards, the water will be very stable (well buffered) and unless you spill
a few gallons of nitric acid into the tank, you can basically leave the
whole thing on autopilot.
Buying plants as a job-lot is a *bad* idea. The retailers will sneak in
lots of cr*p. Or, at least they do here. Like Dracaena, Aglaonema and
Synogonium cuttings (all terrestrial plants). And difficult aquatics (like
anything with red leaves!). Pick out a few hardy plants to start with.
Vallis, Echinodorus, some Crypts like C.affinis and C.wendti, and Anubias.
These will all root quickly and tolerate the running in stage well.
By the way, add the fish AFTER the plants!
Hope it all works out!
From Neale Monks' Macintosh PowerBook, at...
Department of Palaeontology, Natural History Museum, London, SW7 5BD
Internet: N.Monks at nhm_ac.uk, Telephone: 0171-938-9007