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Frank Reiter questioned about dealing with well water.
When I first started back into the hobby about 8 years ago I was having a
terrible time trying to grow plants. Since we have such hard water and
it all goes through a softener (sodium zeolite exchange that puts sodium
ions into water in exchange for Ca and Mg ions), I thought part of my
trouble was the softener. Previously we had our house plants die from
watering with such "softened" water so I assumed it was bad for aquatic
Turned out the real problem was lack of light, aeration etc. All that is
fixed now and I can honestly say the softened water seems to have no
affect on plant growth. To save money on softener salt I sometimes draw
off unsoftened water from an outside hose tap and mix it with hot
softened water. At other times I give them all softened water.
When it rains a lot I sometimes collect rain water in 32 gallon garbage
containers. I have yet to see any difference in the plants. Of course
each of these water types (rain, softened, unsoftened) will have
different alkalinity and hardness which will have an affect on disolved
co2 etc. But at this point no matter what water I use (the rain water is
always mixed at least 50% with my tap water) the plants grow faster than
the local shops can sell them.
My suggestion is don't worry about it and certainly don't go with
expensive RO unless you are keeping discus.