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Re: peat pre-treated water

John Pitney wrote:
> I would like to 
>keep soft water fish species and a variety of plants.  The emphasis
>will be on the plants, and the tank will be lightly stocked. 
>The water here in Champaign, Illinois, has a pH of around 8.3 and is 
>"very hard," according to a good local aquarium store.  Perfect
>Lake Tanganyika water, in other words, except with chloramine and
>(it seems) some nitrates from crop runoff.

You shouldn't overlook the possibilty of augmenting a fair percentage of 
your tap water with rain water. If you live in a situation where you 
can't do this personally than maybe some friends wouldn't mind a 30 gal. 
plastic gagbage container sitting under a rainspout. Some care must be 
taken to insure the water is clean and pollution free. Just let the roof 
wash for 15 -30 minutes then collect the runoff. This should allow most 
of the air to be cleared and the roof to be cleaned. If you want to 
further treat the water filtering with a peat filter would be beneficial. 
Transporting it is a problem but certainly no bigger than hauling RO 
water around. 
     Here on Guam the tap water has percolated through the coral 
limestone into the water lens before it is pumped around the island and 
it is <very> hard. I've been catching the runoff from our roof after a 
good rain storm and using it to do partial water changes each week and 
the plants have grown quite a bit better since I began this regimen. You 
<are> at the mercy of the weatherperson but right now it is the rainy 
season here so for a few months I'll be ok.  Good luck,       Lyle Babberl