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Re: CO2 with hard water?

John Pitney wrote:
>I am setting up my first planted tank (a 55), and after reading 
>everything I can find on the subject, I have decided that I'd like 
>to buy a manual "welding shop" CO2 system.  Here in Champaign, 
>Illinois, the tap water is really hard (according to the local fish 
>shops) and has a pH well above 7.6 (according to the Aq. Pharm. wet 
>pH kit).  I'd like to grow healthy specimens of the "easy" plants, 
>and I don't want to use RO water.

Measure your KH value and if it is  high perhaps you should consider
using RO water to lower the KH.  Six months ago I setup a tank very
similar to what you are considering and had measured my tap water to
have a KH of about 8. Since I was a novice when it came to keeping a
heavily planted aquarium I decided to lower the KH of my water by mixing
it with RO water and hopefully increase my chances of success. Today,
thanks primarily to all the information I've gathered from the APD, both
my fish and plants are thriving and the algae is scarce.

Because you will be just using the RO water to mix with your tap water
you don't need a high performance, high capacity and expensive RO unit.
For $78 I bought a Kent bare bones 20gpd CTA RO unit and it provides way
more water than I need. Despite its name the unit is very nicely
constructed and I haven't had any problems with it.  I store the RO
water in one of those 18g Rubber Maid containers.