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Re: Species compatible with Hard Water

Kevin - When I moved from Atlanta, GA (where water is hard and neutral
with little buffering) to Tulsa, OK (where water is hard and basic with
very high buffering) my fish did fine but all my plants except for Java
Fern died quickly in around a month. Eventually I got up the nerve to
replace them all, and I noticed the species that had died weren't even
offered for sale around here (banana plant, rotala, and vallisneria.) Even
so, you should still ask the dealer what water adjustments they make.

I replaced them with Apons (I think crispus), Echinodorus (a couple of
varieties), Hygro Polysperma, and Egeria (Elodea) densa, all of which are
doing great except the Elodea which is just doing OK. Note that this is
almost the same exact list mentioned by another reader, and except for
the swords these are all very cheap. Supposedly the Elodea craves
hard alkaline water, why I'm not having great luck with it I'm not sure. The
H. Polysperma in particular is doing great, I have to chop it down
frequently to keep it from blocking out the rest of the plants.

I have also heard that Crypts will adjust to most water types after a
finicky melting period, and I should note that when adjusting Java Ferns
to a new water type I have experienced a "black rot" that works from the
outer leaves & rhizome in, and when left to run it's course the whole
plant dies over a period of a few months. However, when I've taken the
time to occasionally trim out the rotting portions I've usually been able to
salvage about half of the original plant which is then adjusted to the new
water parameters.

Good luck,

Mark in Tulsa
(mark.pellegri at wcom_com)