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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #1090

In a message dated 97-11-21 03:52:35 EST, Nicole Winstead wrote:

> My question is ... Does anyone use water filtered through a britta filter
> for their tanks?  Is the britta the exact same as an aquarium carbon
> I am afraid to use my tap water (my tale is below, for anyone interested in
> trying to identify what is in my tap water).  I have been using strictly
> britta water in my tank, and all this talk lately about needing to add
> elements to the water etc has made me concerned that the britta is removing
> stuff the plants need along with the bad stuff.  What do you guys think?
> Could this have long term effects on the plants? >>

I used a Brita filter myself for several months to reduce general hardness
for my South AMerican dwarf cichlids, before moving on to other solutions.
 My fish did quite well with this approach, and I can definitely say that it
works very effectively.   I don't have a lead problem here in Southwestern
Idaho, but Merritt Island FL, where I moved from had lead levels in the
public drinking water that were ten times the legal limit.  The city Fathers
had decided that replacing the entire municipal water system was too spendy,
so the residents were left to fend for themselves.  I took a sample of water
before and after Brita filtration to a lab, where they confirmed that the
filter did do what it claimed.  And, boy, did the water taste better, too!!.
Brita filters work on a concept known as ion-exchange.  They have a resin
that replaces heavy metal ions in the water with sodium ions.  It doesn't
reduce total diissolved solids, buit does take out the nasty ones, like lead.
 If lead levels are killing your fish, I hope you are filtering your drinking
and cooking water.
Charcoal filtration works on the principal of "adsorption".  It removes
organic waste from the water by attaching the waste to its surface, where it
holds it.  It does not remove heavy metals, and is not intended to do so.
As for the effect on your plants, I am not sure as I am also new to the whole
aquarium plant thing.  I would suspect, however, that the stuff being removed
by the Brita, is not in "Chelated" form, which is the type of compounds that
are easiest to for to utilize.  I suspect that someone else will pop in and
cover this aspect more accurately.

Bob Dixon