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Re: Salt and plants

>Date: Fri, 07 Aug 1998 09:35:34 -0700
>From: Dave Gomberg <gomberg at wcf_com>
>Subject: Salt and plants
>At 03:48 AM 8/7/98 -0400, Karen Randall wrote:
>>I would be more concerned with the NaCL from your softener than I
>would be about the hard water.
>Karen, or anyone, how much salt (NaCl) can the most sensitive plants
>tolerate before it adversely affects their growth?
>- --
>Dave Gomberg, San Francisco            mailto:gomberg at wcf_com
>FormMaestro                              <http://www.wcf.com>
>- -----------------------------------------------------------------
I've been researching off & on the effects of salt on the growth rate to
freshwater aquatic plants for a couple of years. During my aquatic plant
beginner days, I used a water softner on my tank water and had the most
trouble with Amazon Sword plants. As you may know, Amazon sword plants tend
to like water that's low in minerals (not the same as soft water.)

I noticed that at low concentrations, the sword plant leaves get what
looks like burn holes in them.  At high concentrations, the plant turns
to mush.  I always thought it was the sodium part in the NaCl that caused
the most problems.  At that time, I estimated that the Na concentration was at 
100mg/liter.  This corresponds to about 250mg/liter of NaCl.  I was new to 
growing aquatic plants at that time, so that this data may be bogus.

I'm just about ready to retry this experiment again under better controls.
I have 15-20 medium sized swords plants to experiment with in five 1-gallon
tanks.  They have been acclimating in my outdoor tub pond.
I've done several literature searches on the subject.  Almost all
the reports I've seen talk about terrestrial crop plants in soils
that been exposed to ocean salt water. One would think that this problem
would be better understood.
Ron Wozniak Allentown PA, USA
rjwozniak at lucent_com
AGA member