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Cation Ratio's - How Important is It?

Re-reading Dupla's "Optimum Aquarium", I noticed once again the differences
in ionic species ratios between what Horst and Kipper measured in their
"mains water" and water from a stream in South Thailand (Cryptocoryne area).

		Mains		Cryptocoryne
		Water		Area
Ca/Mg		83%		27%
Na		14%		56%
K		3%		17%
HCO3		50%		41%
SO4		30%		8%
Cl		20%		51%

Given the differences in local water supplies, I'm sure that people living
in different areas would have "Mains Water" which might deviate from that
which Horst and Kipper measured and the ratios might be different. But how
important is it that the relative ratios as measured in Nature be duplicated
in an aquarium?

For example, I use R/O water in my tanks (TFC membrane), so I'm pretty sure
that my source water is very low in TDS. To reconstitute the water and make
it suitable for use in my aquariums, I add Kent R/O Right and Sodium
Bicarbonate (for Alkalinity). As Kent does not give any information as to
the ratios of the various elements in their products and test kits for Na
and K are not readily available, does anyone have any idea of the "type" of
water (i.e. the species ratio) that results from the use of R/O Right (or
any other commercially available reconstitution mixture) with R/O water?

Or does it really not matter if the ratio of the cations in our tanks and in
a tropical stream is different, given sufficient Ca, Mg and K for plant

James Purchase
Toronto, Ontario
jpurch at interlog_com