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Re: Baking soda and salinity

On Thu, 17 May 2001, Susi Barber wrote:

> Any idea how much salt one can safely add without affecting plants in RO-like
> water?  How would you know if you've overdone it?

I think most freshwater plants can take quite a bit of salinity -- several
thousand parts per million.  Say about one part sea water in six parts of
distilled water.  Many freshwater plants can stand higher levels than
that.  I think that plants exposed to too-high salinity get soft and

Salinity by itself isn't a very limiting problem.  How you add salinity
may be more restrictive.  If you just add sodium chloride or sodium bicarb
to your soft water then you may very quickly reach the point where the
sodium blocks your plants ability to take up calcium.  In that case you
will see slow growth and deformed growth in hardness-sensitive plants like
swords and vals.  There might be similar problems leading to magnesium or
potassium deficiencies.

If you add a sodium salt then you should also add some hardness to balance
things for the plants.

Roger Miller