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Goofy water

> Sarah LeGates wrote:

> Here's where my question starts--I've just moved from
> Oakland to SF, and from what I can gather, SF water is a little
> goofy.  My oakland water was a little goofy, too, but my I was able
> to put together a collection of plants that did reasonably well in
> it, even under my regime of benign neglect!  I have not yet had a
> chance to test the parameters of my tap water so please don't throw
> tomatoes at me when I ask the rest of my questions.

I live in San Francisco and have a pretty good understanding of the
source water.  In winter it's usually 2.0degGH, 2.0degKH and 7.5pH to
8.0pH right out of the tap, dropping to 7.0pH within a few hours, and
may have some small amount of phosphate (I think I remember tests
showing 0.2ppm PO4 one winter).  Summer water is usually a degree higher
in each of KH and GH, and has zero nitrate or phosphate.  

When Klaus Christensen (Tripica, DK) visited us a couple of years ago he
insisted that the most beneficial thing one could to to a planted
aquarium, even a low light one, was to introduce CO2.  Klaus was adamant
that CO2 was more beneficial then additional light or other nutirents.
That said, one can achieve the balance at almost any light level,
although without CO2 it's far easier at lower levels.  As I mentioned in
another message to this digest, I generally set KH with baking soda and
adjust pH downward with CO2 accordingly.

For the most part, the rest of your questions are difficult to address
without a greater handle on the myriad variables, but if you'd like to
chat, feel free to write me off-list.

michael rubin ~ michael at rubinworld_com ~ www.rubinworld.com