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[APD] RE: RO or CO2

> From: Bryan Koen <bryan at koen_net>
> Subject: [APD] RO/DI setup vs. CO2 setup
> To: aquatic plants digest <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>
> The area where I live in St. Louis, MO has very hard water (high GH) 
> also the pH tends to run around 8.0. I have adjusted the pH down to 
> neutral, with SeaChem Discus Buffer. But, the water is so hard that I 
> have been able to get an accurate reading with my test kit. The vial 
> fills up before the endpoint is reached.

> So, my questions are as follows:
> 1) Does a test kit go "bad?"

Generally not in this case.

> 2) Would a RO/DI filter be a better purchase for the long-run than a CO2 
> setup?

No, plants prefer hard, not soft water as a general rule. It can be argued
definitively that plants grow better in harder water since harder water has
more Carbon in the form of HCO3, than soft water.
This means that under CO2 limiting conditions, there is another carbon
source for the plants. Carbon is much more important to plant growth than
some trace metals.
Generally harder water also has more GH, Ca and Mg, also macro nutrients
needed for growth.

> Eventually, I plan to have both, but which would you purchase first?
> Thanks in advance,
>   Bryan Koen

Use CO2 for the plants, RO for your drinking water.
I have never suggested except 2x over the last decade to use RO, they had
very highb Salty content, Na/Cl, and another had copper at over 2ppm.
So in very rare extreme cases, you might need it, but as far as the plants
are concerned, all they want is CO2. 
Tom Barr

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