re: growing swords in hard water

Karen Randall wrote: 

> Thanks for the report!  Sounds like the peat is serving the same 
> purpose as my potting soil (which, of course, contains a lot of 
> peat)  Anyone out there growing Swords in hard water?  Anyone have 
> them doing well without soil or peat?

I have swords growing in gravel only - both the fine, natural gravel and 
the course stuff sold in 5 lb. bags at the pet shop.  Although I'm sure 
they're not doing as well as they could under optimum conditions, they 
look good and grow pretty vigorously.  There was some leaf-yellowing but 
that's stopped since I began adding an iron-intensive fertilizer.

The water here varies between 14 dGH and 20 dGH (depending on the "supply 
of the day" and the pH averages 8.5.  Java ferns grow like weeds.