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Old 08-09-2003, 12:42 AM
Chris
 
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Default hard tap water

I live in the central valley in California, and we have really hard
water. It leaves calcium deposits on all the plumbing fixtures. How will
this effect plants? Should I mix tap water with bottled water to soften
it a bit? I haven't set up the tank yet.

Thanks,
Chris


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Old 08-09-2003, 06:02 PM
 
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Default hard tap water

Chris wrote in message ...
I live in the central valley in California, and we have really hard
water. It leaves calcium deposits on all the plumbing fixtures. How will
this effect plants? Should I mix tap water with bottled water to soften
it a bit? I haven't set up the tank yet.

Thanks,
Chris


Hard water is great for plants. So is soft.
Plants do not care, fish might(say Discus etc) but plants do great in
either soft or hard. I have not found an upper hardness limit on
either KH or GH. Some 250-300species grow the same in both. I've had a
variety of water types ovber the years.

Good CO2 will help the plants grow well.
FYI, Both Claus of Tropica(the Amazon) and myself(Florida and
California) have been telling folks that some of the best plant growth
occurs in hard clear waters.

Save your $ for a CO2 system, not RO/DI water etc.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Old 09-09-2003, 07:08 AM
Cichlidiot
 
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Default hard tap water

Chris wrote:
I live in the central valley in California, and we have really hard
water. It leaves calcium deposits on all the plumbing fixtures. How will
this effect plants? Should I mix tap water with bottled water to soften
it a bit? I haven't set up the tank yet.


Most plants do fine in hard water. The big thing to watch out for that
I've found is if your complex/house has a water softener on it. My complex
does and not all the plants like it very much. I've been fine with java
ferns, crypts, aponogeton bulbs and hairgrass. Other plants have just not
thrived even with Flourish and CO2 and sufficient lighting.
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Old 09-09-2003, 06:13 PM
Jim Seidman
 
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Default hard tap water

Cichlidiot wrote in message ...
Most plants do fine in hard water. The big thing to watch out for that
I've found is if your complex/house has a water softener on it. My complex
does and not all the plants like it very much. I've been fine with java
ferns, crypts, aponogeton bulbs and hairgrass. Other plants have just not
thrived even with Flourish and CO2 and sufficient lighting.


The problem with water softeners is that they exchange sodium for the
magnesium and calcium in the water. Remember that hardness refers only
to calcium and magnesium, not total dissolved solids. Thus even though
a water softener reduces the levels of Ca and Mg, it actually
increases TDS, since you get two Na+ ions for each Ca++ or Mg++ ion
removed.

It's possible the plants are suffering because the TDS level is too
high, or they have sodium poisoning. (You know how very little lives
in salty soil? Same idea.) Even more likely is that they're simply
starved for Ca and Mg. Adding a fertilizer with these might fix the
problem.

- Jim


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Old 10-09-2003, 01:19 AM
Racf
 
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Default hard tap water

The problem with water softeners is that they exchange sodium for the
magnesium and calcium in the water. Remember that hardness refers only
to calcium and magnesium, not total dissolved solids. Thus even though
a water softener reduces the levels of Ca and Mg, it actually
increases TDS, since you get two Na+ ions for each Ca++ or Mg++ ion
removed.


I believe you may be mistaken on this point about a raise in TDS, or for
that matter the two for one exchange of Sodium with either Calcium or
Magnesium. I see little to no conductivity change in softened water and
have read many times that TDS is unaffected using these units. Whats
your source for this information?


It's possible the plants are suffering because the TDS level is too
high, or they have sodium poisoning. (You know how very little lives
in salty soil? Same idea.) Even more likely is that they're simply
starved for Ca and Mg. Adding a fertilizer with these might fix the
problem.

- Jim


In a properly working water softener, the Chloride is not introduced
into the water. One could use Potassium Chloride instead of Sodium
Chloride in the water softener and eliminate the Sodium. I no longer
need to dose Potassium in my tap water tanks, and for my RO water
sourced tanks, I use some pellets from my water softener for the dosing.
I had thought that Chloride was also a bad thing for plants. High
Sodium levels does seem to not be great for some plants.


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Old 10-09-2003, 01:23 AM
Racf
 
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Default hard tap water

The problem with water softeners is that they exchange sodium for the
magnesium and calcium in the water. Remember that hardness refers only
to calcium and magnesium, not total dissolved solids. Thus even though
a water softener reduces the levels of Ca and Mg, it actually
increases TDS, since you get two Na+ ions for each Ca++ or Mg++ ion
removed.


I believe you may be mistaken on this point about a raise in TDS, or for
that matter the two for one exchange of Sodium with either Calcium or
Magnesium. I see little to no conductivity change in softened water and
have read many times that TDS is unaffected using these units. Whats
your source for this information?


It's possible the plants are suffering because the TDS level is too
high, or they have sodium poisoning. (You know how very little lives
in salty soil? Same idea.) Even more likely is that they're simply
starved for Ca and Mg. Adding a fertilizer with these might fix the
problem.

- Jim


In a properly working water softener, the Chloride is not introduced
into the water. One could use Potassium Chloride instead of Sodium
Chloride in the water softener and eliminate the Sodium. I no longer
need to dose Potassium in my tap water tanks, and for my RO water
sourced tanks, I use some pellets from my water softener for the dosing.
I had thought that Chloride was also a bad thing for plants. High
Sodium levels does seem to not be great for some plants.


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Old 15-09-2003, 07:02 AM
Robert Flory
 
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Default hard tap water


"Jim Seidman" wrote in message
om...
Cichlidiot wrote in message

...
Most plants do fine in hard water. The big thing to watch out for that
I've found is if your complex/house has a water softener on it. My

complex
does and not all the plants like it very much. I've been fine with java
ferns, crypts, aponogeton bulbs and hairgrass. Other plants have just

not
thrived even with Flourish and CO2 and sufficient lighting.


The problem with water softeners is that they exchange sodium for the
magnesium and calcium in the water. Remember that hardness refers only
to calcium and magnesium, not total dissolved solids. Thus even though
a water softener reduces the levels of Ca and Mg, it actually
increases TDS, since you get two Na+ ions for each Ca++ or Mg++ ion
removed.

It's possible the plants are suffering because the TDS level is too
high, or they have sodium poisoning. (You know how very little lives
in salty soil? Same idea.) Even more likely is that they're simply
starved for Ca and Mg. Adding a fertilizer with these might fix the
problem.

- Jim


Might help with the algae problems too.

I cleared a hair algae problem by just upping the potassium..... It
appeared that K was the limiting factor in my tank.....
The hair algae has almost completely dissapeared in that tank.
Unfortunately now it's poped up in another tank I was neglecting..... Oh
well

Bob


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Old 16-09-2003, 12:12 AM
Jim Seidman
 
Posts: n/a
Default hard tap water

"Racf" wrote in message .net...
I believe you may be mistaken on this point about a raise in TDS, or for
that matter the two for one exchange of Sodium with either Calcium or
Magnesium. I see little to no conductivity change in softened water and
have read many times that TDS is unaffected using these units. Whats
your source for this information?


Cation exchange is commonly discussed in college-level chemistry
texts. You'll see that the two-for-one exchange is necessary if you
think about the charge balance. You can't replace Ca++ or Mg++ with
Na+, because then the water would become negatively charged. Two Na+
ions are released, and you're left with CaCl2 or MgCl2 in the water
softener.

As to TDS, if you measure in mg/L (or equivalently ppm), the effect
will be different depending on your ratio of Ca to Mg. Na weighs
almost as much as Mg, so replacing Mg with 2 Na will increase TDS. On
the other hand, Ca weighs almost twice as much as Na, so replacing Ca
with 2 Na will have almost no effect on TDS. So if your hardness is
mostly Ca, you're correct, TDS will change only very slightly.

When I said TDS, what I really meant was the total number of dissolved
ions. This will go up as a result of the cation exchange, even if the
weight of the dissolved solids changes only slightly.

- Jim


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