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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The reason I'm asking this is I had bad experience with my last tank.

I used to have a 75g tank that used tap and the plants did HORRIBLY in it. I'm not sure if it's due to my lack of experience, or it's the water, but my city tap is 800-900 TDS. Could you imagine topping off the tank every day? It could go up to 1000s.

I took down this tank and built another 29 gallon. I moved most of the plants there, and used a mix of tap and RODI, with TDS around 100. Surprisingly the plants are doing much better than before.

I did some research/googling and got mixed opinion on this. Some people say hard water is a death sentence for plants, others say it's not a problem at all. What's your thought on this?
 

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I think it depends a lot on the plants. My well water is really hard, it's over 500 out of the tap. until I got RO, my stem plants had a hard time. The anubias, java moss, and jungle val did really well.
 
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It varies depending on plant species. Most plants prefer soft, acidic water but there are plenty of examples of hard water plants.
 

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I have well water and all of my plants do well. I have a tiger lily and water wisteria that are rowing like crazy.

I have well water and all of my plants do well. I have a tiger lily and water wisteria that are rowing like crazy.
Growing like crazy. ;)
 

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TDS = total dissolved solids, while hardness is a measure of the Ca and Mg ions present. You can have high TDS with zero hardness (e.g., a NaCl solution), and high hardness with relatively low TDS (e.g., a solution of CaCO3). Hardness and TDS are two different measurements.

A TDS of 1,000 is too salty for many freshwater plant species and is on the low end of the brackish water scale. Some aquarium plants are known to tolerate brackish water, such as Bacopa, Sagittaria, and Vallisneria, to name a few. You didn't specify your plants, but I'm guessing they weren't one of the brackish-tolerant species.
 

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Actually soft water lacks a lot of the nutrients, like calsium, magnesium, kalium, that plants need.

Like said on the earlier comments hard water offers these to plants. In fact even plants that grow in soft water can benefit from hard water nutrients.

I live in soft water area and I have changed the water chemistry by adding calsium chloride and magnesium sulfate among other to my tapwater.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
TDS = total dissolved solids, while hardness is a measure of the Ca and Mg ions present. You can have high TDS with zero hardness (e.g., a NaCl solution), and high hardness with relatively low TDS (e.g., a solution of CaCO3). Hardness and TDS are two different measurements.

A TDS of 1,000 is too salty for many freshwater plant species and is on the low end of the brackish water scale. Some aquarium plants are known to tolerate brackish water, such as Bacopa, Sagittaria, and Vallisneria, to name a few. You didn't specify your plants, but I'm guessing they weren't one of the brackish-tolerant species.
Thanks for the explanation. I did measure GH and it came out the highest on the chart (I don't remember the exact number though. I used API test kit). Plants are crypt, wisteria, water sprite, amazon sword, java fern, rotala indica, and anubias
 

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I think it depends a lot on the plants. My well water is really hard, it's over 500 out of the tap. until I got RO, my stem plants had a hard time. The anubias, java moss, and jungle val did really well.
Those plants did really well before you got the RO or after?
 
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