03-28-2010, 08:32 PM
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I must clarify a couple of misconceptions in previous posts.
Chlorine is actually a nutrient plants require, though it is a micro-nutrient. They certainly cannot remove the amount of chlorine in most tap water, and chloramine is often added and it is just as serious for fish. Use a good water conditioner that handles chlorine (and chloramine if your water has this as well).
Heavy metals include iron, copper, nickel, zinc and manganese--these are also micro-nutrients that plants require; there are other heavy metals, like mercury and lead, which are not nutrients. And, plants can take up heavy metals, by which I mean absorb and detoxify them. The micro-nutrients they assimilate as nutrient, but they can also absorb a certain amount of heavy metals and detoxify them, exactly the same as water conditioners. However, unless you know exactly the level of heavy metals in your tap water, it is again safer to use a good conditioner that also detoxifies heavy metals. Most (but not all) do this. So chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals are the essential issues for a water conditioner to handle. If your tap water also has ammonia, nitrite or nitrate, you may have to use a broader-base conditioner like Prime to handle all these.
Because some trace elements will be detoxified by the conditioner, you should add the liquid plant fertilizer the day following the water change, otherwise the conditioner may detoxify the minerals in the fertilizer and it is wasted. I checked with Seachem on this and they recommend 24 hours between Prime (or similar conditioners) and fertilizers (like their Flourish Comprehensive).