Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

September, 2003
Regional Report

Local Buzz

Change in Water Chemicals Detrimental to Aquarium and Pond Fish
The San Francisco Water district is changing from chlorine to chloramine to treat drinking water. The change in chemicals does not pose a problem for humans, however if you keep an aquarium or a fish pond, you will need to purchase ascorbic acid or use a carbon filtration system specifically designed to remove chloramine. The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper says: "Because water enters a fish's bloodstream directly though the gills, it needs to be pure. Otherwise chlorine or chloramine will bind to the iron in the red blood cells, causing less capacity to carry oxygen." Chlorine will dissipate if left overnight. Chloramine won't. Check with your local pet store for products to use in treating your water.

Favorite or New Plant

Society Garlic
I love tubalghia just because it's so much fun to say. Also known as "society garlic," tubalghia is a perennial, grass-like plant with variegated foliage. It blooms with multiple pink tube-shaped flowers held high on 18- to 24-inch stems.

Tubalghia is an excellent plant to choose if you live in a windy area. It requires full sun, regular watering, and fast-draining soil rich in composted material. Expect society garlic to bloom throughout the summer months if you keep the faded flowers picked off the plant.

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