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Old 09-04-2008, 03:27 PM   #1
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using R/O Right

I have very poor tapwater for which I will be probably getting an ro unit ($ holdup). I had already mail ordered plants and they are arriving very soon. As my water has 0 hardness, etc, I wondered if I should try some Right in my water before I get the ro unit--to keep my plants alive til all else is settled. Note that I have a 40B with 2 x 25 bulbs, as well as 4 tetras, 3 corys and 2 ABN...
If not recommended for use with tap water (due to phosphates, for e.g.), how long can plants survive a poor water environment without minerals and trace? And when should I get my co2 online (I do have this)?

JD
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:34 PM   #2
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I myself, do not have an R/O unit due to the same reasons at the moment. I get my R/O water from Acme at 70 cents a gallon till I get my unit. So far, I havnt had any problems. So you might want to go the same route and look at the water at your local supermarket (make sure to read the label) or sometimes your LFS will carry it.
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Old 09-04-2008, 07:07 PM   #3
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I didn't realize it was for sale in stores. I'll check that out, thanks. Have you ever used the RO Right product without the RO water? Has anyone?
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Old 09-04-2008, 07:25 PM   #4
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Personally, I have not used it.
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:30 PM   #5
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I looked up RO Right on Drs Foster and Smith. It looks like it mainly contains calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium. I'd see no reason not to add this to your tap water if it has both GH and KH of 0.
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Old 09-11-2008, 02:19 AM   #6
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I recently got an R.O. unit and was experimenting with the R.O. Right. Just remember R.O. Right is designed to give you GH and not KH. I personally had trouble getting the ratios right, and it may be easier for you to mix it with your tap.
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Old 09-11-2008, 07:44 AM   #7
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that's helpful--thanks.
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Old 09-17-2008, 02:20 AM   #8
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jdsunflower...I just posted a new thread about R.O. Right. I personally have been having some problems with it, in that I can't get it to read on my GH test kit whatsoever, no matter how much I add to my water. This is very rediculous, considering it is meant to add GH. I also get a pH with it when I add more than I should (but I was only adding more to try and read it on my test kit). You may want to look into this product further, as should I.
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Old 09-17-2008, 06:52 AM   #9
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thank you. I should have known there would be no magic solution.
Not sure if you are using r/o. I haven't decided (sounds very expensive). But I do have a tricky situation of about 1 kh 1 gh and pH about 9, so if I 'leave the pH as is' which is the general suggestion, then try to increase hardness, goodness knows where the pH will end up. I used to use vinegar to lower the pH and thought I might continue to do this and add r/o right, but I'll do more homework...Walsted suggests to increase hardness with tiny pinches of potassium (fake table salt) and epsom salts and this seemed to be working (for what that's worth...) but since r/o seemed to promise trace elements as well...
Ah, it's a chemistry lesson or 8, isn't it!
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:46 AM   #10
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If your KH and Gh are both 1 degree and you have a pH of 9 (I don't see how that's possible) I would use R.O. water. I bought a PureFlo 2 unit from Drs. Forster and Smith on sale for 135.00 dollars. It was a steal. Heck, you could use baking soda and buffer your pH in the mid to high 7 range. That alone is better than the 9 you have now. And I am sure there are other products out there to buffer for the GH besides R.O. Right, but I'm just not too familiar with which to use. And like I said, R.O. Right probably 'works,' but I know it doesn't show up on my tests, and therefore I don't know exactly how much I am putting in.

Seachem also makes products called Acid and Alkaline Buffer. I haven't used these either, but they claim you can put your pH anywhere you want by using certain ratios of each one. If you happen to find something that works, let me know.
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Old 09-22-2008, 05:55 AM   #11
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thanks for that.
It appears that the city uses phosphates to increase the pH to lower risk of corrosion of pipes. There is also a relative absence of any mineral, with kh and gh hovering around 2. This means the pH bounces around easily, and is (I think) too high for the soft water fish I like (acid pool type tank).

What I've done in the past is use baking soda to increase the hardness a bit, as well as epsom salts and No Salt to increase some of the mineral. The big mistake I was making is using vinegar to lower pH when I didn't have plants (Walsted recommends vinegar for this in planted tanks.) I forgot that without plants to absorb the breakdown of vinegar (carbon dioxide) the tank gets too high in co2, causing respiratory distress!!

I appear to have worked out a system now. I use pH down, which doesn't add phosphates, with a goal to get to about 7.8 from the current 7.2 (to use less chemicals for the fish--they arrived from a pH of 6 history!). I also use small amounts of non-carbonated mineral water to increase calcium and magnesium, and still add No Salt for potassium. No more respiratory distress, kh and gh about 3 now, and I'll slowly increase it.

I am very light on the co2 because it will lower pH and I haven't got much buffering capacity yet. I'm really trying to avoid going r/o, for financial reasons mostly.

Good luck with your own system!
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