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Old 08-20-2013, 11:45 PM   #1
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R/O Water Question.

I wasn't sure where to stick this post, its got a few things going on.
So to begin, I moved recently and found out that my tap water has a PH of about 8.2 or so... quite a bit higher then my previous place which had a PH of about 7.4 and with the use of Peat, I was able to keep it in the mid 6's.
Ive decided to switch to R/O water to achieve the softness I need, to get them breeding again. They haven't spawned since I moved here.
I'm new to the whole R/O water thing, Ive googled it and read a million things about it. Ive been left more confused than anything lol.
I tried doing a mixture of R/O up to 75% with 25% tap water for minerals, but I ended up with no changes to the KH GH and PH. So it looks like im going to have to use straight R/O with a buffer.

Now on to where I get confused, my Rams tanks are all planted. Ive read about Seachem Equilibrium, and Kent's R/O Right, and Seachem Flourish Trace, and Seachem Trace Elements, etc etc.... I don't know what in the world to use. I want to make sure I have a balance of Healthy Plant minerals and Healthy Breeding Rams minerals.

If anyone can help shed some light on this for me, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:36 PM   #2
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The problem with RO water is that all the minerals are removed. It's almost like distilled water. That means no GH, no KH, both of which can be tested for.

Shrimp keepers use remineralizing products to get their water to the right GH or KH for the shrimp. Marine keepers do the same, but of course, use salt and may use calcium as well.

You might want to invest in a TDS meter. It measures total dissolved solids in water, minerals, organics, whatever is solid, it tells you, giving a numerical reading. Often used by reef, marine and shrimp keepers, it can be quite helpful.

People do mix R0 and tap to get a balance, but if that is not working, you need a remineralizing product made for this purpose. I don't do it myself, I chose to keep fish that could handle the tap water, which is pretty hard and alkaline here too, maybe not quite as much as yours. It's near 8 when it first comes out of the tap.

Btw, do you actually have notes on the water you used to have ? KH, GH levels, as well as pH ? Minerals in water, notably calcium, help keep pH stable, they 'buffer' the water. Hard water is much easier to keep a stable pH in than soft water is, because the calcium and other hard minerals provide buffering. Very soft water has little buffering ability, so pH swings happen easily, but you already know that. I tend to type as if I am thinking out loud, sorry.

Water chemistry is a very complex topic, and I am still learning myself. I've managed to wrap my brain around the basics, but one reason I stick with tap is to avoid the issues you are facing now.

Seachem flourish Trace, or Trace elements is for plants.. trace mineral supplement for plants only. If ordinary ferts are not enough for the plants you keep, you may need trace nutrients too.

Often people get an iron test kit and measure for iron, because if iron is ok, usually, other trace minerals are too. You may wish to check Tom Barr's site, he is a bit of a guru on planted tanks, and there is a lot of info on various methods of dosing ferts. EI, or PP something, that I can't recall just this instant .. etc.,

I'll see if I can find a product name for you.

Edit.. http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=162217
Link to a thread on Planted tank forum discussing various remineralizers and what folk think of them.

You really need to know what your old water was like, to have much hope of of getting close to it. Because you kept it below 7, acidic, it will be a bit harder to manage. How big is your tank, because these remineralizing things can get costly if it's any size.

What fish do you keep ?
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helyanwe View Post
I tried doing a mixture of R/O up to 75% with 25% tap water for minerals, but I ended up with no changes to the KH GH and PH.
I would continue playing with the percentages. Try 80%:20%...85%:15%... You will eventually hit your target parameters. I am of the KISS school of thought: Keep It Simply Stupid. It actually works very well in this hobby.

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Old 08-21-2013, 09:15 PM   #4
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I actually have an RO unit and use it for various tanks depending on the results I'm wanting to achieve. Also bear in mind it takes some time to get Kh/Gh levels dropped using this method depending on how much water your changing out each week. What you need to do now is do a 25% WC but only use pure RO to add back in, no tap. Test your levels the next day. Do the same the next week and continue to do this weekly only until you reach the levels you want. I've done this quite often and by only doing 25% RO weekly your not shocking your fish. Anyway once you've achieved your desired levels then do some testing outside your tank to find the percentage of RO to tap you need to use to keep that level.
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