Hi guys - I'm new to the aquarium hobby. I have a 200 litre (50g roughly) planted tank that I'm currently part way through a fishless cycle with. What I didn't realise until after starting the cycle was that my tap water contains around 20ppm nitrates and has a pH of around 7.8.
What would you suggest my options are? I can't really go down the route of plumbing anything in so that rules out the majority of RO
There is an external nitrate water filter available by Pozzani, which apparently does a great removal job and doesn't have to be plumbed. However, judging from what users have said in reviews, this also drops the pH level by about 1 initially, with the pH decrease getting less and less over time as the filter degrades. I've read about buffering pH levels, but I find this somewhat daunting as a newbie when the rate of decrease can be variable.
Alternatively, I could add a couple more plants to my tank to try bring the nitrate levels down over time. I currently have java moss, java fern, anubias, Amazon sword, hornwort, and a red tiger lotus bulb. I've got some duckweed on the way, which I've read is good at consuming nitrate. I figured if my plants could even just negate the nitrate levels introduced by the fish and sustain 20ppm then that may be OK.
Anyway, what would you guys recommend? Some form of water filtration, stick with what I've got with maybe some more plants, or another option? I really appreciate any help.