terrible well water & RO questions
I am trying to set up a Fluval Spec V - five gallon tank. There are no fish, but I do have plants. It is cycling.
I tested my well water with an API Master kit. This is the tap water, through a softener. The outside unsoftened water is shut off for winter.
KH and GH test took 26 drops - the chart with the test said 12 drops was extremely hard.
trace of ammonia - less than .25
I met up with a local club person at a large fish store, who offered some plant starts once we knew what my water was like. Took water from the tap. The alkalinity was very high, and it tested extremely hard. I don't know the numbers. The club person and the store person said - you will have to use RO water or RO and well water mixed.
I did a water change. Took out 3 of the 5 gallons and put in distilled since I could not find RO water locally. Since then, I found a grocery that has RO water by the gallon. I took out one gallon and replaced with RO - and have used it to fill the tank when it is low.
Now, KH and GH took 11 drops which the chart says is 196.
I tested the RO water from the grocery - the KH took 8 drops which equals 143 and the GH took 11 drops which equals 196 on the API chart.
So - RO questions.... Should I plan on using 100% RO and rebulid it? With what? I did see a Kent Marine product at the fish store. Is that ok, or is there a better brand?
I have lots of plants the fish club member gave me, and will get either a betta or Endlers/guppies/shrimp. I hope in the future to get a bigger tank and keep it as a planted, community tank.
It is not easy for me to get the water at the store - I have a long way to carry it into the house. I think I would like an RO filter system for the house. I buy distilled water for ice, and using the well water for cooking means a lot of scrubbing of scale off everything. I don't know what to get though. One place I worked, my boss lived a couple miles from me. He used an RO filter system with a holding tank from Air Water Ice and loved it. But I don't know which one he had. Air Water Ice has some listed for reef keeping. I don't want salt water, I want fresh water tank, so not sure what I should get.
Although I have a 5 gal now, I hope to get a 40 gal. breeder tank in a year or so to use for plants and fish. So, I want to get a unit that can make enough water for that, plus for household use for drinking, ice making, cooking.