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Thread: Which Water to Use? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-01-2013 10:33 PM
SouthernGorilla Our plants don't seem to have any trouble with the municipal water here in the Dallas area. And this water is hard enough that the shower feels like a hailstorm.* I don't see the need to filter out all the dissolved minerals just to spend money to replace them.

*slight exaggeration.
01-30-2013 05:58 PM
somewhatshocked Yep, you'll just measure how much it takes the first time you mix your water to your ideal parameters.

Then be sure you use RO/DI for top-offs, just like with reef tanks.

When doing water changes, you remineralize to match your tank parameters.

You may want to pick up a $10-$12 TDS meter on eBay so you can more easily keep an eye on hardness shifts. Many shrimp keepers use them to keep an eye on when water changes are needed.
01-30-2013 02:16 PM
d2mini
Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
ADA Amazonia would be a great substrate for buffering, depending upon the size of your tank and your budget.
This is exactly what I'm setting up the tank with. A 4g nano.

To me it just seems easier to use a single water source (ro/di) which I know will have the exact same parameters every time and then add the same amount of buffer or whatever every time, vs trying to mix water from two different sources and then adding more stuff to add or counteract.

Then again, I'm the newb here so what appears one way in my head, may end up being completely different in practice.
01-30-2013 01:05 PM
somewhatshocked If you want to have 0KH and shoot for 5GH? It may be easier for you to buy something like the Salty Shrimp remineralizer product many people use for shrimp. 1,000 grams will go a really long way.

ADA Amazonia would be a great substrate for buffering, depending upon the size of your tank and your budget. But there are several other products on the market.
01-30-2013 07:40 AM
lochaber
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthulhu View Post
But I wonder abou 0 KH... Common saying is that some KH is necessary to keep pH stable. But I'm reading more and more about people who keep 0 KH and it works well.

You need some sort of buffering agent in the water to maintain stability (at least in terms of pH). carbonates are a pretty common one, and tend to buffer towards a higher-pH, but there are substances that can act as buffers for a lower pH (it's been ages since I've had a chem class, so I can't remember any right now...). I'm not certain, but I'd be willing to bet peat, driftwood, and other stuff that adds tannins/humic acids can be a source of a non-carbonate buffering agent.

I agree with what funkman262 said, use the 5-stage RO/DI unit, and add straight tap water to get the gH and kH into a range you are comfortable with, and then add the micronutrients, etc. I'm pretty sure it will be a lot cheaper, less headache, and probably turn out just as well.
01-30-2013 03:48 AM
Cthulhu I'm going in this direction too...
I already have a RO/DI unit, automated water changes / fertilizers / additives, and eventually I want to keep discus. So I will use RO water and keep a low PH and KH, and aim for 5 GH.

But I wonder abou 0 KH... Common saying is that some KH is necessary to keep pH stable. But I'm reading more and more about people who keep 0 KH and it works well.

So it's the only thinkg I'm not sure about. Should I add something to get my KH to 2? Or keep it at 0?

I'll probably try it with 0 KH, I think stability is the key there, and with everything automated it should be stable enough.
01-30-2013 03:07 AM
Bluek24a4
Quote:
Originally Posted by d2mini View Post
Thanks! Is there a preferred GH booster i should look for?
I use my own mix of calcium chloride, epsom salt and potassium sulfate. As far as a shelf bought one, you would have to look at what others are using.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthulhu View Post
Would you only add GH Booster and stay with 0 KH?
I don't ever bother with my KH.

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkman262 View Post
Why spend money on a GH booster when you can just blend some softened and untreated water?

And by the way, I have really hard water as well but I don't use RO for my planted tank even though I have RO/DI for my reef. Been a while since I've tested for exact measurements but I could check it out and let you know. I think the TDS in my tank is around 650ppm.
I like knowing and having control over exactly what is in the water.
01-30-2013 02:59 AM
funkman262 Why spend money on a GH booster when you can just blend some softened and untreated water?

And by the way, I have really hard water as well but I don't use RO for my planted tank even though I have RO/DI for my reef. Been a while since I've tested for exact measurements but I could check it out and let you know. I think the TDS in my tank is around 650ppm.
01-30-2013 02:55 AM
Cthulhu
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluek24a4 View Post
I would use your 5 stage RO/DI water and some GH booster.
Would you only add GH Booster and stay with 0 KH?
01-30-2013 02:51 AM
d2mini Thanks! Is there a preferred GH booster i should look for?
01-30-2013 01:25 AM
Bluek24a4 I would use your 5 stage RO/DI water and some GH booster.
01-30-2013 12:57 AM
d2mini Ok, here's all the results. Please let me know which source I should use or which combination.

City Water from Outdoor Tap: GH-180 | KH-240 | PH-7.5
Whole House Water Softener: GH-0 | KH-240 | PH-7.5-8.0
Whole House Water Softener + Kitchen RO System: GH-0 | KH-240 | PH-7.5-8.0
Whole House Water Softener + 5 Stage RO/DI: GH-0 | KH-0 | PH-6.5

Thanks!
01-29-2013 04:00 PM
d2mini
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
What are your regular (non-softened/non-treated) water parameters like?
Using just a test strip on straight city tap water, looks like GH and KH are right at the end of the scale, 180ppm and 240ppm respectively, and PH is about 7-7.5
01-29-2013 05:35 AM
Cthulhu What about Seachem Reef Builder to add some KH to RO water, is that a good option?
01-29-2013 04:35 AM
Ach1Ll3sH33L start with r/o water and reconstitute the minerals with a gh booster. seachem equilibrium, barr gh booster, green leaf aquariums gh booster are all options. Some people reconstitute KH with baking soda(though some say its not needed), i do. I aim for a gh around 4-5 and a kh of at least 2
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