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Old 12-15-2003, 03:23 PM   #31
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The London Eye is a tourist attraction in London, near Westminster I think (??). I don't often go to London, so it's difficult to say where there'd be a good fish shop near there. I live about 150 miles away. However, it might be worth having a look in the phone book (Yellow Pages) under Aquarium supplies when she gets there and make a few enquiries. I'm sure most places are accessible by the underground train. I could possibly make a few enquiries by phone for you, if I knew when your cousin was coming. I could then tell her where to get some laterite. I shouldn't think it was that hard to get hold of.
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Old 12-16-2003, 10:13 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minders
What was puzzling was, although my tank is, and has always been pH 7.8, when I measured the water from my tap, it was only 7.0. I did this test twice, once at night and once in the morning. My tank has no rocks in it, or anything that could cause this.
Two possibilities...

1) Draw a water sample from the tap and let it sit overnight. THEN test the pH of the tap water. There may be dissolved gases in the tap water that lower the pH. Sitting overnight should let any dissolved gas come out of the sample.

2) Your tank pH could be higher simply due to replacing evaporated water with tap water. When the tank water evaporates, it leaves all the minerals behind. When you replace evaporated water with tap water, you're adding even more minerals. This effect is moderated somewhat with partial water changes... but not completely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minders
Anyway, the end result of all this is that I've decided to start getting RO water from my trusty aquarium shop. They mix all the minerals, etc, back into that it needs to make it stable and good for the fish/plants, so it's just good water. No nonsense. And it's only like £3 (about $5?) for 25 litres. Which should do for a couple small water changes. I'm going to save up for my own RO unit and continue that way eventually. I know it's a fuss, but considering all the hidden nasties in my water and the problems I am trying to address, it just seems the best solution overall. Any thoughts?
RO is very handy to have on hand. You might also ask the LFS for some pure (not reconstituted) RO water as well. You can use the pure RO to replace water that evaporates from the tank. I use pure RO to fill the tank to the "full" mark (replacing evaporated water) a half-hour or so before doing a partial water change. This will minimize effect #2 above.

You might also find that "cutting" your tap water with RO 50%/50% or 70%/30% or something might make acceptable water at a lower cost.

Good luck!

Tim
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Old 12-16-2003, 10:19 AM   #33
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Thanks again for a very informative and helpful response!

Cutting the tap water with RO is a good idea, as far as pH, etc. But remember that part of the reason for going RO is the ridiculous levels of phosphate in my water supply. I don't even know how high it is, as the tests only go to 5. I could be way beyond that, but have no way of knowing. So, with this in mind, would it still be a good idea to continue to use tap water, in any concentration?

I measured my phosphates again last night (I put the Phos-zorb sachet in on Saturday afternoon) and it still hasn't made a dent in my phosphate levels. Who can say how high the levels are? :?
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Old 12-16-2003, 10:38 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minders
Cutting the tap water with RO is a good idea, as far as pH, etc. But remember that part of the reason for going RO is the ridiculous levels of phosphate in my water supply. I don't even know how high it is, as the tests only go to 5. I could be way beyond that, but have no way of knowing. So, with this in mind, would it still be a good idea to continue to use tap water, in any concentration?
Well, once you get the phosphate under control, you're going to need some source of phosphate to replace what the plants use. If you have lots of fish, the fish waste may be a sufficient phosphate source. But if your tank is heavily planted and the plants are growing well, this may not be enough. If you find yourself low on phosphate later, adding a little tap water to your reconstituted RO water would certainly replenish it!

To find out how much phosphate is in your tap water, you could mix up a solution of 9 parts pure RO and 1 part tap water. Then test this sample for phosphate. The tap water phosphate concentration will be exactly 10 times the concentration the test results show. If the concentration is too low to read - try 1 part pure RO to 1 part tap water. Then the concentration will be double what the test shows. You get the idea... You can dilute the tap water with RO and use your low range phosphate test kit and still compute the actual concentration of phosphate in your tap water.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Minders
I measured my phosphates again last night (I put the Phos-zorb sachet in on Saturday afternoon) and it still hasn't made a dent in my phosphate levels. Who can say how high the levels are? :?
I suspect the Phos-zorb sachet is saturated. Is it in the filter where there's good water flow around it? You may need to remove that one and put in another one. I've found that Phos-Zorb usually either takes the phosphate to near zero or becomes totally saturated in about 24 hours - if it is inside the filter where the water flow around it is excellent.

Best of luck...

Tim
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Old 12-16-2003, 10:50 AM   #35
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Em just curious,what is RO water?I never heard it before.
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Old 12-16-2003, 11:26 AM   #36
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Reverse Osmosis water - it's water put through a specific type of filtration. Here's some more info...

http://www.howstuffworks.com/question29.htm

Basically, through this filtration process, you end up with absolutely pure water. Though in it's pure form, water is no good for your fish/plants as it has no minerals, etc, to lend it stability and nutrient, etc. This is why if you use it, you must add back in a certain amount of minerals in specific amounts. But the benefit here is you can make your water exactly as you need it, and not have to "deal with" a bunch of other stuff that appears in your tap water, like in my case, high phosphates.
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Old 12-16-2003, 11:34 AM   #37
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Don't you worry about the PO4,no one is perfect in aquatic plants+fishkeeping,just try the way the guys been writing and you might fix it...gotta go cya and good luck!
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Old 12-16-2003, 03:11 PM   #38
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Quote:
Well, once you get the phosphate under control, you're going to need some source of phosphate to replace what the plants use.
Good point. Guess I'll have to keep an eye on that. I have 44 fish, mostly small ones, like tetras, pencilfish, and marbelled hatchets plus a couple more chunky fish like Rams, a baby ancistrus (will be chunky one day!) and corys. I don't know how much waste (in terms of phosphate) they'll be able to maintain in the tank. I do have a lot of plants and presume they'll get much bigger and fuller than they already are once the lighting is finally sorted out.

Once I get hold of the RO water though, I will do that test like you said (diluting tap into RO water). Pretty smart!

About the Phos-zorb sachet. I am told that I can "recharge" it using aquarium salt. Do you know anything about this? How it's done? Why that recharges it? I don't actually know what's in the Phos-zorb. The packaging doesn't really give you many clues.
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Old 12-16-2003, 03:28 PM   #39
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The phos-zorb is just an ion-exchange resin, binding one ion for another. I don't recall, but I think to recharge it you mixed two tablespoons of aquarium salt with 8 oz. of water and soaked the bag in it for 12-24 hours and then store he bag in a fresh batch of this solution.
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Old 12-16-2003, 03:36 PM   #40
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Cool. Thanks for that. 8)
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Old 12-17-2003, 10:45 AM   #41
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Let us know what you find your tap water phosphate level to be... and if, after recharging the Phos-zorb, you've begun to see phosphate levels in the tank drop.

I didn't know Phos-zorb was rechargable. I've only used Phos-guard from Seachem and it doesn't offer a recharge procedure. The comment I made about it taking 24 hours to work was based on my experience with Phos-guard. The other product may work just as quickly, or it might take longer. I thought I'd better confess, lest I mislead you. ops:

Take care...

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Old 12-17-2003, 10:51 AM   #42
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Oh don't worry. The Phos-zorb doesn't tell you how to recharge it either. They're quite happy to let you pay the dough for another one, whether you actually NEED to buy it or not! It's only "people in the know" that pass this information on. I had no idea until someone told me, and after making various enquiries at other places, I have had it confirmed that you can recharge it using just aquarium salt, which is really helpful!

My only question now is... what happens if I don't get all the salt off before putting it back in my tank? My corys, otos and apple snails probably won't be too impressed with salt trickling into the tank.
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Old 12-17-2003, 01:17 PM   #43
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Actually, if you look in that little pamphlet that comes with the phos-zorb it tells you how to recharge it. The salt should not have an effect on your snails, I have used it previously without problems.
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Old 12-17-2003, 01:23 PM   #44
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I'll look again, but it just seems to be one of those all-purpose leaflets. They list every single product they sell and you just have to find the paragraph pertaining to the product you bought. I've not seen the recharging information, though I did look for it. I'll look again though. I might have missed it somehow...
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