Non R/O options for hard water in a nano?
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:27 PM   #1
Vulcanized
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Non R/O options for hard water in a nano?


Hello.

I am running a six gallon Fluval Edge. I live in a place with naturally very hard tap water - GH of about 180, KH of 180. My only LFS selling R/O water is pretty far away and it's not very feasible for me to go there often. I'm looking for possible solutions to this problem. Has anyone had luck with water softening pillows? Could I use distilled water in combo with tap water? I've read about using peat, but I'm a sucker for clear water. I usually have Purigen in my filter. Can I combo that with peat for clearer water?

If I can't find any other solution, I guess I'll just have to figure out a way to get the R/O water from my LFS, but I'd like to save myself the driving if I can.

This tank is planted with java fern, java moss, and dwarf hairgrass. I'm thinking of pulling the hairgrass out so I can lower the light. Nitrate and nitrite are 0, Ph is 7.

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:17 PM   #2
Zorfox
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To lower KH and GH cabonates, calcium and magnesium has to be removed. The easiest ways to do that are R/O or distillation. Yes you can use distilled/tap mix. Do you have a grocery store near you? Most have a water dispensing machine outside. That is an R/O machine. No need to over pay at many LFS. I have used these and the water quality seems quite good. The price here is $1.50 for 5 gallons. I'd check around the stores and see if you can find one.

All that said I have tanks that I use straight tapwater with GH and KH higher than yours. No problems growing anything.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:09 PM   #3
Vulcanized
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Thanks, Zorfox! I will check it out next time I'm at the grocery store. I'm not so worried about the hardness for the plants, but I want to keep shrimp and I know they like it softer.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:33 PM   #4
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If the grocery store doesn't have RO water, check out Walmart if one is close by. They have a RO water machine and sell RO water by the gallon. They use green caps on them so it's easy to find.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:34 PM   #5
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When I was in grad school in Albany I had the same problem; I used distilled water from the store and re-mineralized it to allow for a low GH and KH; provided you have a small tank like yours, it won't be too difficult since you'll only need a couple of gallons for water changes (and top top off aquarium in between).
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:58 PM   #6
Vulcanized
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Thanks, guys. I found an R/O dispenser at a nearby grocery store (though it did take me forever to find a jug). I've been slowly switching over and things are looking pretty good!
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:24 PM   #7
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That's great to hear.
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