Another RO thread but I did read the others first! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Another RO thread but I did read the others first!

Hello, sorry if I missed something when reading other threads before asking my questions.
Most the other threads are normally a person wanting a RO for one tank and or one species of fish maybe.

I'm wanting RO for soft and hard water fish breeding.
Fish I want to breed range from 5.8 to 8.2 or so in ph.
Current tap water is about 156 TDS and ph about 8.3

I see mixing RO with tap water as option, but recently I lost a whole tank of fish who were doing fine for 6 weeks in a quarantine tank with out issue than started to drop off like flies with heavy breathing and nothing else. The aquarium had been running for almost a year and housed a some glofish for few months for my kids and than a small pleco before he got put in a bigger aquarium. I tested the hell out of the water for TDS, PH, ammonia, nitrates and nitrites. Other aquariums are fine but they are super heavy planted aquariums why this one had no plants. I'm thinking a heavy metal is strong in the tap that prime isn't able to deal with and killed them.

Looking at RO water there is a TON of chemcials for mixing to get a GH and KH to good spot so there isn't crazy PH shifting and checmicals for ph and so on.

Was looking at - Equilibrium, Discus Buffer, Alkaline Buffer, Acid Buffer, Discus Trace, Trace, Neutral Regulator but this stuff looks like it will get pricey in the long run of water changes. Wanting to mix this stuff up in brute trash cans and heat/bubble 24-48 test than add to tanks for water changes.

Also saw thread where some mention using Ca MA and P dry ferts to re-mineral water and said it was cheap. My problem with that is looking at them looks about the same price and no idea what is fish safe.

So over all my questions are would tap water be my best bet for planted aquariums with breeding projects? Tap water is suppose to be clean and very good in the nation and won awards but this recent loss makes me question it.

If I were to skip the Ro and Tap mixing, what would be a safe affordable route for getting GH/k and ph right for planted aquariums with chemicals?

Thanks in advance on any help into this matter.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 06:02 PM
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What fish are you trying to breed? I don't think you will find one solution depending on types of fish. For example African rift lake cichlids would probably do dine in your tap water.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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NeoLamprologus Multifasciatus - They are from Lake Tanganyika was thinking fo just Tap water since their ph varies from like 8.2-8.6 but i still wonder about the contaminates would bother them. They have a buffer from seachem along with the salts.

Carinotetraodon Travancorius - They range in ph of 7.5-8

Indostomus Paradoxus - 7.1-7.5 ph

Soft water fishes are 5.8

Microdevario Kubotai

Sundadanio axerodi

Characidium sp. 6.0-6.5 ph

I've researched these fish for a few months and some of them for over a year as I was hoping to add to my 125 paldarium but some don't do well in community tanks and some the water just to hard to try.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-02-2017, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone use pure RO water and remineralize it with chemicals and share what is cheap and efficient for them? Seachem basically told me to buy all that stuff and I'm wondering what is the cheapest route.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-02-2017, 06:43 PM
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Multis will be just fine in that water and should breed pretty readily. But they won't mix with the rest of the fish mentioned...can't comment on what they'd all "need" to breed.

Sometimes the easiest/cheapest route is to just "cut" the tap with RO if you can get the target numbers to match up. I'd probably worry less about just pH though...
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-02-2017, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry if that post is misleading, but I wont be mixing any of these species. I have dedicated aquariums for them all and wanting to different ph for some of them. Over all wanting one trash can to be 5.8 and other to be 7.5. RO and tap is cheapest and still looking like best but I really want to cut contaminants out completely. I looked into the DI and found it not a safe nice option for freshwater planted tanks.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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So.... since no one is currently using chemicals to mineralize RO water can someone point out a good post I might have missed that breaks down things?

I've been running through the internet and more than half the responses to RO is people trying to tell other people they don't need it or mix with RO water. I know RO questions probably a dime a dozen, but if folks are really here for help, they would do more so than trying to get their point count up. Also see folks who got their degree's in chemistry and flexing their field of study....

Anyways looking for some kind of chart to use said chemical per gallon to get said ph kh gh (Baking Soda, Potassium Bicarbonate and so on)
Cant for the life of me understand why so many RO questions and no stickys?

Also for the matter of ph cause i see this a lot too, I need said ph levels for breeding different fish in different tanks. Said fish requires low ph to breed... some fish require higher level ph to breed...

Last edited by Beriss; 06-03-2017 at 06:38 PM. Reason: didn't get my point across the way i wanted...
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 01:12 AM
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I am currently remineralizing all of my aquarium water (4 tanks). I am using salty shrimp gh/kh+ I bought a 850g container which will mix around 1200 gallons of water. Cost varies but I paid around $30 so for me it's about $0.025 a gallon. So far I have been happy with it.. salty shrimp makes several mixes targeting different parameters, they may have something you are looking for.

You could also use straight GH+ and additional buffers to hit your pH targets.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 03:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I saw the salty shrimp but branding had me focus on fish things and not shrimp.

I wanted to run sea chem stuff but people tend to say most of sea chem products are over priced version of things you can get cheaper.
Looking at equilibrium but the complaint seem to be hard to dissolve and over priced. The sea chem acid buff is just Potassium Bicarbonate but searching for food grade potassium bicarbonate it is more expensive than seachem acid buffer per weight. Baking soda seems to be cheap for KH and unable to find any thing that baking soda does harmful to fish.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 09:53 AM
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Maybe try looking for some premixed DIY reminalizators. In Poland we got something like this:



It's for 4000l and costs 36 zł (~10$), you can see on the side of the image quick overview. I'm using this one successfully for over a year. It's composed of CaSO4, MgSO4, NaHCO3, CaCO3 and some minorection powder from Benibachi.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 11:41 AM
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I use 100% RO water on my planted tank and reconstitute it with a GH booster and potassium bicarbonate, keeping GH at 5 and KH at 4. You can add more of either to achieve your harder water targets. Baking soda is very cost effective for KH and I used it up to a year ago when I decided I didn't want the sodium in my tank any longer

I get GH booster here - Planted Aquarium Fertilizer - Home

I get potassium bicarbonate here - https://www.midwestsupplies.com. Potassium carbonate will work, too, for KH
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Last edited by rzn7z7; 06-04-2017 at 11:48 AM. Reason: typo
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 03:53 PM
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I use straight RO water for changes and remineralize with Seachem Equilibrium. It really isn't that expensive as it is a dry powder. I add a half teaspoon for every 5-6 gal. of the RO water as I'm doing the water change(40 gal or so for a 125). That usually keeps me in the 3-4DGH range. I might have to adjust slightly at the end. I add about 1 teaspoon of baking soda 1/2 at a time for some KH. That usually keeps me at between 1-2DKH. PH stays pretty close to 7 or slightly less.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-05-2017, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Research into Seachem Equilibrium, it has Iron added and Barr's GH booster doesn't. I think I''l give Equilibrium a try cause considering shipping cost I save with Seachem Equilibrium. Baking soda seems to be the cheap go to and snag a bag of potassium bicarbonate to check out. Thanks for the replies and suggestions!
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