I have some interesting water chemistry and would like some advice on what will be the best route for my first
planted tank and my betta. Please let me know if any of my following logic is flawed, as I am new to this and it is all based on my understanding after the past several very late nights researching it
The tank has been up for a few weeks and is cycled.
Current water parameters:
- Ammonia - 0 ppm
- Nitrites - 0 ppm
- Nitrates - 5 ppm
- GH - 1 dKH, 17.9 ppm
- KH - 13 dKH, 215+ ppm (off the test kit chart)
- PH - 8.2
- Fluval Spec 5 gallon with 7500K stock light and low tech setup with anubias, anacharis, java fern, and Amazon sword
- Bio filtration (removed the carbon that comes with the tank setup)
- National Geo substrate from Petsmart (that I hope is not raising my PH)
- Heated to 78 degrees
- one big piece of driftwood
- an almond leaf
- I've been changing the water ~20% every few days to lower the tannins in how they color the tank, and this has kept the water parameters stable at the rates above except for the PH
- New water is treated with appropriate dosage of Prime
- Testing using non expired kits by API
I currently have water in my tank that is from my tap, which is softened with sodium chloride. After A LOT of research, I realize and understand why this is not optimal. If you have had success with softened water, that's great, but it is not the route I would like to take.
Normal water softened tap parameters are:
GH - 1 dKH, 17.9 ppm
KH - 17 dKH, again way off chart
PH - 6.6 before aerating
(which is why I think my tank PH is higher right now? I am currently aging a bit of the substrate and a ceramic ornament, separately, in RO water, for 24 hrs to test and see if there is a PH rise.)
Now, my options for getting better water in my tank are:
Use all RO water, which the parameters are:
GH - 1 dKH
KH - 1 dKH
PH - 6.0 (theoretically this should be 7.0 right? I get this RO water out of a unit directly from my water treatment folks in our town, 25 cents per gallon.)
Use well water, which the parameters are:
GH - 22 dKH, ~550 ppm calculated from the 32 gpg on water report
KH - 19 dKH
PH - 7.4-7.6
I live in the desert where the water is extremely hard with calcium and limestone, and probably other minerals but I am not sure what those are.
My thought is to blend 2/3 RO and 1/3 well water to keep some of the natural minerals in, bring in a bit of the KH, and avoid adding chemicals in the case of full RO route.
What would you suggest the best course of action to be?
How would it be best to introduce the new water/parameters to my tank while keeping my fish safe? His tank PH is high right now.
Thank you for reading. I know it's long. I greatly appreciate any help you offer.