XXX Hard Water going to R/O??? New info added! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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XXX Hard Water going to R/O??? New info added!

Hey Everyone!

Well I have been setting up my 55G (48x20x13) Aquarium back into a Planted Tank for the last month or so, but my Tap water is basically LIQUID ROCK!!! It has a KH of 24*+, a GH of 18*+, a PH of 8.4-8.6, and TDS readings over 2,000ppm! The plants I have in it are not liking it to well! As of now I have mainly Bunch plants I bought here on the SnS, and a few others I got at the LFS.

The Tank is setup with Fluorite ( 2" in front sloping to 3.5" at the rear), a Fluval 204 ( with the factory sponge prefilters and filter floss in the 3 baskets), also I have a HOT Magnum with the discharge going into a DIY spray bar that runs along the back bottom of the substrate), until I receive the A H Supply 2x54w T5HO setup the lights on the tank are a older set of retro Compact Fluorescents from A H Supply I got 5+ years ago ( with the 6500k bulbs being 7-8 months old) I also have 2-40w t-12s to help out too. I am running a pressurized 5# Co2 Tank Bubbling around 2BPS into a DIY Diffuser I made from a Clear R/O Canister in line with the 204.


The MAIN problem I am having with the plants is they just aren't growing like they should! They are growing slow and stunted, and my Lud, and Sunset Hygro are growing Horizontal and not vertically, and they were doing that before I added the 2-40w t-12s! I am dosing the EI method and also adding Flourish excel to try to get them to grow better, but it is not helping much if at all. I keep my N-P-K in line with the chart posted in the sticky about EI dosing. So all I can figure is they just DON'T LIKE THE HARD WATER!!!

When it was setup previously I was running R/O with R/O rite and dosing the exact same way I am now, and I had to prune at LEAST 2 times a week! Now using tap I haven't pruned but once this month!!!

SO, I have been doing a bunch of reading on remineralizing the R/O water, and thoughts have changed quite a bit in the last few years! I DON'T want to mix the R/O back to Tap, as the city will switch from time to time where it receives its water from, so I am worried about the tap water parameters changing and screwing something up! I don't mind mixing chemicals back into the R/O as I have done it for so long with Marine and Reef Tanks is it just not that big of deal to me when doing water changes!

A few years ago most everybody said to keep the KH at 2-4 and GH at 5-7, and the PH would be in the low7s so when you injected Co2 it would bring the PH down into the upper 6s. BUT in my reading the last few days I see that most everybody is keeping their KH at 1-2 and GH lower as well. SO NOW I AM REALLY CONFUSED!!!!!

I want to keep Tetras, Otos, Corys, and I have 15 Pencil Fish in my QT tank that are ready to see a BIGGER HOME!!! Before I used R/O Rote and Baking Soda to bring my GH and KH back to par, but now I am trying Seachem Equilibrium to raise my GH, and I am UNSURE weather to use Baking Soda for the KH like before or use a Store bought Kh adjuster/PH balancer!

I have been VERY SLOWLY adding R/O to the Tap water when I am doing water changes on the QT Tank and the Pencil fish are REALLY LIKING the softer Water, as their Red is starting to really BRIGHTEN UP with each water change!

So what do Yall EXPERTS think about using the Equilibrium and Baking Soda to remineralize the water or is their something better I should be using, and what GH, KH, and PH should I be shooting for??? I am also a bit fuzzy on the whole Co2 injecting lowering the PH thing too! I know that it does and pretty much how, but with a KH around 1* I am worried about PH crashes! OR am I just thinking about the info we were told 5 years ago????

THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH for reading the LONG POST and ANY HELP is GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!
Drew

Last edited by BoxxerBoyDrew; 06-19-2011 at 01:28 AM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 02:24 AM
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I use Equilibrium and baking soda. Works just fine.
My tap water is already OK for most fish and plants, but is too soft for my Rift Lake tank.

I have used RO and rain water for certain fish that needed softer water than my tap water.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help Diana!!!

Well after reading some more of the latest info I put some water from my Tap and R/O unit in a couple of cups and let them sit for 24hours to equalize, and here is the "more Correct" readings:

Tap: Ph 8.4, KH 19*, GH 2-3*

R/O: Ph 6.8, KH 1* , GH less than 1*

I figure the little bit of KH that is getting through the membrane is because the tap water is coming out of the tap at 99*!!!! If Yall don't know, We are in a BAD Drought!! And with everyone watering their yard and the 100*+ days we have had the tap water is very hot!!! We don't even have to use hot water to take a shower! So I figure the heat of the water is making the R/O Membrane not as efficient.

So with my water I have ready to change I added 2 table spoons and 1 teaspoons of Equilibrium to get a GH of 9*. So with my KH already being 1* should I add any Baking Soda??? As of right now there are NO FISH in the 55g. just pond and ramshorn snails.

Thanks in advance for any HELP Yall can provide!!!
Drew
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 02:54 AM
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I'm not saying what to do or not do, but keep in mind that when you add things to the water you have to be careful what you replace. If water evaporates from the tank, top it up with R/O before you do a water change. And keep an eye on your kh.

I think that you may want to bring the kh up a bit, just to keep the ph stable. I would just use two tablespoons of equilibrium to keep it simple. Maybe see if you can get the kh to around 4 degrees.

Now that I think of it, I would just add a bit of crushed coral to the filter. That would make any changes more gradual and you don't have to deal with it. Just add you gh booster with your ferts and call it a day.

Just my $.02


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 11:43 PM
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It's odd that you mentioned your hygro isn't doing well because they're one of the plants that tends to do well in hard water.....

Ideal gH, kH, pH, etc seem dependent on plant type. In my experience, some plants, like downoi and hyptis lorentziana grow substantially better in water with a gH of 8+. Others do poorly with a gH around 8, like tonina fluviatilis/marble queen and rotala macradra 'Japan'.

I would say, a gH of 6-8 and a kH of 2-3 should be fine for your tank so long as you don't have plants that really need super soft water. Switching over to remineralized ro will these approximate values will definitely produce good results.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-21-2011, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input everyone!!!

I only top off with RO when that is what I am using for my main water supply! I have learned about that the hard way when I first started using RO 15+ years ago when I got into Saltwater tanks! But thanks for the reminder anyways!!!

Also I have been using RO water for sooooo long it feals strangs and too easy when just using tap water! I am going to play around with levels and maybe even a little tap water addition after I get my new and easy to use Co2 equipment and lights! I will update my tank log ASAP when I get it all settup!


Again THANK YOU for Yalls Help!!!
Drew
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 11:58 AM
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After you get your kh and gh where you like it get ready to fix the light/CO2 situation because you are going to have way more light than you need at 2 bps CO2.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-24-2011, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the thought Mark!

I figured that with the increase in light the Co2 and possibly the ferts will be taken up more quickly! So I am going to be watching them all closley! I just can't wait to put my Pencil Fish in the 55, since there have been NO FISH in the tank in a while it gets a little boreing just watching the plants grow slowly!!!

Well my NEW LIGHTS came in today while I have been out of town, and the Wife said the shipping box looks in good shape and there is no glass ratteling around inside!!! SO HOPEFULLY FedEx got them there safely!!! I HOPE, I HOPE, I HOPE!!!!!! Also my Co2 stuff should be here Saturday or Monday, so the tank should be looking better soon!!!! YEA!!!

Thanks for all Yalls help!!!!
Drew
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