allround way of reducing hardness - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-14-2005, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
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allround way of reducing hardness

does anyone have a tried and tested method.. my gh is 12 from the tap and i want to lower it to about 3-4 to breed tetras? i have some ph down which i can use to lower the ph but it says it adds buffers to keep the ph from swinging. Isnt this just 'hardener' in a sense? as the harder the water, the less the ph swing?

would electronic scale inhibitor things do the trick ?

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-14-2005, 02:05 AM
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pH down is more than likely phosphoric acid which is going to cause other problems. It will lower the pH but do nothing for the hardness. And it will raise your TDS though the roof.

And IMHO the electronic thing is nothing but a waste of your money if it's the type of thing I'm thinking about.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-14-2005, 02:16 AM
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No electronic gizmo is going to do what you want.

The only thing I know of that is going to reduce you GH into tetra breeding range is going to be an RO filter I believe.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-14-2005, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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well thats sorta ok because i can still buy RO water. but is there any other ways you know of? and what is TDS?

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-14-2005, 03:02 AM
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have you considered trying filtering the water through peat, that's what I did for breeding some apistos it lowers the ph sightly and softens the water perfect for south american species..
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-14-2005, 03:09 AM
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Aquarium Pharmaceuitcals water tap purifier will do it, but its going to cost you $30 bucks for the unit and the filter ($18) will only last you 50 gallons or so. Believe it or not this little thing makes pretty good water.


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-14-2005, 03:10 AM
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TDS = total dissolved solids in the water.

TDS is a measurement of mineral salt dissolved in water. Pure water does not conduct electricity, and the TDS meter passes weak electricity current from one pole to another to test the conductivity. The EC (electro conductivity) are expressed as milliSiemens (mS), and the maker of TDS meter will convert that mS into ppm scale as most TDS meter shows.

The TDS meter are typically used to determin the concentration of nutrients in water. But the problem with it is that it only shows you the TOTAL concentration of all mineral salt, but cannot tell you how much of which is in the water.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-14-2005, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwong2k
have you considered trying filtering the water through peat, that's what I did for breeding some apistos it lowers the ph sightly and softens the water perfect for south american species..
i have considered useing peat but what sort of peat? you can buy sphagnam (spelling?) moss over here in bags for the garden its normal a little greenish and normaly damp i wondered if this would work because my worry with peat is that it will have more dirty synthetics in it so is there a specifc type i need? im in the uk so it might not quite be the same as where ever your located.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 150EH
Aquarium Pharmaceuitcals water tap purifier will do it, but its going to cost you $30 bucks for the unit and the filter ($18) will only last you 50 gallons or so. Believe it or not this little thing makes pretty good water.
Sounds good, but again UK availability, and im not sure exactly how much 50 gallons of ro water would actually cost until i got a quote, ide have to weigh that one up 'pound for pound'

and danmhippo i had a brain storm i realised it could possibly mean that.. but your explenation still helped me know what it actually meant thank you

thanks to everyone so far. peat looks to be the option i guess rwong you will have to let me know what sort of type im looking for. i dont know if peat over here generaly does contain anything bad.. but once you have the water is there anything you do thereafter or do you just test and if happy.. add it to you tank?

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-14-2005, 12:22 PM
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One thing I did for a while was a nylon mesh bag of cation exchange resin placed near the filter intake. I had a problem with something in the tank raising my GH, so I used the resin to mitigate the GH rise while I sought out the cause. Cation exchange resins are a part of RO systems - they remove things like Ca/Mg (also some of the traces) and replace them with either H+, Na+, or K+. Obviously the H+ is a bad idea in the tank - pH crashes. So, find the sodium or potassium based resin. You could also use it to pre-treat your water-change water before adding it (put in a 5-gal bucket of tap water and aerate for a few hours). The resin can be regenerated with a concentrated salt solution, rinsed, then reused.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-14-2005, 01:35 PM
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Compulsion,

I came across this article regarding the use of peat moss.

http://hjem.get2net.dk/Best_of_the_Web/peat%20page.html

Like you, I have hard tap water and I am finding solution to fix this problem without using RODI, as where I am at now, I cannot install the RODI unit.

One thing in the article that is especially worth noting is as below:

Quote:
Beware of green mossy sphagnum. When purchasing peat, do not mistake sphagnum moss with sphagnum peat moss. I'm fairly sure that sphagnum moss grows on wood as well as on the top layers of soil and bogs - peat moss is dead plant matter under the ground and is what you want to use; green moss has not begun to decay (peat moss is the classical producer of high-quality peat, and only dead and partly decaying (humification) peat moss can accumulate peat deposits of up to 10 meters in depth).(4) Phagnum peat moss may possibly be partially made up of decaying sphagnum moss under the ground. In any case, green moss lacks the necessary chemistry to affect the water for our purposes. For the most part, the peat I get most likely contains approximately 5-10% fully decaying plant matter.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-01-2005, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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im just gonna read that now, i went up on the hills and found some forests that had some peat, under the surface of the ground there was sort of decaying plant and bellow that almost black soil which i presume is the best stuff for the job. im gonna get some soon and try it out, thanks for the link

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-01-2005, 10:59 PM
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I've used both RO and peat filtration for water softening, and they both work quite well. I'm now using a combination of RO and peat to get my pH *WAY* down, and then I build it back up with baking soda and caco3 to about 6.2-6.4 for rams and tetras. hopefully I can get some apistos soon

my method right now is... boil a full filter bag of peat for 20 minutes or more in RO water. filter out the little pieces of peat with filter floss in a funnel into a 5 gallon carboy. then top the carboy off with straight R/O water and place it aside with the filter bag of peat and an airstone hanging about halfway down into the bottle so that the bubbles from the airstone are constantly pushing water across the peat bag. after 2-3 weeks the water gets very very dark brown. For blackwater fish I use about 1/4 of this peat stew, and 3/4 RO with the aforementioned carbonates to buffer it up where I want it. The fish seem to love it, and it works like a charm.

You could easily do the peat part and use tap water instead of RO. Depending on your water quality, it would most likely make the addition of carbonates unneccesary.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-02-2005, 12:55 AM
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I've never tried this:

http://www.bigalsonline.ca/catalog/p...d1=2207;pcid2=

It's supposed to basically be thought of as "peat extract." It is supposed to precipitate calcium and magnesium from the water. It will lower pH however.

I would say you're best off with an RO unit.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-07-2005, 02:34 PM
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Go with the RO system.. Peat takes a LONG time..

It takes a lot of the stuff and you have to watch the tank to make sure it dont start to break down. You have to run the crap in the filter and the TDS go through the roof, so you have to filter like a maniac with carbon and etc.....invest in a decent RO system. There are tons of companies on EBAY that sell decent systems.. I think a good setup would run you about 250 usd... along with about 4 years worth of supplies(filter parts). At least for your needs. This is something im considering for doing some minor water softening in my tanks. If you only want to drop the hardness and not elnimate it RO is the best.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=4363587536
You would want to buy the pump allong with all the filter refills and tds meter with any order...they may cut you a deal on shippping. Or maybe you can find a local retailer. Just make sure you know what you are buying before you buy it....dont over pay for junk or buy a cheap piece of sh*t. ( this product looks like a mix of cheap and decent enough)

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-08-2005, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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i only really need the water because i want to try my hand at breeding, so an RO unit would be a big expense but i guess my main tank would benifit greatly from it.. im going to check out some stores that sell distilled water. i know it can contain copper so i might filter it through carbon first then get it to the levels i want with tapwater mix.

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Ehiem 2232 Thermo
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