Right now Medford water is coming from Little Butte Creek, a fast-moving rural stream, so no chloramine is used. Sometime in the next month they will start taking from the Rogue River, so I know there will be chloramine in that. I'm using Prime as a water conditioner. I bought a 1 oz. bottle of Bio Safe by Marineland when I read on the Bio Spira instructions not to use a water conditioner that binds heavy metals. However, the stuff didn't just smell bad on its own, it made my water smell bad as well, and the smell lasted, so when I did a 50% water change yesterday I used Prime.
I just hope I'm not doing irreversible damage to my little otos with that ammonia reading; I know it's supposed to be at zero. I've had them 24 hours now and they seem to be doing fine; eating that brown dusty stuff and slurping on an algae wafer occasionally; their color is good and they're active, so I'm hoping they're okay. By the way, does that 0.25 ppm ammonia reading mean the Bio Spira didn't work?? According to them you can add Bio Spira to treated water, add fish, and it's good to go.
I've had messages from a lot of folks on the boards saying the odd KH/GH readings may be from the Eco-Complete. My GH started out at 33! before I did a 50% water change. It was 15 after the change, and today it's at 19. I'm doing an experiment with some cups of tap water - one with Eco-Complete and one with a piece of rock like the ones I have in my tank, to see if the GH and KH change like my tank water. In the meantime I will keep doing the water changes. I think I need to invest in a Python . . . even for a small tank like this, carrying water one gallon at a time gets old, and I can't do more than a gallon jug at a time with one hand (other used to deflect water). Almost makes me wish I still had a kid or two living at home. Almost . . . heh heh.