Using RO/DI water - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Using RO/DI water

So I am about to start using RO/DI water in the planted tanks. I understand that I need to add minerals back into the purer water such as Seachem Equilibrium or GLA's Ultimate GH Booster.

What I am unclear about is whether I need to add something else to increase the KH level and if so, what should I use. I have seen Sodium Bicarbonate mentioned but is that the best to use? Do I really want sodium in my tank? Is there a better alternative? Do I need to add anything else other than the GH Booster?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 03:28 AM
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KH can be raised by adding any of several materials that contain carbonate or bicarbonate.
The most easily available and cheapest it baking soda, sodium bicarbonate. If you are worried about the sodium try to find potassium bicarbonate. Potassium is a plant fertilizer, and you will not be adding very much, certainly not overdosing the potassium when you use this as a source of carbonates.

I use baking soda and do not have problems.
Several of my tanks have substrate that removes the carbonates. I also have some hard water tanks that I maintain with GH booster and baking soda.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 03:41 AM
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Why use RO then just add the stuff right back in.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 06:16 AM Thread Starter
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KH can be raised by adding any of several materials that contain carbonate or bicarbonate.
Dianna, Thanks for the reply. My question was not "how to raise KH" but will I need to raise KH or will GH booster be enough.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 06:18 AM Thread Starter
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Why use RO then just add the stuff right back in.
RO/DI takes out everything and then you put bacl only want you want in the water. For example, I believe my water source has silicates that promote diatom growth. An RO/DI will take out all the silcates and I have to replace the beneficial nutirents like calcium and magnesium and in the amount s i want, not what comes out of the faucet.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rhodesengr View Post
RO/DI takes out everything and then you put bacl only want you want in the water. For example, I believe my water source has silicates that promote diatom growth. An RO/DI will take out all the silcates and I have to replace the beneficial nutirents like calcium and magnesium and in the amount s i want, not what comes out of the faucet.
I agree using RO water gives you a blank slate to work with. It removes virtually everything from the water. Using water of this purity is actually bad for most fish and plants so you are then required to treat the water accordingly. The benefit of using RO is that you know exactly what you are dealing with every time you do a water change. This makes your results highly repeatable.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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this discussion about the benefits of RO/DI is nice but my original question remains unaswered. Does anyone know if I need KH booster in addition to GH booster?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 04:33 PM
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You will likely need to test your GH and KH to determine what you need. Different plants and different fish need different optimum KHs and GHs. Depends on what you are keeping/growing and where your tank water ends up after you add everything you add.

I end up needing to add to my KH after I add to GH.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rhodesengr View Post
this discussion about the benefits of RO/DI is nice but my original question remains unaswered. Does anyone know if I need KH booster in addition to GH booster?
Sorry to jack your thread. Lol
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 02:26 AM
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Yes, you will need to add carbonates to the water.

Nitrifying bacteria use the carbon from carbonates. They will not thrive in water with zero carbonates.

Some plants can use carbonates as a source of carbon.

Carbonates are one of the most common buffers of pH in the aquarium. Especially if you are adding CO2, having some carbonates in the water will help stabilize the pH. Varying pH is not the horror that it used to be thought. Still, a stable pH, cycling around the same values is one indicator that things are going well in the tank.
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