Water parms, what would you do? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-27-2005, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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Water parms, what would you do?

I'm in the process of setting up a planted adult discus tank and just tested my well water PH, GH, and KH. After two days of aerating, circulating, bringing up to temperature, and tested with a new Tetra Laborette set:

PH 9.0
GH 18dh
KH 18dh

Note - I have a water softener but this sample was straight well water.

Also noticed that the sides of the plastic rubbermaid trash can had a mineralized precipitation collection. Almost like a fine dust had collected on the sides underwater in two days. Now I remember why I had to use an RO/DI system before. I made a small batch of RO and it tested:

PH 7.0
GH 0dh (looks like my RO filters and membrane are still good)
KH 0dh

I wanted to use a mixed ratio of straight tap and RO/DI water but I've had problems in the past (diatom and algae blooms, unexplained deaths, etc.) with his water and had to resort to using only RO/DI and reconstitute it with RO Right, buffer, etc. This wasn't to bad when I was only doing water changes every 3-4 weeks with the previous setup. However I plan on doing weekly changes now for a planted discus tank. I've been reading a lot on Mr. Watsons bulk dry ferts and am going to go this route.

My question is what would you do? Experiment and try a mixed ratio or not take the chance and use only reconstituted RO water. As other sites and threads here have mentioned and made reference to, I don't want to "chase this dragon" either, but this tap water is terrible and I might be that 1%. I ask this being new to a planted tank and don't know if the plants would consume either the macro or micros which were causing my problems earlier. Or would a CO2 system lower the PH to a more acceptable level?

Thanks Don
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-27-2005, 01:40 PM
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Hey Don, I see you are a pretty new member, welcome! And you're from MI, tell me where in this fine state can I find the liquid rock you've got? Heheee here in GR we get the lake mich. water, which is just fine by me

I've never kept discus, so there's my disclaimer. I would say this: if you tried using the well water previously to reconstitute the RO water and had problems, I would not expect the plants to just mitigate that. It could be a high level of a certain nutrient like copper, which might cause health problems in fish and is only used in very small amounts with plants. At least to start off, I would stick with 100% pure RO w/ additives.

BTW, are you new to planted aquariams?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-27-2005, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the welcome esarkipato. I live in Dryden township which is about 15 minutes east of Lapeer. You can find my "liquid rock" about 110' straight down. I know first hand because I had to replace a pipe collar on the pump last year.

Yes new to a planted tank. Just threw out (metaphorically speaking) my UGF of 35+ years of successful use. So new I haven't even selected my first plants yet I'm finding out I have a lot to learn on this forum. What a great resource.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-27-2005, 04:03 PM
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I really enjoy this particular forum, not too technical (read="scientific") but very helpful.

It has been done, but I might discourage doing plants and discus together for your first planted tank. If you are anything like me, you will need to learn from the experience of your first planted tank, and discus are pretty expensive indicators of an imbalance I might suggest trying a smaller (10g?) tank for a first shot at plants. It is really helpful to understand and experiment with the different factors at play with plants. Also less painful if/when mistakes are made!

If you haven't yet, I would also spend time reading and re-reading Rex's website: www.rexgrigg.com

All that said, the idea of a large well-planted discus tank makes me remember why I love this hobby If you are determined and deliberate, I'm sure you can make it happen. Good luck!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-27-2005, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Oh I agree, it might be 4-6 months or longer before I get any Discus introduced into the tank. That's a long range goal and I'm in this for the long haul. I first want to get the plants, water parms, fertilizing, and maintenance schedule undercontrol and stabilized before I even think about attempting the Discus. Once I get things (the water, etc.) to a consistent and repeatable state then the discus hunt will start, until then a standard cleanup crew with a few basic tank mates. The water paramaters, plants, and inhabitants will be selected for eventual discus compatability.

I even have to figure out all this plant pruning and thinning that may be required. The plastics I used before never seemed to grow a lot or require any pruning (Sorry poor attempt at humor)

I've been to Rex's site numerous times and find it a valuable resource and reference.

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