Hoping for Advice - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-17-2013, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Hoping for Advice

I am setting up 30g, and I would like to get back growing plants. I loved having them when I lived in the city, but since I changed counties and water suppliers, I haven't been able to keep them alive. I'm willing to put in the effort, I just don't know what I'm doing.

I set up the tank 5 days ago, and I used 15 gallons of water from an already established tank. There are no plants or fish yet, and I used eco-complete as a substrate. The tank is 36"x12"x16", and I'm not injecting co2 or dosing anything yet. For lighting I have a 36" 54w SolarFlare SX LED light unit. The parameters I have tested for are: KH = 4, GH = 9, PO4 = 2, NH3 = 0, NO3 = 0, and PH = 8.

I'm ready to put the effort in, I just don't know what I'm doing yet. I was lucky with my old water; the water just worked. I am having trouble with my new water though. Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-17-2013, 03:55 PM
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I don't think water from an established tank is a good idea. That water can contain a build-up of stuff that isn't desirable. And, doing regular water changes is a good idea, so starting with "used" water just means you will be changing the water parameters more than usual when you do your first water change.

If you use Seachem Prime, or an equivalent product, every time you add more than 10-15% tap water, you will be neutralizing the chlorine and ammonia that is in lots of tap water, and which is the most harmful stuff in tap water. Ask for, or look for the water quality report for your water company to see what else is in the local water. There are regulations limiting how much of most potentially harmful stuff can be in the water.

If your tap water is extremely hard, you may want to mix distilled water with it, to lower the hardness. Most plants do better in water that isn't extremely hard.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-17-2013, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hoping for Advice

Thanks. You make a good point.

I have been told that I can use filter media from an established tank to to start a new one. My thought was just that using some of the water would have a similar effect. But I don't want innacurate numbers.

In your experience, will distilled water lower GH independently of KH, or does it reduce both?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-18-2013, 11:16 AM
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It's bacteria from an established tank that you want to transfer, almost none of which will be free floating in water. Take some filter material from the other tank.

I believe distilled water is zero gh and kh. I don't think there's a practical way to lower them individually.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-18-2013, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hoping for Advice

Cool. Thanks. Is the general hardness of the water the only problem you see? Would I be better served to use r/o water and a product like r/o right? In looking at the tables I've found, it looks like I have little to no co2, and if I soften the water, and dose co2, I'm worried about the ph swings.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-18-2013, 03:18 PM
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Don't be concerned about the pH changes when you use CO2. Everyone who uses CO2 effectively will have pH changes, and, as you know, an awful lot of people use CO2 and have no problems with it. Fish can be affected by KH, and will be affected by sudden big changes in KH or TDS, but the pH drop when adding CO2 doesn't affect them.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hoping for Advice

Good to know. I was a little concerned because this is my first time using co2. I put together a diy reactor and diffuser yesterday. I still have to add the yeast mixture though. I'm curious to see what it does to the water.
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