What chemicals do I need for start up? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-23-2006, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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What chemicals do I need for start up?

I've had aquariums for 25 years but this will be my first planted tank (55 gal), and I really want to do it right. I'll be using water from an RO system as a starting point, and after reading this forum realize I'll need something to raise the carbonate hardness. Any recommended products? What other additives do I need to add or consider? I'll be using a semi-automatic CO2 system.

This will be a plants only tank for awhile until the plants are well established. Later on I'll be adding discus or dwarf cichlids.


Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-23-2006, 11:55 PM
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Welcome to the forum!

Starting with tap/DI the only reason would be if your water was really bad or you were breeding wild discus or some other soft water fish (discus being the most subjective about "bad water")

I like to buy dry chemicals for dosing so start with Greg Watson and a visit to rexgrigg.com to get going. Basics are KH test kit, bicarb, source of Ca/Mg, macros (N, K, P) and trace mix etc.

I would also recomend something wider than a 55 gal. With a footprint of 48"X12" your options are more limited than say a 75 (48"X18") There are some deep 3' tanks too but be careful with 29's (harder to light.)

Moved to Tucson.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 01:12 AM
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As BlueRam said a tank other than a 55 would be best.

Also why the RO/DI water?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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I figured the RO water would make for an easy way to soften the water as needed. Here in Ohio the tap water tends to be fairly hard and I intend it to be a discus tank.

Your site is outstanding by the way.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 03:27 AM
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Thanks.

Ok, so use RO/DI and cut it with tap water to get a kH and gH of about 3 degrees. Use the free stuff.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Plantagenet
I figured the RO water would make for an easy way to soften the water as needed. Here in Ohio the tap water tends to be fairly hard and I intend it to be a discus tank.
Unless you are planning on breeding them, many harder water environments will still be fine ...

If you haven't purchased your Discus yet, I'd encourage you to contact the breeder you are going to get them from and find out what their GH/KH, and PH is ... you might be suprised <grin>????

I kept Discus for years in a GH/KH environment that depending upon the season was between 12 and 18 coming out of the tap ... the Discus grew to have a body size of salad plates ...

Greg


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 03:41 PM
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Kent has a product to normalize RO water:

http://www.marinedepot.com/md_viewIt...product=KM5331

I like the RO water + re-dose route - as I wrote in the other RO thread, it provides a consistent & predictable starting point re water chemistry - that is, when you make a new batch of water, as long as you follow the script re starting with RO water then dosing it, then you know exactly what's going into your tank, and it's the same every time (without constantly having to test). You needn't worry about fluctuations in tap parameters, nor about icky stuff that your tests don't measure.
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