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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-09-2006, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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RO water

Hello everyone,
I am slowly but surely converting two of my tanks into high tech? planted tanks. I still want to keep my Discus I still want to use RO water.

Right now I am using RO right to create the buffer. I have what I assume to be a calcium deficiency, among other things. Right now my latest attempt at fixing that is purchasing eco-complete substrate. I also dose with zoe, which lists calcium as the first ingredient.

Well what I was hoping for and what my question is.....If I am using things like crushed coral, pressurized co2 & the eco-complete substrate which supposedly releases minerals into the water column then... will I be OK using pure RO/DI source water? What I am hoping is... I can find the right balance with co2 to get the right pH and hope the eco-complete and crushed coral make enough buffer...

I do not want to increase the buffer or hardness...thats why I am considering eliminating the use of the buffer additive I currently use. I am hopeful for a tradeoff thats beneficial to both my Discus and plants.

I want to get a better idea of what I should add to my RO water for both my Discus and plants.

Any thoughts or input would be helpful. Thank you!
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-10-2006, 12:27 AM
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The release rate of the minerals of the Eco-Complete is VERY slow. IF you need calcium in the water use calcium chloride.

Crushed coral will raise both the kH and the gH. But you will need kH if you are going to inject CO2. At least three degrees of kH. Baking soda is the way to go there.

Also to add magnesium use Epsom salts.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-10-2006, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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OK, Ive been examining the contents of RO right and Ive decided to stop using that and use Seachem Equilibrium instead. It looks like it has more of the things I want in it for the plant tank.

I will experiment with and add the coral for the added calcium for my snails and shrimp. I also have liquid calcium, I think thats calcium sulphate. I will test my kH then move on from there.

Thanks for the input, I read your site again and I think I understand a little more this time around.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-10-2006, 10:37 PM
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My 2 cents worth. I hope you are testing your TDS with all the stuff you are putting in the water. Remember Discus are more sensitive to hardness than PH. Your TDS out of an RO/DI unit should be close to zero. I think it is more important to dose micros/macros than treat the water. If you want a balance between your Discus and plants here is a suggestion. Use your RO/DI (I do not think you need the DI portion, pouring money down the drain recharging it) water straight (as long as the KH is reasonable), dose PMDD from Greg Watson daily, check TDS daily, when TDS reaches your target amount stop dosing until after water change. Establish your target PH and use a monitor/controller. Establish your target TDS by dosing the PMDD daily and monitoring your Discus, when they show signs of stress, you back down to the TDS you had the day before. My target TDS is 250, I do not reach that because I dose with an Eheim Liquidoser that is set to dose in amounts that will never reach 250 before water change. I dose Seachem Excel and Tropica Master Grow after water changes. My plants are healthy and my Discus are happy. All the times my Discus were not acting right and I was doing a wtf, after checking the TDS it was high due to my dumb*** forgetting to do the water change on the right day. Did a water change and after the cold water tantrums subsided they were happy again. BTW, what kind of Disus u got? ......DC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brilliant
OK, Ive been examining the contents of RO right and Ive decided to stop using that and use Seachem Equilibrium instead. It looks like it has more of the things I want in it for the plant tank.

I will experiment with and add the coral for the added calcium for my snails and shrimp. I also have liquid calcium, I think thats calcium sulphate. I will test my kH then move on from there.

Thanks for the input, I read your site again and I think I understand a little more this time around.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-11-2006, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiabloCanine
My 2 cents worth. I hope you are testing your TDS with all the stuff you are putting in the water. Remember Discus are more sensitive to hardness than PH. Your TDS out of an RO/DI unit should be close to zero. I think it is more important to dose micros/macros than treat the water. If you want a balance between your Discus and plants here is a suggestion. Use your RO/DI (I do not think you need the DI portion, pouring money down the drain recharging it) water straight (as long as the KH is reasonable), dose PMDD from Greg Watson daily, check TDS daily, when TDS reaches your target amount stop dosing until after water change. Establish your target PH and use a monitor/controller. Establish your target TDS by dosing the PMDD daily and monitoring your Discus, when they show signs of stress, you back down to the TDS you had the day before. My target TDS is 250, I do not reach that because I dose with an Eheim Liquidoser that is set to dose in amounts that will never reach 250 before water change. I dose Seachem Excel and Tropica Master Grow after water changes. My plants are healthy and my Discus are happy. All the times my Discus were not acting right and I was doing a wtf, after checking the TDS it was high due to my dumb*** forgetting to do the water change on the right day. Did a water change and after the cold water tantrums subsided they were happy again. BTW, what kind of Disus u got? ......DC
OK COol!
I am not over 120 ppm TDS. I would pass out if it was over 200, am I going to be able to have live plants live? Thrive? if I continue to keep it under 120?
I understand what TDS is and my question before was sorta asking what I should and shouldnt add so my TDS isnt sky high. Right now my plants are living but not so well, hence my thoughts to "redo" what makes up my TDS. Adding the eco shouldnt hurt either, my substrate is plain jane Estes natural rock. You couldnt pay me to put a fertilizer stick in my tanks, some reason this substrate with the same ingredients? I will put in there right away....hmm..maybe the Discus picture on the bag..LOL.

So far Ive managed to grow some algae that resembles those spider webs that look like funnels and some really neat looking algae in the 90 that looks like the hair on my head it looks extremely healthy. The forum status is soo funny and I laugh because I really am an algae grower.

Dont get me wrong I have some live plants but I want them to GROW. I am lucky my red plants have survived so far. Ive only really grown out a few plants.


Check out my site it has pictures of my Discus, I have three strains...maybe a forth? Somedays he looks like all the other other days he looks solid. My first and true love is with Apistos....heck if you go WAY back it was an Oscar. If you have any pictures please let me know! I will be taking more pictures soon my new camera is uber and I have a macro lens shipped.

I just have this fear of what I am adding will harm the fish, I looked at PMDD and maybe I just dont understand it yet, heck its probably the same stuff I dump in now in liquid form. I am like really gunshy to add anything to the tanks at all. I really dont understand yet what the heck I am adding and why. Until then I dont think I will. I just have more reading to do.

My source water is 0ppm...I have dual sequencial DI canisters on my unit, its lasted three months so far without a recharge. I shake up the DI cartridges regularly to prevent channeling, purge the canisters of air and it seems to work well. The DI resin wasnt expensive at all compared to how long it lasts.

I am very confident and plan on pushing through this. I am also very patient.

So the only thing your dosing is those two products? I am hoping to do something like that, or PMDD after I learn more. For some reason I am OK with dosing something that comes in a nice bottle with a Discus picture on it.LOL.

Thank you for the advice!

Last edited by Brilliant; 12-19-2006 at 01:36 AM.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-11-2006, 05:17 PM
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Seems like I've seen your tank pictures before. Do you post over at Simpydiscus.com? If you haven't seen that site, take a walk through the plantedshowtank forum over there for more info on Discus and planted tanks. http://www.simplydiscus.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=37

You have the same dreaded algae I'm battling. Thread and hair algae. I have a high light tank, so hopefully, you won't go through the problems I'm having. I'd tell you more about it, but I'll wait until I at least figure out how to slow it down a bit.

DI is probably a waste of money as others have said, here. If you're starting out with RO, you add back the ions you take out with DI with the very fist few drops of anything you add.

The ions you are taking out are, very likely, the very same ones you are putting back, and then a bunch more.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-11-2006, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brilliant
OK COol!
I am not over 120 ppm TDS. I would pass out if it was over 200, am I going to be able to have live plants live? Thrive? if I continue to keep it under 120?
I understand what TDS is and my question before was sorta asking what I should and shouldnt add so my TDS isnt sky high. Right now my plants are living but not so well, hence my thoughts to "redo" what makes up my TDS. Adding the eco shouldnt hurt either, my substrate is plain jane Estes natural rock. You couldnt pay me to put a fertilizer stick in my tanks, some reason this substrate with the same ingredients? I will put in there right away....hmm..maybe the Discus picture on the bag..LOL.

So far Ive managed to grow some algae that resembles those spider webs that look like funnels and some really neat looking algae in the 90 that looks like the hair on my head it looks extremely healthy. The forum status is soo funny and I laugh because I really am an algae grower.

Dont get me wrong I have some live plants but I want them to GROW. I am lucky my red plants have survived so far. Ive only really grown out a few plants.

http://www.upperorchard.net/fishphotos.html
Check out my site it has pictures of my Discus, I have three strains...maybe a forth? Somedays he looks like all the other other days he looks solid. My first and true love is with Apistos....heck if you go WAY back it was an Oscar. If you have any pictures please let me know! I will be taking more pictures soon my new camera is uber and I have a macro lens shipped.

I just have this fear of what I am adding will harm the fish, I looked at PMDD and maybe I just dont understand it yet, heck its probably the same stuff I dump in now in liquid form. I am like really gunshy to add anything to the tanks at all. I really dont understand yet what the heck I am adding and why. Until then I dont think I will. I just have more reading to do.

My source water is 0ppm...I have dual sequencial DI canisters on my unit, its lasted three months so far without a recharge. I shake up the DI cartridges regularly to prevent channeling, purge the canisters of air and it seems to work well. The DI resin wasnt expensive at all compared to how long it lasts.

I am very confident and plan on pushing through this. I am also very patient.

So the only thing your dosing is those two products? I am hoping to do something like that, or PMDD after I learn more. For some reason I am OK with dosing something that comes in a nice bottle with a Discus picture on it.LOL.

Thank you for the advice!

Nice Discus. Here is a link to some of my tanks. None of my tanks are the same anymore, waiting for someone to teach me how to take photos.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ph...-my-tanks.html

I just redid this tank for discus, took it down, drilled it, reengineered all the equipment, and scaped it (have already changed it around since pic was taken). I have a leopard snakeskin, a heckel, and whatever else I can talk rmc out of going it it soon.


If you haven't already, read everything here:
http://www.rexgrigg.com/

and here
http://www.gregwatson.com/

You need to figure out what water chemistry YOU need to keep your Discus and plants happy. If you want to keep your TDS around 120 it is even more critical to put the essentials for the plants in the water. I think your Discus can handle a higher TDS, they are domestics and tank raised. Mine were plucked from the Amazon and handle 200. You will be able to have a beautiful planted Discus tank, just requires more work than most folks want to invest....DC
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-11-2006, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alight
Seems like I've seen your tank pictures before. Do you post over at Simpydiscus.com? If you haven't seen that site, take a walk through the plantedshowtank forum over there for more info on Discus and planted tanks. http://www.simplydiscus.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=37

You have the same dreaded algae I'm battling. Thread and hair algae. I have a high light tank, so hopefully, you won't go through the problems I'm having. I'd tell you more about it, but I'll wait until I at least figure out how to slow it down a bit.

DI is probably a waste of money as others have said, here. If you're starting out with RO, you add back the ions you take out with DI with the very fist few drops of anything you add.

The ions you are taking out are, very likely, the very same ones you are putting back, and then a bunch more.
Yes I have been to SimplyDiscus and I a member. Honestly, I dont like the forum and the people that run it. I do not know them personally but Id rather not start any BS, so I will just leave it at that.

I am learning as the days go by. I already have DI cartridges and some refill bags so I am just going to go with it. I dont disagree with the DI comment, heck even RO water for FW planted tank is foolish. My fish come first.

EDIT* WHOA! Ive never seen that part of the forum.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-11-2006, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiabloCanine
Nice Discus. Here is a link to some of my tanks. None of my tanks are the same anymore, waiting for someone to teach me how to take photos.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ph...-my-tanks.html

I just redid this tank for discus, took it down, drilled it, reengineered all the equipment, and scaped it (have already changed it around since pic was taken). I have a leopard snakeskin, a heckel, and whatever else I can talk rmc out of going it it soon.


If you haven't already, read everything here:
http://www.rexgrigg.com/

and here
http://www.gregwatson.com/

You need to figure out what water chemistry YOU need to keep your Discus and plants happy. If you want to keep your TDS around 120 it is even more critical to put the essentials for the plants in the water. I think your Discus can handle a higher TDS, they are domestics and tank raised. Mine were plucked from the Amazon and handle 200. You will be able to have a beautiful planted Discus tank, just requires more work than most folks want to invest....DC
Thank you for the compliment! It means so much after seeing your tanks.
AWESOME TANKS! I really like the 46?
The 55? is missing the link...I think I have the heading correct.
The Discus tank is an amazing work of art, thats what my goal is. I understand what your saying about the TDS and MY chemistry. As the days/posts go by I am getting a better understanding....thanks to everyone's input. Thanks again for the advice!
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2006, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
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Well ive taken some time and read as much as I could. I think my problem is I am not putting enough ferts in...DUH? This is most likely my problem with algae. For some reason I thought algae was growing rapidly because of the nutrients. I understand now what these micro and macro nutrients are now and which ones my fish produce and which ones I should add. I have a pretty good idea of what products I am going to use for now thanks to all the input. The eco-complete sure wont hurt and I plan on using it in at least two tanks.

Last edited by Brilliant; 05-13-2006 at 10:30 PM.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2006, 06:18 AM
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2006, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by yoink
OK Thank you!

I have a question.....If I am changing my water more often then most planted tank keepers do....mainly to keep TDS low and ferts available....I am most likely going to have a problem with my phosphates/nitrates right? I wont have enough? Or is this little amount good enough? After reading up a bit I am finding out that this micro/macro fert thing will be like a double edge sword.....water changes to fix ferts & TDS...water changes hurt buildup of needed nitrates and phosphates....do I have a point here? Is this valid thinking?

I am sorry if this leads back to the original suggestions you had posted already. I am sort of like a snail and you guys are rabbits. Sooner or later I will catch up. Thanks again for all the input!

Last edited by Brilliant; 05-13-2006 at 10:29 PM.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-13-2006, 06:03 PM
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Just adapt, part of the fun and challenge. If you moved from Florida to Michigan you would need to dress different in December wouldn't you?....DC
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-13-2006, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Just adapt, part of the fun and challenge. If you moved from Florida to Michigan you would need to dress different in December wouldn't you?....DC

True!
I just want to cheat a bit here and ask you guys to predict the future for me

I have some stuff to do...levels to test and data to collect.

I will be back later after I start my new budget 75 gallon tank and redo the substrate in my 90 gallon.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-15-2006, 07:57 PM
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"I have a question.....If I am changing my water more often then most planted tank keepers do....mainly to keep TDS low and ferts available....I am most likely going to have a problem with my phosphates/nitrates right? I wont have enough? Or is this little amount good enough? After reading up a bit I am finding out that this micro/macro fert thing will be like a double edge sword.....water changes to fix ferts & TDS...water changes hurt buildup of needed nitrates and phosphates....do I have a point here? Is this valid thinking?"

Valid?, Yes. You will need to add macros and micros with each water change to keep the amounts adequate and constant.

In my experience (recent though it is) when you get your plants going well, nitrates and phosphates will decrease between water changes, even with a very heavy discus load. Since the water change will also decrease these, you will need to add the correct amount at each change to keep the macros and micros at a good set point.
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