A TDS experiment in increasing hardness of RO - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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A TDS experiment in increasing hardness of RO

After spending the past decade raising fish and shrimp in super-hard alkaline water (and choosing all my critters based on these water parameters) i have moved to a city where the water quality is so poor i'm forced to use 100% RO in all my tanks. So for the first time my problem is not how to lower the hardness but how to increase it. This is a particularly demanding issue in my shrimp tanks, as their little exoskeletons do not appreciate soft, calcium-poor water.

Currently i have bags of calcium carbonate in the tanks, which brings the hardness up to about 50uS; from there, i'm using Kent's R/O Right to reconstitute my water. A fellow fish geek suggested to me that, as saltwater is basically a super-concentrated version of freshwater (or conversely, freshwater is a super-dilute version of saltwater), i could probably use Instant Ocean or reef salt to accomplish the same thing as R/O Right (plus save money, as i'd have to use far less of it).

This makes perfect sense to me, and upon reading the ingredients to both R/O Right and several reef salt packages, i think it will work. My plan is to start with reef salts in the planted fish tanks and maybe the cherry/minami shrimp tank, and then switch all tanks if successful. I monitor pH and TDS with Hanna ep meters, and check KH about once a week with Mardel 5-in-1 strips. Next week i'll begin using reef salts to reconstitute water changes; today i'm still on R/O Right.

Today's readings (lower than the desired 150uS):

TDS: 108uS (about 85ppm)
KH: 110ppm
pH: 7.3

Please let me know what you think of this plan.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 08:23 AM
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IO reef salt will increase the salinity of your water...which is bad for your freshwater livestock.

Why do you want to raise the hardness? To keep the same livestock as you did previously? I'd just stick it out with the RO water. Just remember to dose the proper NPK nutrients as well as traces from CSM+B or SeaChem's line of traces or TMG.

http://fins.actwin.com/aquatic-plant.../msg00220.html
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 08:25 AM
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 01:57 PM
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Couldn't you just add back a small amount of tap to replenish Ca, Mg, and other trace minerals found in tap water? What's specifically wrong with the tap where you are living now?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 03:14 PM
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I do not see anything wrong with those parameters for cherry shrimp.
Shrimp get most of the nutrients from food. I keep cherries in ph, kh and tds lower than that. They molt, they breed, they smile.

Regards,
Pedro
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milalic View Post
I do not see anything wrong with those parameters for cherry shrimp.
Shrimp get most of the nutrients from food. I keep cherries in ph, kh and tds lower than that. They molt, they breed, they smile.
Pedro, post some pics of your shrimp smiling! Will Hikari Algae Wafers do that?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 02:24 AM
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I realize that You probably won't accept this, but here goes:

I use 100% RODI water on a ~120g setup. Gh 2.25-2.5, Kh 1, and things have never been better. I have hard tap water (Gh18, Kh14)--the 100% RO beats everything else hands-down. No need to reconstitute with anything. Your shrimp will be fine.


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