RO water, Plants, Shrimp Questions - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-18-2008, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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RO water, Plants, Shrimp Questions

Here is my dilema. My tank isn't cycling after 3 bags of Bio Spira, 3lbs of Flourite from my 75g and a bunch of Bio Balls from my old sump right before tearing it apart. If I switch over to RO water what would I need to add to make it good for the plants and shrimp. I'm not dosing anything with copper and believe my old copper piping might be partially responsible for the shrimp loses.

Craig
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-19-2008, 02:22 AM
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Hi Craig,

We were discussing something similar to this on this thead. Although that thread seems to be about adjusting pH, later it's revealed that it's really about dying shrimp... the topic then evolves into a discussion about R/O.

Cycling vs R/O

Off the top of my head, I don't think that the cycling aspect of your tank is going to be impacted by using R/O water or not; Unless of course, something in the water is preventing the bacteria colonies from taking hold. (Perhaps the same thing that is allegedly killing the shrimp? Dunno.) However, using aquarium water prepared from R/O water can remove a few of the variables and make it easier to track down the problems you're having. Depending on how you reply to this, we could get into a discussion about the cycling aspect of your situation if you want.


R/O Re-mineralization

Like you mentioned, you are going to have to re-mineralize the R/O water since the R/O filter is going to strip most everything out. You can use products like Seachem Equillibrium (for GH) and Seachem Alkalinity (for KH). Likewise, the corresponding Kent products are: Kent R/O Right (for GH) and Kent Buffer (for KH).

Alternatively, you can buy bulk and add your own mix using the following dry chemicals (my personal approach). The following chemicals will restore GH (general hardness) and KH (carbonate hardness) both of which are necessary for basic fish and plant health:
  • CaCl2 (calcium chloride) or CaSO4 (calcium sulfate)
  • Mg2SO4 * 7H2O (magnesium sulfate)
  • NaHCO3 (baking soda) or CaCO3 (calcium carbonate)
  • K2SO4 (potassium sulfate)
I purposely didn't include chemicals that would be specific to plant nutrients since you may have your own fertilizers that you use. The chemicals I listed are for basic re-mineralization and are much, much cheaper per dose if you buy in bulk. (And the added benefit is you know EXACTLY what's in your water.)


You can buy the bulk chemicals from hydroponics outlets, home brewing stores, and RexGrigg. These are just off the top of my head.

Cheers!

Jeremy Squires, Toronto, ON
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-19-2008, 03:53 AM
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Craig you may just have had a minicycle simply from so much of the media being new- the population "boomed" due to new "real estate" available in the presence of new bioload added?

Before you start playing with your water parameters, why not wait a bit, and let the tank truly establish before restocking your shrimp... IMO there's no substitute for the element of TIME in setting up a tank. There are some things we can do to help things along, but stability can only be achieved with patience.





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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-19-2008, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
Craig you may just have had a minicycle simply from so much of the media being new- the population "boomed" due to new "real estate" available in the presence of new bioload added?

Before you start playing with your water parameters, why not wait a bit, and let the tank truly establish before restocking your shrimp... IMO there's no substitute for the element of TIME in setting up a tank. There are some things we can do to help things along, but stability can only be achieved with patience.
I know I know. But as a guy patients isn't on my side . I'm pretty sure it was a mini cycle from the added bioload but want to make observations and be able to make educated changes in a heartbeat if I need to. Here is the current stats I will be posting these over in my shrimp post as well:

NitRATES: 0
NitRITES: 0-0.05
Ammonia: 0

So hopefully the water is almost stable. I will check it 3-4 more times today to ensure no major swings.
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