So I'm in my 3rd year in the hobby. After loosing my first tank to what I thought was my well water I started doing water changes with Poland springs gallon jugs. I'm at the point now that I think it was not the well water that caused me to lose the first tank but my inexperience.
Well on to my questions. The spring water is killing me $$ wise so I'm looking to get back to using my tap/well if possible. Checked the pH of my aquarium today and its 8.0 or maybe even higher. I have never lost a fish since I started using the Poland springs. I tested my tap water an hour ago and it was at 6.0. And then an hour later still 6.0 so its not changing as it sits like some peoples do. I plan on checking it again in another hour to be sure.
The tank I'm currently running is a 20 gallon cherry shrimp breeding tank. Petco black sand substrate, some dwarf hairgrass, and a couple of swords. Got a cool manzinita branch I'm putting in this week with some Christmas moss on it as well.
I have co2 injection set up but not running yet and Im using seachems root tabs under the plants.
Should I try to get the pH up on the tap water to use it, and should I test it for anything else? Ammonia nitrite or nitrate?
Also if it matters I'm using a home made hamburg mat filter for my only filtration.