How do you keep your ripariums/paludariums from developing hard water stains? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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How do you keep your ripariums/paludariums from developing hard water stains?

Hi all,

I'm interested in making a 30 gallon-ish paludarium with enough water area to keep white cloud mountain minnows.
Like 1/3 to 1/2 of the tank. The land would on a false bottom, planted with water-loving plants, and have isopods/springtails. Maybe a semi-aquatic frog if the setup does well. It's still an idea at this stage.

However, I'm worried that using tap water would cause a line of stain at water level.
How do you guys deal with that?


Also,
I was thinking of using RO drinking water (not RO/DI), as an alternative.
Just cutting it with (hard) tap water to re-mineralize it.

Then I read that RO/DI water re-mineralized enough with contact with the environment that it isn't detrimental to dart frogs.
That got me wondering if RO water (during a water change) would be able to re-mineralize enough from contact with the land area/established water of a paludarium to not harm the white clouds?

I don't want to risk experimenting with this so I thought I'd for the community's thoughts on this.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 02:35 PM
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Unfortunately I have no solutions for you. All I can really add is yes, if your tap water is anything like mine, you will get plenty of hard water stains. My riparium is open-top and has a large surface area, so it evaporates quite quickly. On top of that, it's a large volume, so it isn't too easy to simply top up the water whenever it starts to get low and begins showing the stains where the water line used to be. Even if I topped it up, the splashing of the water gets droplet stains above the water line anyway. It's just an aesthetic thing, and though I don't mind it too much, it can definitely become unsightly.

Hopefully someone has an answer for you - I could use one as well!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 12:28 PM
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I think the only way to find out if your RO will remineralise sufficiently is to put the same ratio of water to the substrate and hardscape you intend to use, and take measurements of the GH and KH. And then try doing a water change, and see how much it swings, and how quickly it comes back to equilibrium. My instinct is that it will probably have too much variation in GH every time you do a water change, and shock the fish.

If you are planning to keep dart frogs, they are not semi-aquatic (at least all the species I know of), so drowning would be a big risk.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 01:28 PM
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I have a misting bottle full of RO water that I spray on the glass and that seems to keep the hard water stains down (I have mildly hard not VERY hard water) as a plus it mists the emersed plants too.
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