Eco Complete & Tap or RO?? Any advice?
I decided to go with eco complete as a substrate for my 18 gallon freshwater tank and just purchased 2 20lb bags of it.
CaribSea states states that it will not effect pH, GH, or KH. However, I just noticed that there is a sticker attached to each bag which mentions that due to carbonates which are present in the substrate, it will raise KH and pH for approximately 3-6 weeks before becoming neutral.
It also recommends using RO or DI water to fill the tank.
I'm in AZ and my tap water (untreated) has these parameters:
Nitrate 5 ppm
GH 150 ppm (8 dKH?)
KH 120 ppm (7 dKH?)
I had planned on making this an Amazon themed tank and had done some reconstituting expiriments with RO water to get the GH, KH, and pH to come down a bit. Although this worked, it seems like a real pain, so I had resigned myself to just go with my regular untreated tap water to make things simpler for water changes and such.
Now, I'm not sure which route to go with the eco complete. Should I stick with the tap water as I had planned, or go with RO as the packaging recommends?
Also, I'm a little surprised by the 0 chlorine reading from my tap water using my test strips. Since it's a municipal source, don't they always add this to the water? I'm guessing that I should still use something like SeaChem Prime, just to be sure. It can't hurt anything if I do, correct?