Eco Complete & Tap or RO?? Any advice? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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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
Nitrite 0
GH 150 ppm (8 dKH?)
Chlorine 0
KH 120 ppm (7 dKH?)
pH 7.8

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?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 07:11 PM
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Your water is already pretty hard, a bit more hardness leaching from the eco shouldn't hurt anything I wouldn't think. Soft water plants need not apply!


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 07:35 PM
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I'm from AZ and I use a 75 gallon per day RO/DI from AbundantFlowWaterSystems.

http://www.abundantflowwater.com/htm...m_filters.html


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 10:19 PM
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I would just use plain tap water it is not going to hurt a thing. Just to be safe make sure you add some prime or something of that nature.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-30-2010, 05:34 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crispino Ramos View Post
I'm from AZ and I use a 75 gallon per day RO/DI from AbundantFlowWaterSystems.

http://www.abundantflowwater.com/htm...m_filters.html
Thanks Crispino!
We have an undersink RO unit installed too for drinking water. Don't want to have to buy another one just for the hobby...

Do you add anything back into your RO water like equillibrium or an alkaline buffer to keep the pH from swinging?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-02-2010, 04:26 AM
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Hi AZMike,

I am also located in AZ and my untreated tap water parameters are very similar to those you have listed (although I do have some chlorine).

One of my tanks is a low tech planted tank with eco complete substrate. From the beginning, I have used tap water treated with Prime for this tank. In my personal experience, I never saw any substantial impact to the water parameters (after adding the water to the tank) attributable to the substrate.

As for tap vs. RO - - I have 2 planted tanks total and am starting a 3rd (addicted). I have had good success with using AZ tap water, as long as you choose your tank inhabitants wisely.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 01:56 PM
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I used plain water and Prime. Gh. Kh, and Ph are the same as before. Btw, I have soft water.

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