A Question About Water Changes - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
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A Question About Water Changes

I have a 150 gallon planted tank, and my tap water comes at at a ph of about 7.8 and the kh is 6. I really wanted to keep some soft water species like cardinals and neons, so I used a pressurized co2 system and ph controller to bring my water to a ph of 6.8. When I perform water changes would it be too dangerous to add my tap directly to my tank? I was thinking that maybe I could do really small daily wcs so I didn't have to rely on an expensive ph down product or such... Then the co2 could flip on and lower it to prevent any drastic ph fluctuations??

Any advice or ideas are appreciated!!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 03:58 AM
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Soft water fish need low GH, low TDS. Make up a blend of tap and RO until the GH is no higher than about 3 German degrees of hardness, and the TDS under 300 ppm (a lot lower would be better). Some soft water fish prefer added organic acids such as you can get by circulating the water through peat moss overnight. Some soft water fish do not need this extra treatment.
When you do water changes make up this water ahead of time, including dechlor.

Do not add your tap water directly to your tank.

Do not adjust the pH. This is not making the water softer. On the contrary, you are adding more things to the water that already has too many minerals in it.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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Actually my tap does have a very low gh. The only problem is the really high ph. Another issue is I added this water to my tank and cycled it. I have a large school of neons in my tank which has a ph of 6.8 and a kh of 6. To get my tap to a ph of 6.8 for water changes most products lower my kh. If I have to use one will this initial kh fluctuation harm my fish??

I do have a 100 gallon reservoir of aged water for water changes and with the ph of 6.8 but the kh is at 2 because I used seachem acid buffer to lower my ph and it also lowered my kh :/
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 05:18 AM
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Those 2 type of fish will Do well in any type of water. Don't have to be soft
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 06:52 AM
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+1 on hardness being more important than ph. I keep cardinals and German blue rams in tap water with a ph of over 8.2 typically, but my gh is less than 1 degree. They're super healthy, confident, and show amazing colors. Just make sure your water is clean and stable, and acclimate them slowly. Once the sick ones die off (a few sick ones seem almost inevitable when buying neons and cardinals), they should do fine for you if the water is kept clean.
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