Debating Moving away from RO water need thoughts - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-02-2014, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Debating Moving away from RO water need thoughts

i recently moved to florida, and money has become very tight. i've been thinking about swiching to tap water on my tanks to save a few bucks. my big concern is my hillstream tank, which has already been decimated by loss. I had my mother taking care of my tank while i was away working and 3/4s of my population died. the tank also houses tangerine tiger shrimp and red cherry shrimp because their tank broke in the move. the problem is my tap water is pretty far off from my tank water. i'm on well water here so i have two options of "tap" water i have before the water softener and salt tank, and after those.

my tank sits at

Ph 7.4
Gh 14
Kh 1

my TDS meter is MIA thanks to the move

my well water straight from the well (before the softener) is

Ph 7.4
Gh 28
Kh 8
however this water is very very high in iron, so high that the water has a yellow tint to it, and has a large amount of sulphur. I'm not sure what other metals may be present in that water, and that is a concern for me

water coming from the tap is pretty bad itself
Ph 8.2
Gh is over 20 (stopped testing at 20 on this test)
Kh 8

i know i can run airstone in a jug over night to remove the sulfur. idk maybe i'm freaking out and everything would be okay. i just don't want to lose all of my hillstreams or my shrimp when i can't afford to restock my tank.

Will
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-02-2014, 11:47 AM
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Do you have an RO system or do you buy your water? I just picked up my RO sytem for 89$ and it does awesome! Being on a well you wont have to pay for water, set up a system to catch the waste water and use it for watering flowers or something else. I did this and I have better water quality then I was getting from the fish store. It has paid for itself already as well.

I am setting up a system to run the RO in a 55g storage tank so I will always have water on hand. This allows me to remineralize and make sure my temp is stable before I add to my tanks. Wasn't hard to set-up if you plan it out and know what you want to do with it.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-02-2014, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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the place i am in a is a rental, and i don't the money to purchase an my own R/O system. as i said money is very tight.

Will
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-02-2014, 04:16 PM
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Sounds like you need to transition to a tank that you can afford. Think about breaking it down and waiting until you have the funds to support the hobby.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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does anyone have any thoughts relevant to the water quality issues?

Will
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 03:28 AM
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It does not look like either water is appropriate to the livestock you want to keep. You will have to change the water or change the livestock.

Either get the RO system (portable- hook up when needed, disconnect between uses) or buy RO to keep these fish.

Sell these fish and shrimp, and buy livestock suited to hard water.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 10:47 AM
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Whats the PH of your water left in a bucket for 24 hours?

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 08:05 PM
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Fish are pretty adaptable to PH as long as they are acclimated slowly. My tank uses tap water (8.1 PH out of the tap) and I keep cherry shrimp and neon tetras without any issues.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 08:28 PM
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I have to wholeheartedly disagree with the comment that you need to break down the tank and wait until you have more money. Many, if not all of us, started in low fund situations and we learned alot and made the best of it during those times. All of my previous tanks were bought dirt cheap.. aka used.. and were lit with cheap lighting solutions. Some had CO2, some did not. I never saw a correlation between how much I spend and how satisfying my tanks were. I did see a correlation between times when I made the effort to learn what I was doing and those times when I just half assed it.

With regards to RO, keep in mind that every additional step you add to your water changes is just that much more work. I have liquid rock where I live and I started to do RO but I'll be honest, mixing and matching parameters every single time I did a water change became a chore. I have since switched to straight tap, treated with Prime and I have been able to grow all of the staples that I used to.. rotalas, bacopas, hygros, UG, HC.

I suggest you give it a shot with your tap water and learn how to deal with it. It may be a PITA to learn it, but that's part of the fun.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquatic Delight View Post
i recently moved to florida, .
Will, you're in Florida....the largest fish and aquatic farm state..
...do you think we ship in bottled Evian?

I found my happy place...
...right at the bottom of the learning curve
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-04-2014, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
It does not look like either water is appropriate to the livestock you want to keep. You will have to change the water or change the livestock.

Either get the RO system (portable- hook up when needed, disconnect between uses) or buy RO to keep these fish.

Sell these fish and shrimp, and buy livestock suited to hard water.
my cost is minimal, between $4 and $8 to do water changes on all of my tanks. the tank i am specifically speaking about was built for hillstreams. i will not break it down and sell of my favorite fish, my dream tank that i spent over a year planning and building.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrypticLifeStyle View Post
Whats the PH of your water left in a bucket for 24 hours?
8.4 after 48hrs. i had run a gallon with an airstone for 24hrs, and then promptly forgot about it. so it sat outside on my porch for another 24hrs uncovered. i am going to try again and skip the forgetting about it part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aquatik View Post
Fish are pretty adaptable to PH as long as they are acclimated slowly. My tank uses tap water (8.1 PH out of the tap) and I keep cherry shrimp and neon tetras without any issues.
hillstreams really aren't that adaptable......although now that i think about it the LFS in San Antonio that regularly sells them keeps them in Tap water, and they do well....idk if i want to risk losing the last 5 of my hillstreams.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by tefsom85 View Post
I have to wholeheartedly disagree with the comment that you need to break down the tank and wait until you have more money. Many, if not all of us, started in low fund situations and we learned alot and made the best of it during those times. All of my previous tanks were bought dirt cheap.. aka used.. and were lit with cheap lighting solutions. Some had CO2, some did not. I never saw a correlation between how much I spend and how satisfying my tanks were. I did see a correlation between times when I made the effort to learn what I was doing and those times when I just half assed it.

With regards to RO, keep in mind that every additional step you add to your water changes is just that much more work. I have liquid rock where I live and I started to do RO but I'll be honest, mixing and matching parameters every single time I did a water change became a chore. I have since switched to straight tap, treated with Prime and I have been able to grow all of the staples that I used to.. rotalas, bacopas, hygros, UG, HC.

I suggest you give it a shot with your tap water and learn how to deal with it. It may be a PITA to learn it, but that's part of the fun.
i'm not at all concerned with the plants, i could not care less how the water effects them, besides hillstreams don't really need the plants anyway. in nature there are no plants in their streams, just over hanging ones.

like i said i spent a year planning, buying, and building this tank. the stand cost me around $400 and took me 6 months of working in a LFS to buy. the tank was $1 a gallon buy 8 months before i actually built the tank.

im thinking i may just switch the two betta tanks and my crayfish/cichlid tank to the tap water. and keep hillstreams on r/o. only thing is i have SAEs in one of my betta tanks and i worry they won't be happy in the tap water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrie View Post
Will, you're in Florida....the largest fish and aquatic farm state..
...do you think we ship in bottled Evian?
no, i heard you guys use Voss.

Will
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-04-2014, 12:55 PM
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We keep SAE and cherries in 8.2-8.4 tap and they are fine. We have a colony of 6 SAE that are all 6"+ and are thriving, they'll be fine I'm sure. As to the Iron and sulfur, I can't speak of due to it being mostly absent from our tap. I see hillstreams in our local shops in tap and they seem to do alright, what about collecting rainwater? Is that an option you have considered? A handful of 5 gallon buckets might be enough if collected regularly enough to offset most of the RO/DI water issue.

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-04-2014, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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We keep SAE and cherries in 8.2-8.4 tap and they are fine. We have a colony of 6 SAE that are all 6"+ and are thriving, they'll be fine I'm sure. As to the Iron and sulfur, I can't speak of due to it being mostly absent from our tap. I see hillstreams in our local shops in tap and they seem to do alright, what about collecting rainwater? Is that an option you have considered? A handful of 5 gallon buckets might be enough if collected regularly enough to offset most of the RO/DI water issue.
okay, not worried about the SAE anymore :-)

i hadn't thought about the rainwater, it does rain here rather often (i've seen more rain in 3 weeks here than in 3 months in Texas :-). i'll have to test the water. i do remember seeing some threads about rainwater collecting for aquariums, i'll have to search for those when i get home tonight.

Will
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-05-2014, 01:04 AM
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I would gradually change the water parameters in the hillstream tank by adding rain water or RO to the tap water.
Each water change the water in the tank will get just a little bit harder. About 1 German degree of hardness with each water change.

If you reach a point where you want to stop, and keep the hardness at that level, then you will have to keep supplying the rain water or RO at whatever % it is needed.

I use a lot of rain water, when it rains.
I have an old roof, so there is no longer anything coming from the roof itself, but it does get dusty up there through the dry season.
I let one good rain happen without catching it to wash off the roof, then start collecting.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-05-2014, 12:20 PM
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Being in the region you are in Aquatic Delight do you think there's any risk of agricultural product levels in your rain water?

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