Purchasing RO and/or distilled - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Purchasing RO and/or distilled

Our tap water is quite hard so I want to start incorporating either some RO or distilled water to bring it down a bit and keep it in check.

My current setup is quite small, 8Gal, so I'm not interested in setting up an RO system when I can buy 18L for $3 down the road from where I live.

I talked to the store and the RO is treated with ozone (because its sold as drinking water), the distilled is done from spring water in a stainless steel rig and is as pure as it gets.

Question is twofold:
-Which would a better choice for my purpose?
-With either one is the usual conditioner/dechlorinator still called for?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 12:43 PM
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Either RO or distilled is fine. They are pretty much the same as far as aquariums go.

If you will be blending a little tap water into the mix to get the minerals then you will need dechlor only for that portion of the volume.

I would do something like this:
Set up the water for water changes the day before.
Blend whatever ratio of tap + RO (or distilled) to get the mineral levels you want, and add dechlor based on the amount of tap water.
Add a bubbler or small pump (table top fountain pump is more than enough for this small amount), and let it run overnight.

This way, the RO or Distilled has a chance to come to equilibrium with the air. Oxygen, CO2 and atmospheric nitrogen levels will stabilize, and become equal with the tank water.

Do the change slowly, perhaps 1 gallon at a time every 2-3 days so the mineral level does not drop too fast. The fish will take some time to acclimate to the softer water.
If the tank needs a bigger water change than this, then make up some water the matches the tank water GH, KH, TDS, pH. Do as big a water change as needed with this sort of water.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 06:37 PM
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I would have to ask why you want to reduce your water's hardness. With the exception of a few plants and a few fish the rest get along just fine with hard water and you have the advantage of having a very stable PH. It is PH variations that will harm the fish so having it stable is good.
Here is something to read about hard tap water by a recognized guru in the planted tank world;
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve002 View Post
I would have to ask why you want to reduce your water's hardness.
Our water is hard and rather high Ph to begin with. My experience has been that when the water is hard, forget about trying to lower the ph. I like to keep species like neon tetra who favor pretty much the opposite of what come out of the tap.
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