The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I have been having a hard time understanding what happens to water as far as messing with RO water, tapwater, buffers, etc.

What I want is to replicate the best conditions for my apisto cacs and would like to see breeding. Here's a little bit about my tank set-up before I go into too much detail.

20 long heavily planted. Eco complete substrate (been in there since April so I know the initial issues associated with this substrate as far as raising the hardness of the water temporarily.) I dose macros and micros. I also inject diy CO2. My tapwater is extremely hard. After losing a few fish due to my high levels of gH and kH, I started doing complete RO only water changes without adding anything back to the water. I did about 50% water changes for 3 weeks once a week. I work at my LFS and got into a convo today about adding straight RO. My boss handed me RO right and said I should be using that to put back into my water what I'm taking out regardless of the contents of my ferts. ( I also use no carbon in my filter)

I am about to do another water change. I understand some evaporation has occurred and as of this moment, my gH is a 10, my kH is a 6, and my pH is still an 8.3 (with RO changes as well as CO2 injection). I have no doubt that the substrate and the ferts are adding to my hardness as well as the fact that remnants of my tapwater may still be in this tank. After water changes, my kH is usually a 2, my gH is about a 7.5 and my pH is usually at about a 7 - 7.2. When my CO2 is refreshed it can get down to a 6.5. This is a lot of fluctuation, more than I am comfortable with.

My question is, I thought I had a handle on water quality but I'm lost as to how to go about my water changes. The RO Right is by Kent and gives directions to add for different water levels required. For instance, for "very soft water ie Discus" it instructs to use a 1/2 tsp for every 10 gallons. From what I've read, the product adds back the TDS I take away by adding RO instead of tap. Is this defeating the purpose? What really needs to be in the water and what's the difference? I know a. cacs are supposedly more forgiving of water conditions than other apistos which is why I've stuck with them as my first dwarf since April and in all honesty the males did fine in our tapwater. I've read many articles stating that I can use straight up tap for them and not mess with my water BUT I want these guys to thrive and I think that having them spawn would be the coolest thing to see. I am not in this to make money but I think that would be the ultimate sign of whether or not I am keeping them correctly. I have witnessed spawning but the eggs went white (probably too hard of water), and the females always died after their 2nd or 3rd spawn. Nothing in my water besides the hardness could have attributed to it. It could have been bad stock or poor diet but I doubt both of these are the case as I feed very well and they lived just fine for months before they actually spawned. No aggression was seen.

Any and all input is greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time!

-Mandi
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
You need to have some gh (3+ is good) in the water. Opinions vary as to whether you also need at least a little kh. If you are using RO water, this can be accomplished by either using RO right (or an equivalent product) or mixing in a little tap water. If you opt to also keep kh at around 3, you can either use a buffering product from the pet store or use a little baking soda. If I remember correctly, 1 tsp raises 30 gallons by 1. The kh is what raises the ph.

Until your levels drop due to repeated water changes, you can use straight RO water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your help!

So is there something about RO right/similar products which are better to use with RO water than regular old tapwater, or is it simply easier to regulate?

I have been using straight RO until my levels drop but they do come back up again. Is that the Eco Complete talking?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
I don't have experience with eco complete, so someone else will have to answer that part of your question.

I think RO right (or equivalent) is so that you know what you're putting back in (and get it in the right proportions) instead of adding tap, testing, and then putting in whatever is missing.

I add a little tap every few water changes and never dose phosphates, but my water is high kh low gh and would still need supplements for hardness. It depends on your water.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top