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Hi, this is my first post--sorry I haven't introduced myself yet; I read these forums constantly, but I've never posted before.

I've put myself in somewhat of a pickle and I wanted to see what you guys (who know a lot more than I do about this) think will happen.

I have a 40 gallon heavily planted tank with Co2, high lighting, 7 zebra danios, 1 siamese algae eater, 1 bristlenose pleco, and 21 shrimp (cherries, blueberries, and amanos).

The tank had finished cycling before I added the shrimp, but recently, after I added 15 shrimp and the siamese algae eater, the nitrite levels increased to .25 ppm.

I decided to switch from tap water to RO water because my city puts chloramine in the water and it makes the tap water test at .50ppm ammonia straight out of the faucet.

So I went to get some RO water for a 10% water change to bring the nitrites down, and I foolishly added the water without adding the minerals back in first (like replenish). Will 10% pure RO water without any minerals harm my tank?

What will happen to my ecosystem? =( *scared* what do I do??
 

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10% RO is nothing to be worried about.
Check your GH and KH, TDS if you have a meter. These may not have even changed- 10% RO is too small an amount to show on hobby level test kits.

I would go ahead and keep on changing 10% a couple more times, say every 3 days, then increase to 25% for several more changes (about 2 water changes per week). If you can make the new water GH, KH and TDS match the water in the tank, then you can do larger water changes. If your goal is to change the GH etc. then just go slowly.

This will take time, but eventually you can get the tank switched over.
 

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A way to relieve some of the worry is to look at what happens in nature. During dry spells or super wet years, there will be different amounts of debris and different water qualities. The smaller the body of water, the larger the change may be. That is part of the reason for some to live ibn oceans while other do fine in small puddles. The fish, plants, etc. have to be ready to adapt to small changes like ten percent. In our tanks, things we do will change the water much faster due to the small volume but then it is not a disaster IF we keep the changes low level and not too often. Yes, the changes may make things a bit uncomfortable for a bit and we may see things act a bit strange for a day or so. So we don't want to make them feel too bad, nor too often so that they are stressed long enough to hurt. Something like running outside without the coat on?
Low mineral levels is one that takes a fair amount of time to do much harm.
 
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