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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a newbie and I'm about to set up two new tanks very soon, one a 70 gallon and the other a 29 gallon. I already set up a ten gallon tank last week with Eco Complete and RO water, some hornwort, and two mollies. (no CO2) I have water softened water in the house, unsoftened water at the outside hose connection, and RO water I get from the softened, inside water. My water softener was bought to get rid of a sulfur like smell and at the same time we also installed a rust master water filter to get rid of the iron deposits in our toilets and dishwasher, etc. All of this water is from an artesian well. The PH of my water has always been high and in past years when I had fish tanks it always interfered with my growing plants and no matter how much "PH Down" I used I couldn't get the PH down much and only managed to kill some fish. This was before I was aware of CO2, better lighting, and substrates.

Here are my water readings: Softened tap water:pH 8.2 GH 4 KH 4 RO water: PH 6.4 GH 3 KH 3 Outside hose water: PH 8.2 GH 6 KH 5 Fish tank water: PH 7.8 GH 5 KH 4 (phosphate 1 in tap and hose and 0 in RO)

I am surprised how soft my water is and yet the PH is high. I am also surprised how much KH and GH gets through the RO unit, maybe the motor is pushing it through too fast, it does give 4 gallons an hour. (It is a 100 gallon per day unit so that may not be the cause. I only get a gph with the motor off) I took many test readings to verify these findings.

My question is what water should I use to make water changes? I will be setting up the tanks with Eco Complete and RO water and using CO2. I know that the CO2 will bring the PH down, but what water should I use thereafter? Should I mix 20% Tap (or more) with RO? (after 24 hours this read PH 7.6) I could see a problem with using 8.2 PH tap water in a tank that due to CO2 has a 6.8 PH. Any thoughts?
 

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Water softener

By what I can see on water softener,I think they are probably great for the house but the mombo jumbo that’s happening in there scare me a little.
:eek:


I have big concern of the quality of that type of water in aquarium use???
:confused:



The water to be treated passes through a bed of the resin. Negatively-charged resins absorb and bind metal ions, which are always positively charged. The resins initially contain univalent sodium ions, which exchange with divalent calcium and magnesium ions in the water. This exchange eliminates precipitation and soap scum formation.
As the water passes through both kinds of resin, the hardness ions replace the sodium which are released into the water. For most purposes, the low levels of salt in the treated water are innocuous. However because of the increase in sodium concentration, some people believe water softened in this way is not suitable for regular consumption. However, when measured there is less sodium in a cup of drinking water than there is in three slices of white bread.[citation needed]
 

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One thing to be aware of is Eco when brand new has been reported to raise the KH and GH quite a bit for a while. If you haven't bought it yet, you might consider flourite. On the positive side, Eco complete usually settles down after a few months and plenty of water changes.

I would shoot for as soft of KH as possible and the 6GG would be fine. And welcome to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Your RO water has KH 3 and GH 3? That doesn't sound right...
It didn't sound right to me either that the RO water had GH and KH readings of 2 or 3, but I kept testing. Maybe I am not doing it right. For example, the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals GH test kit says that the water will turn orange after the first drop is put into the test solution, but my samples never turn orange, but rather stay mostly clear and then after two or three drops turn a clearish green. The KH tests rarely turns blue after the first drop (only the tank water) and they usually appear clear until I put two or three drops in and then they turn a clear yellow. So bottom line, my RO water may be more like 0 or 1 degrees GH/KH. It is a new RO unit. I did discard the first 15 gallons or so, and this reading came out of the next thirty gallons, so it may change as I keep using the unit.

I just called American Pharmaceuticals and was informed that I should be looking down from the top of the test tube solution with the cap off onto a white background to get a true reading. I had been looking at the side of the test tube expecting it to turn some bright color! Now the RO KH comes in at 0 and the GH comes in at 0 also. Oh well, at least my PH readings are accurate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
One thing to be aware of is Eco when brand new has been reported to raise the KH and GH quite a bit for a while. If you haven't bought it yet, you might consider flourite. On the positive side, Eco complete usually settles down after a few months and plenty of water changes.

I would shoot for as soft of KH as possible and the 6GG would be fine. And welcome to the forum.
I wasn't concerned so much about the GH and KH, but more with the PH. Can I add high PH, e.g., 8.2 to a tank that has CO2 and a PH of 6.8, or should I make sure to get my replacement water to around the same PH as the tank water?
 
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