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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

My 15gal tank has been having some troubles with GSA for a couple weeks now, and it's starting to irritate me. It was on the glass only for a while, but now I can see it on my s. repens really well, as well as my anubias. I have one nerite snail, but he doesn't seem to be doing much.

I have heard that this is a sign of low phosphates? I am getting a test kit in the mail soon and will be testing that, but if this is the case, how exactly do I add phosphates? Note that I have 5 African Dwarf Frogs, 3 amano shrimp, and 3 otos in my tank (as well as the Nerite and miscellaneous snails). I want to make sure whatever I do is safe for them.

Any product recommendations? Any help figuring out the dosing would be much appreciated!

Note: an API master kit + some other tests are coming in the mail, been having some problems with test strips. My water is kind of hard.

RO Question: How would one go about cutting their tap water w/RO and how quickly/slowly could I introduce such a mixture into my tank, without hurting the animals/plants? I have very hard water, and it seems to me that softer water is better. My tap water is around a pH of 7.5, with a KH of 40-80ppm, and GH of 60 ppm (it's a range bc the colors aren't completely clear, again will edit w/test results soon!)

Or is it not worth it? I don't have CO2 (I want it so bad bro) so I think this is the next best step for my plants. LMK :)
 

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Mixing tap with RO is just simple ratios. If you mix half and half, the mixed water will have 50% of the GH and KH of your tap water (assuming your RO water is zero GH and KH).

Here's a simple calc:
Let's assume your tap water is 4GH (sorry my brain doesn't work in ppm, but I think 80ppm is about 4 dGH).
What do you want your hardness to be? Let's say 3 GH.
Divide your desired hardness (3) by the GH of your tap water (4), to get the ratio - in this case 3/4.
Multiply this by how much water cahnge water you want to mix up. Let's say 20 litres.
So 3/4 x 20 litres means you need 15 litres of tap to which you will 'cut' with 5 litres of RO to give you your desired GH.

Work out the ratios for both your desired / tap GH and KH. With any luck they'll be the same, but probably not so you then decide which one you want to prioritize, or maybe go somewhere in the middle.

But, if you already have access to RO water, why not just buy some remineraliser and not use any tap at all. Depending upon what your tap water has in it (chlorine, chloramine, heavy metals, ammonia, nitrates, etc), you are introducing all these contaminants into your nice pure RO water. Using just RO plus the proper minerals mean you can get the exact water you want, with no nasties. Using a buffer will also allow you to target a specific pH too. Complete control!

To me, adulterating 'pure' RO water with 'dirty' tap water seems daft, but I've read that many people do do exactly this (but with good knowledge of what exactly is in there tap water!) =)

For a topical spin on things, you might find more nasties (more chlorine, change to chloramine) are recently being added to the tap water in some countries / areas because of COVID. Here in Singapore, the tap water now stinks of chlorine, apparently to help combat COVID.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mixing tap with RO is just simple ratios. If you mix half and half, the mixed water will have 50% of the GH and KH of your tap water (assuming your RO water is zero GH and KH).

Here's a simple calc:
Let's assume your tap water is 4GH (sorry my brain doesn't work in ppm, but I think 80ppm is about 4 dGH).
What do you want your hardness to be? Let's say 3 GH.
Divide your desired hardness (3) by the GH of your tap water (4), to get the ratio - in this case 3/4.
Multiply this by how much water cahnge water you want to mix up. Let's say 20 litres.
So 3/4 x 20 litres means you need 15 litres of tap to which you will 'cut' with 5 litres of RO to give you your desired GH.

Work out the ratios for both your desired / tap GH and KH. With any luck they'll be the same, but probably not so you then decide which one you want to prioritize, or maybe go somewhere in the middle.

But, if you already have access to RO water, why not just buy some remineraliser and not use any tap at all. Depending upon what your tap water has in it (chlorine, chloramine, heavy metals, ammonia, nitrates, etc), you are introducing all these contaminants into your nice pure RO water. Using just RO plus the proper minerals mean you can get the exact water you want, with no nasties. Using a buffer will also allow you to target a specific pH too. Complete control!

To me, adulterating 'pure' RO water with 'dirty' tap water seems daft, but I've read that many people do do exactly this (but with good knowledge of what exactly is in there tap water!) =)

For a topical spin on things, you might find more nasties (more chlorine, change to chloramine) are recently being added to the tap water in some countries / areas because of COVID. Here in Singapore, the tap water now stinks of chlorine, apparently to help combat COVID.
Thank you for your reply. After doing some reading, I'm a bit confused still. People seem to be unsure of whether there's an ideal GH/KH for a planted tank. I know shrimp need some hardness, do you know an ideal range for them?

Also, would introducing softer (presumably) water into a tank with hard water shock the inhabitants? I want to be very careful that I don't hurt my livestock.

I thought I needed softer water, since my water wisteria seemed to die off, but now I'm not sure. Also, my ferts aren't showing up in my water tests :/ I'm using thriveS by @nilocg because I have shrimp, but I'm starting to wonder whether this matters? Amano shrimp seem kind of hardy. Should I switch to normal thrive?

Thanks!
 
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