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Neos & Water Changes/Stability Issues

1145 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  StLCopperhead
Hi all! New to the forum so apologies in advance for any missteps (just let me know).

I have a ton of questions regarding Neo care & breeding, but I suspect posting them all on one thread might make a few people crazy, lol, so I’ll start with my main pressing concerns:

I am wanting my water changes to be as close as possible to my tanks’ parameters, but I keep running into issues.

1.) I’m wanting to get a RO/DI unit for the sake of consistency in water changes and across tanks. My question is, for Neos only, how important is an RI vs an RI/DO? I don’t know yet what the exact TDS of my tap is yet, but I know it’s off the charts pH, and it’s hard water. My thinking is that if my goal is consistency, then getting the DI is a good idea, even if the Neos don’t absolutely need it. Would you agree with me on that?

2.) While waiting for my RO/RODI unit to arrive, can I use distilled water for water changes in the meantime, assuming I add a remineralizer?

3.) I currently have a 75 gallon heavily planted tank that has a variety of Neos in it. I originally just got the shrimp for cleaning purposes & a splash of color, but wound up falling in love with these little guys and have been researching breeding ever since. To that end, I am currently cycling 5 ten gallon tanks so I can keep them separate. BUT I put a light layer of Fluval Shrimp/Planted Stratum as the substrate in all of them, mostly for the dark color. The layer is thicker in some than others. My question is: Should I pull it out and put something neutral in instead, since I want to have consistency in water changes and across all tanks? I don’t want to have to mix up different batches of water for each of the tanks...

3.) How much do you think a single piece of cholla wood would affect the pH of a 10 gallon, assuming it has been boiled first? Again, I want things as simple as possible to begin with, and am trying to remove any significant variables when it comes to all tanks being about the same and not having any swings when I do water changes.

4.) How long does it take pH to stabilize? For example, if tap water of 8.5 pH was added to a tank with drift wood, active substrate, etc., and had a stable pH of long until any swings would have stopped and stabilized after the tap was added?

It’s possible that I’m over-thinking all of this, but I can’t seem to help myself, and over-thinking is better than under-thinking (or at least, that’s how I justify it, haha!).

Thanks for any input!
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Do you live in an area which normally has very hard water, like liquid rock hard?

Some municipalities that treat very hard water will do a De-Ionizing cation exchange filter to soften the water enough so it works better for clothes washing. A DI filter is a Sodium ion exchange filter.

What DI does is take your 7.8~8.0 Calcium and Magnesium GH and KH loaded water and exchange their ions for Sodium ions.

This will bring down your GH, but will bump the KH to very high levels. Often times your water will test out at 3~5 GH and almost be off the scale KH. Frequently DI treated water will be way above 8.6 in pH.

Reverse Osmosis treatment is where the water is passed through, (under pressure, like 40PSI..) through a water permeable, special molecular filter. Part of the water is waste with higher concentrations of dissolved minerals and the water you use is frequently so pure as to be close to distilled with a close to neutral pH of around 7.0 and a Total Dissolved Solids reading in the tens.

Your TDS pen measures the electrical conductivity of the water.

As a note: You should never use pure RO water in a aquarium, a bit of dissolved minerals is good for the animals and plants Which is why there are products like Seachem's Equilibrium and Salty Shrimp's GH+ and GH/KH+ shrimp salts.

Also note that Seachem Equilibrium adds trace amounts of Iron and Manganese for plant health, but doesn't include other micro nutrients.
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