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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I am very new to caring for fish/shrimp/aquariums, and the job sort of fell in my lap but I am doing my absolute best to catch up and give them the best possible care.

I care for a tank at a small library, 10gal with neon tetra and dwarf cherry shrimp. It is a planted tank with a sand substrate. The tank has been here for just over a week and was previously cared for by a local pet store. When we received it, we got the bare essentials and are just now getting access to things like water testing.

Two days ago, I dosed the tank with Seachem Prime as I was worried about a shrimp.

We finally got test strips today, and the test revealed high gH, kH, and pH. All of them were at the highest possible of the test.

Nitrate and nitrite levels appear to be very good, likely thanks to the Prime. I have not done a water change since the tank arrived and local tap water is very hard. What is the best way for me to lower these (gH, kH, and pH) to good levels?
 

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Yes, RO water needs to be remineralized `before use. Depending on the target GH / KH you're shooting for, there are a few different paths. You can either use Salty Shrimp GH+, Salty Shrimp GH/KH+, or DIY with CaSO4, MgSO4, and NaHCO3.
 

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My thought is that since your tank water already has really high gh and kh, just replace the water weekly with pure ro water until your desired levels of gh, kh are achieved. Then each water change after that the water would need to be remineralized, or just mixed with tap water to get the right values.

What conditioner would you recommend for the distilled water? I had read that it needs to be remineralized.
Conditioner isn't needed for pure water, but yes will have to be remineralized after gh, kh values are achieved through water change.

If this was a fish tank I would just change out 50% of the water with ro every 2 days and remineralize. But since its a shrimp tank we need to do this a bit slower for them to adjust.
 

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I feel mixing with tap is in this case far easier than remineralizing?

I mean, the things that give us GH and KH in the water are minerals. Those are the exact same minerals, for the most part, that we add to R/O water to remineralize it. Because we want some of them but not too much.

So say we have tap with 20 gh and 13 kh. (This would be, like, phenomenally bad water. My tap is at around 7 gh and 4.5 kh). And we want to bring it to ideal neocaridina parameters, so.... say 9-10 gh? And the kh can fall wherever it naturally lands because it’s not that crucial.... so if we just do all our water changes with half tap half RO, we will, within a few water changes, land exactly where we want to be... no remineralizing necessary.

Prime does not destroy or remove things from the water, it just binds them into a non-toxic form. So if your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are reading good, it’s because they’re good. What are the exact readings, btw? For everything?
 

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Yes another way to go about things as @LidijaPN mentioned and might be better is changing 30% of the water weekly and mixing ro and tap at a ratio of the gh/kh values you want. tap 20 gh, 13kh, and you want 6 gh, 3kh? Thanks about 70% RO, 30% tap. change water every week like this and eventually the values will be what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Readings: Ammonia 0, Nitrate 20, Nitrate 0, GH 300ppm, KH 300ppm, PH 8.4, Chlorine 0

I got some distilled water and I will do a 30% water change tomorrow morning before library patrons arrive with 1/3 distilled and 2/3 tap treated with Seachem Prime. I only have one 3gal bucket at the moment, so I've got to first find another bucket lol! Hopefully, things will improve and I can continue water changes until things level out. For now, the fish and shrimp do not seem to be effected.

Thank you for your help!
 
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