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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know in most cases it is best not to mess with these things but I think in my case, I really do need to. When I used my tap water (well water actually) it wasn't an issue, but then I had a problem with my water and no longer trust it for my fish. I live in the mountains and there is a spring that the locals get drinking water from so I started using that for my fish. The problem is I don't think my new cherry shrimp are going to last long with this water. As far as I can tell, its close to RO.

PH 6
GH 1 degree
KH 1 degree
TDS 13

For now I have been adding a capful of liquid calcium everyday to help a bit and I have seen a few successful molts so that's good anyways, but I have also had an unexplained death, so I would like to get this problem sorted. So, My questions are

Regarding the options for raising the levels, which are the most reliable and stable. At first I thought of crushed coral, but saw that it doesn't play well with CO2. So I thought maybe a bag of limestone in my canister filter. Then I saw baking soda was an option as well. I know the liquid ph adjusters are a big no due to spikes but what about the powders for hardness?

What levels do I want/need According to my research over multiple sites for each species in my tank, it seems a good safe and happy medium would be

Temp 74-77°
GH 8-12°
KH 8-12°
PH 6.5-7.5 (Would need to be at the higher end to allow for drop due to CO2)
TDS 100-200

HOWEVER, I am also seeing on multiple websites that hardness for plants should be 3°..... but this doesn't make much sense to me as obviously most everyone on this forum has both plants and livestock so what am I missing?

So any help would be greatly appreciated. I really want everyone to be happy and healthy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. I suppose the TDS wont be as critical especially if I know exactly what is comprising it (it might be high, but at least I know its not because of waste).

Thank you for the clarification on the plant hardness.
 
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