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Hello, I'm also a newbie, here at least. My driver's license says I'm way over "New". Anyway, I have had planted tanks, and fish for a long time, but only had real success when I lived on city water. Now, up in the frozen north, I have rock hard water. I know Ph and the other water quality parameters are a concern too, but my plants, especially the anubias, get a thick crust on the leaves, that feels the same as the buildup on the sides of the glass. It can be flaked off a dead leaf. In the end the plants get covered and then die off. I am wondering if R/O water would solve that problem. The "scale" builds up on rocks and glass ornaments, I like those glass paperweights (I know not natural, but I like the color) Is there a big difference between brands, filters as in 4 stage, 6 stage etc. I have several 55 gallons I would like to reset up. Any suggestions? I thought I would start with water quality, then go on to the other stages before I actually reset up my tanks. Thanks
 

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I use a low level Coralife RO and I think it would probably be good enough for your needs. Drs Foster and Smith have a good selection. Get one that has a TFC membrane and make sure you have enough water pressure or get one that has a pump.

Don't listen to people who say you can do it with tap water unless they tell you their tap parameters and they are the same as yours.

However, pay close attention to your GH and KH. You should probably keep both of them up around 5 degrees. The easiest way is to mix your RO water with some of the "reject" water. You will have to figure out the right proportion via trial and error.

Thanks,
Rod
 
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