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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Everyone,
(small background: I have been a planted tank guy for many years with some good tanks and some really bad failures. I use to be a member here but gave up out of frustration. I continued helping other people set-up there tanks and making rock walls and plumbing and making designs for others and they have been very successful (which is great lol). Ok, so here are my water problems straight from the tap after using API Quick Start:
GH 60ppm,
KH 50ppm,
Phosphates >.5 ppm (wow!)
PH at 8.2, after air stone for 2 hours 6.4.
Iron 0 chelated and 0 non chelated.
Amonia 0,
nitrite 0,
nitrate 15.
So as you can see, my water supply sucks badly. I tested our bottled spring water (not drinking water) with same issues and had even tested our river that we get our water supply from with alot better resultsthinking I could filter my own water, what a pain that would be!
So now its down down to either chemicals (just to get the right water to start with) or RO/DI system. I have read in a post that RO systems do not remove phosphates (any one disagree? I hope so). If I can use an RO/DI system, which cartridge would be the phosphate remover? I am a huge seachem fan and have used there products from the beginning as well as the tanks I have set-up for others. If I can get pure water I planned to use the Equilibrium to get a great start. If anyone has had a problem similar or has any answers please let me know. I have spent a year setting up a 55 gal (Handscaping with moss coming soon to start the planting).
My system:
55 gal.
Filstar M
inline 300w heater
UV light 25w
6300 BML XB light
Co2 injection (20 lb bottle with human consumption CO2)
All hooked to the Neptune Apex system.
Substrate is dirt with clay with eco complete top with crushed eco complete (hand crushed to make a sandy top).
Thank you to all for any help.
 

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Actually your water looks pretty good! You might not need to dose additional ferts. GH could use a boost. Get your CO2 right and you're off to the races.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Its the phosphates that i am particularly worried about. Even after heavy planting I can't get my water to drop below 5 ppm. I had many problems with algae of all types in every tank I have ever made. I also keep a 2-10 gal. and a 6 gal. All eventually circum to the algae. I have tried the phos-sorb pads with very little help and wow does it get expensive. the pad would turn brown in as little as 2 days.
 

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I'm routinely running phosphates at 1-2ppm with very little algae. It's mostly a matter of not having deficiencies that favor algae over your plants. CO2 is the hardest to get right.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
anyone else have an opinion on this? I would like to have a general census on this and if anyone uses an RO/DI system what do you use to replace your nutrient values?
Thank you for your comments
 

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Evidently nobody on here uses RO/DI systems. I asked some questions about DI and never heard anything. I am trying to rid my tap water of phosphates as well but I only have the DI filter, single stage.

Good luck finding more info, I am going to browse some other forums for advice. These types of units are real common with saltwater so I'm sure I'll find out more there. If I learn anything new, I'll pm you.
 

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Sorry if I got off on a tangent -- I DO use an RO/DI filter on my moderately hard tap water. I blend it 50/50 with straight tap. Based on my city water report, after blending I get:
Ca -- 22ppm
Mg -- 2.7ppm
NO3 -- 0.2ppm
PO4 -- undetectable
K+ -- 1.5ppm
Fe++ -- 0.008
Cl- -- 19ppm
SO4 -- 20ppm
KH = 50ppm
GH = ~80ppm

Before adding it, I add KNO3 to bring NO3 up to 10ppm, KH2PO4 to PO4 of 2ppm, K2SO4 up to K of 18ppm (considering the K that comes from the other items) and MgSO4 to bring Mg to 7ppm, and CSM+B to bring iron up to about 1ppm.

The fert calculator I use is at http://calc.petalphile.com

The dry ferts are all available at GLA or aquariumfertilizer.com, both are cheap & ship quickly.

If I had water out of the tap like yours, it would save me time, money, and effort. I'm using my RO/DI to basically recreate the water you get directly out of your tap.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you again for your posts and thank you for the great calc. That will come in handy. I was searching thru Seachem and they have a pretty neat little calc. of there on the you can put on your computer (a dosing calc.) they have 3 of them, 1 for marine, planted, and substrate. I did a few more tests on my water ( I talk with a guy at the gym and was just making idle conversation and found out he is a chem, for our water authority) he told me alot about my water supply and today he came over to prove it. All I can say is I would rather drink my own piss then drink my water before I use an RO/DI. So what appeared to look good with numbers wasn't good for what I didn't know. Which I have now discovered why I always melted my plants and eventually my fish would succumb to poisoning (yes I have poison in my water that is aloud by law), but in a tank it can build up in the tank and become high ppm.
So any way, Thank you again for all the posts, just so happened I got to the bottom of my water issues. I will be using your dosing chart, I think it is very close to the parameters I am looking for in my tank.
 
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