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RO Water Help!!!

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What is the best way to remineralize and keep water parameters (ph, kh) stable? I am using an RO system (not RO/DI) because my well water kills plants. I'm not going to mix tap and RO so what do i need to do to get the parameters i want and keep them stable. I plan on using seachem equalibrium + potassium or sodium bicarbonate. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Seachem equilibrium is basically CaSO4, K2SO4 and MgSO4 with some Fe added. This would increase the GH. Depending on the size of the aquarium and your willingness to experiment you could buy individual salts resulting in less expenditure and more flexibility in dosing. CaCl2 and MgCl2 can also be used to increase GH .
Anything with carbonate in the name will increase KH if it is water soluble. Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) has great solubility, CaCO3 not so much. Raising the KH with carbonates will increase the pH but also “stabilize”/buffer it.

If you want softish water I would start at 25ppm Ca, 5ppm Mg, 3 dKH. When CO2 is being added, KH is not that important for plants so match for fish demands. Generally, most plants prefer a higher GH, I aim for 6 dGH but want to go higher.
Dose for the volume of water changed. After you calculate the dose for that volume, add and test to see if you got what you want. Test the first few times to make sure your dosing is accurate. If you dose with individual salts always assume highest hydration levels (eg MgSO4*7H2O )

I like to mix outside the aquarium in a large container, add a powerhead and dissolve almost everything before adding to the aquarium. This also prevents the high, low, high rodeo during water changes if you add pure RO and then add salts.

Hope this helps.
Regards,
duky
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So I have a 44 gal can I store water in, lets say im using equalibrium, if I dose for 40 gal or however much water is in the can and keep that water in the can always the same parameters, will it cause fluctuations in the tank(s) if I do about a 40-50% water change a week? If the parameters in the tank and the parameters in the storage can are the same does it matter what % water change i do? Will it all stay consistant/ stable in the tanks? Thanks for your help.
 

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If the water that is changed has the exact GH and KH as the water in the aquarium, the aquarium's KH and GH will not change independent of the % changed.

However, KH and GH in the aquarium can drift over time. CaCO3 from some rocks might increase both KH and GH. Evaporation might increase them again. ADA Aquasoil Amazonia and other 'active' substrates are known to reduce the KH and GH of the water. Organic substances and tanins can reduce KH if strong enough. Plant activity can also reduce GH and sometimes KH.

All these changes are usually minimized with a 50% weekly water change.

If you are worried about pH change... hard to say. As a general rule if you are between 6-8 do not worry too much about pH as long as you take care of the more important minerals. pH in aquariums can be affected by many things, some bad some good. It used to be pretty much the only easy to measure, that is why people gave it so much importance. For example, dissolved CO2 can lower the pH. My aquarium goes from 7.2 to 6 every day, fish and shrimps are ok. If I inject Co2, my aquarium water will have a pH of 6. The water in the barrel will have very little CO2, so say a pH of 7.5. I change 50% water. Of course the pH of the aquarium will change somewhere close to 7, because now the aquarium has less CO2 dissolved.

Hope this clarifies it.
 
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