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Hey Guys,

I'm going to be starting up my planted, rcs, cpds tank pretty soon and I want to make sure I am understanding TDS correctly. From what I have been read having a high TDS is not good(400+).

I have my water is softened, there is no option for me to not use non-softened water. The current water parameters coming out of the tap is as follows, PH 7.2, A 0, N 0 , N 0, GH 0*, KH 7*(100-120ppm).

TDS before my water is treated with Prime or Salty Shrimp Bee Shrimp GH+ is 192ppm, after I add Prime the TDS shoots up to around 380ppm. 380ppm is before the water is even added to the tank. With this high of a ppm I can only assume once I get my tank up and running I will have TDS reading of 500+.

To make sure I am understanding TDS correctly, just because my TDS is high does not mean it is an issue, correct? Is it also safe to assume that having a high plant load will reduce TDS? My main concern is that my TDS wont kill off the RCS and that eventually the shrimp will breed with time.
 

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i don't know much about shrimps' TDS requirements, but I know a little about TDS.

you can use rain water or RO water to lower your TDS. Rain water in my area has TDS of 2 or 3, tap water TDS is between 50 and 60. I boil the rain water, just in case, and mix it with tap water when i do water changes. Of course this works well with smaller tanks, may not be an option for you, but an RO filter definitely is an option.

My fish tank TDS is around 240 because i add a little bit of salt, I have rcs, but they are not breeding.
 

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Fat Guy In A Little Coat
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My tap water is extremely hard and has a TDS around 1900 and a PH of 8+ because they put so many chemicals in it. In my large tank I started using well water that has a TDS of around 40 most of the time and my plants grow out of control. When I had my little 3 gallon Nano shrimp tank going I just used distilled water from walmart and reconstituted it with something. If you are trying to do a large tank and have no access to any other water source then I would invest in a RO/DI system and reconstitute with whatever you decide. Distilled water and RO/DI water will have a TDS of 0. Be aware that the longer you go between water changes the more your TDS will inscrease. Evaporation causes the water to become harder because you lose water to evaporation but not the dissolved solids in the water.
 

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after I add Prime the TDS shoots up to around 380ppm. 380ppm is before the water is even added to the tank. With this high of a ppm I can only assume once I get my tank up and running I will have TDS reading of 500+.
Did you wait between adding prime and measuring tds? The number will settle down especially after a day of aging the water.

To ease your worries, my tap starts off at 350 ppm, then I add prime, and my shrimp tank is going strong. I've known of some tanks where their cherries are so resilient that they breed in non-dechlorinated water with a pH of 8.0. Of course I don't recommend this. The key is SLOW acclimation.
 

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Sometimes washing machine spigot or outside spigot are not attached to domestic water softener's and water could be drawn from these and heated/stored before use.?
This would be easier on smaller tank's where you are not having to store much water.
Domestic water softener's sometimes remove mineral's like calcium and magnesium that create hard water stain's, and furs the pipes/ plumbing, and replace these minerals with sodium salt which would also increase TDS.
Considering the tank mentioned is only 20 gal ? and you are changing 5 gal a week?
It would not be too labor intensive if..you can find water source as mentioned that is not attached to softener.
Fishes and shrimps as well as plant's, need some calcium and magnesium for structural development so you may want to re-mineralize R/O or distilled water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Yea, I figured the Sodium Chloride from the softener was what was causing the high PPM.... As far as bypassing the softener....The main water line that goes into the house is hooked directly into the softener. My outside hose lines bypass that but those are shut off for the winter so the pipes don't freeze. I purchased Salty Shrimp Mineral GH to boost my GH levels since they are at 0*, my KH is at 7* though so I'm good in that department.

I have been contemplating getting an RO system but the misses isn't too happy with having to spend another 2bills on *fishtank stuff*. I'm currently trying convince her that the sodium chloride from the water softener is slowly poisoning us and its essential that we can an RO system for our own safety. Let's see how that goes over.

I did just buy an API Copper Test, I want to make sure the copper from our old pipes isn't leaching into the water.
 

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Yea, I figured the Sodium Chloride from the softener was what was causing the high PPM.... As far as bypassing the softener....The main water line that goes into the house is hooked directly into the softener. My outside hose lines bypass that but those are shut off for the winter so the pipes don't freeze. I purchased Salty Shrimp Mineral GH to boost my GH levels since they are at 0*, my KH is at 7* though so I'm good in that department.

I have been contemplating getting an RO system but the misses isn't to happen with having to spend another 2bills on *fishtank stuff*. I'm currently trying convince her that the sodium chloride from the water softener is slowly poisoning us and its essential that we can an RO system for our own safety. Let's see how that goes over.

I did just buy an API Copper Test, I want to make sure the copper from our old pipes isn't leaching into the water.

Well,I see.
Outside spigot where I lived before, the plumbing run under a crawlspace outdoors, and I too shut this off during winter.(exposed to frigid temps)
My present outdoor spigot run's into the home along floor under the kitchen floor,and heat from inside (heat rises) and boiler in the basement, little danger of the pipe freezing.
Bring in frozen water bucket's for the dog's ,and fill empty ones from the outdoor spigot in single digit temp's .
 
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