The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings All!

Adding a planted tank to my array of aquatic nerdom. The question is not about the basics.. but I do have a specific question.

Normally, I RO my water for my marine tanks. But! I would like to think that the tap water I have isn't a complete waste for my aquatic needs.

Here is my question.. What would you do with hard water like the follow?

GH 22
KH 14

now the kicker...

PH 6.8 & TDS 700 - 1100 (depends on winter or summer, this is my city water not a private well.)

Lets just say my water could be listed as a supplement to ones dietary mineral needs.

So... options? Or just stick with RO and add stuff back in to buffer. Just seems like a waste to pull all that out to just add it back in.

Do I mix? RO? or... forget it. hehe

Thoughts?
 

·
Are these real?
Joined
·
15,720 Posts
Depends a bit on the plants and fish you want to keep. I'd say a 50-50 mix would be a good starting point. For plants and fish that prefer lower TDS, a 75-25 mix like Bw suggested could be better. If your tap water, besides being hard, is also unbalanced, it might be best to reduce that percentage further and start to look into reconstituting.

Many options...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
813 Posts
You could also try sticking peat in your filter to soften the water, although that may also bring your pH down below what you'd like.
Not only will it drop the ph a good amount it will also not do much for hardness. A little, but not enough to be a big deal.

Try the 75% RO and 25% tap, test and adjust accordingly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you.

Great ideas... Thank you. I will try the mix-ology approach.

I am thinking that some of that "hardness" added to the water might be better than buying sups to bring it up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,945 Posts
Your Water Chemistry

Hello Das...

If you're setting up a freshwater tank, then don't worry about pH, hardness or any of that chemistry class stuff. The vast majority of freshwater aquarium fish will adapt to the majority of public water supplies. I wouldn't use RO water, just use the water out of the tap. After tap water is treated for ammonia, chlorine and chloramines, it replaces important minerals the fish and plants need.

RO water has no buffers and can actually cause dangerous pH changes. Stick to the basics, there are fewer things to remember and therefore fewer things to go wrong with the tank.

Just a thought.

B
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
548 Posts
My water is same as yours only a bit harder. I have found most fish and plants live but not thrive in these conditions. At first u started to use RO and then added conditioners. What a pain! Now I go 5 to 1. Thats 5 gal RO to one gal tap. Not being real scientific, it's just easier that way. One bottle of RO and one gal of tap.
Stopped having all the hardness gunk so tanks look better longer. CO2 works better also . Of course sometime I'd like to figure how to do an African ciclid planted using our natural hard water.


Sent from my iPhone
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,721 Posts
Keep hard water fish and plants.
Most livebearers, many Rainbows, Rift Lake Cichlids, certain Central American fish.
Keep fish that are not so picky. Most hatchery raised fish are pretty tolerant, even if their parents came from soft water. Many catfish, even though they come from soft water are OK with harder water.

Avoid wild caught soft water fish, and some species that even though they have been hatchery raised are not so adaptable.

Valisneria and hornwort are 2 plants that really thrive in hard water. Most aquarium plants do not care, and the extra minerals in the hard water are good for them. There are a few plants that are soft water only plants. Those will not do so well for you.

Get some RO water and make the blends suggested above (25/75, 50/50) and see which comes closer to what you want. (GH, KH, TDS)
Then add some peat moss and stir it around. Test after 24-48 hours. Some peat moss is more active than others. I have seen some test results where the peat moss is acting like an ion exchange water softener, and the GH and KH come down quite a bit. Almost always the pH will come down because peat moss adds organic acids to the water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
548 Posts
Then add some peat moss and stir it around. Test after 24-48 hours. Some peat moss is more active than others. I have seen some test results where the peat moss is acting like an ion exchange water softener, and the GH and KH come down quite a bit. Almost always the pH will come down because peat moss adds organic acids to the water.
1. How long will the peat effect the GH and KH?
2. Will using peat keep the GH and KH stable or will it fluctuate?
3. Does using peat help eliminate the unsightly mineral build up?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
1. How long will the peat effect the GH and KH?
2. Will using peat keep the GH and KH stable or will it fluctuate?
3. Does using peat help eliminate the unsightly mineral build up?
Reviving an old thread because my water parameters are very close to the OP. However my PH is 8.2. Also, I have alot of mineral build up. The white crusty stuff.

Will RO water reduce or stop the mineral deposits? Will peat accomplish the same thing?

My house has a salt pellet water softener. Is this my problem?
 

·
Are these real?
Joined
·
15,720 Posts
The water softener alone should stop the mineral deposits. Perhaps it isn't working as intended, bypassing or something?

Water softeners usually replace calcium/magnesium with sodium ions. This doesn't improve things for plants or fish.

Just be careful when trying to change conditions. If you think about using RO water, and your fish are used to the hard water, go slow...
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top