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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I just moved to Loudan County and I am planning to get back into planted tanks after a 5 year or so hiatus. I was wondering if anyone has experience keeping planted aquariums using the tap water here? I have an RO system but am hoping to avoid the hassle and cost if possible

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I'm about 45 minutes away in Maryland. Your tap water will be very different depending on if you have City water or well water. Additionally what city water system you might be under if you have city water. I am technically on Baltimore's water system but people 3 minutes away are on the local County system for example. Your best bet is to buy test kit for pH gh kh and TDS. Then you can know exactly what is in your water. Keep in mind it might also change seasonally so you will want to retest your water every few months for the first year so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies y'all, pretty cool to see so many forum members near by. I might have to see if I can buy some plants for y'all soon!

Did you mean "Loudoun County" which is where I am?
Yup that is what I meant! Spelling has never been a strong point of mine.

I live in DC and so am sure we have different tap water. Having said that I use tap water with Prime for de-chlorination. My tank is doing pretty well. Shrimp are multiplying like bunnies.

Why not try it? You can always switch back to RO.

How big will your tank be?
The tank will be a 20 gallon long with a 10 gallon sump. The build is still in progress but I am getting close to having the equipment finished.

I am going to give the tap water a try. I got a test kit a few weeks back and the results seem pretty decent (way better then I used to have)
10-11 dGH
7-8 dKH
pH 7.6~7.8

I do have Hannah TDS and pH probes buried somewhere that I will probably dig out. I suspect I'll need to get new elements for them since they've sat dry for many years.
 

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Your water is a little harder then my own but not terrible. You will likely struggle with more sensitive plants and clearly all low ph fish like discus are out of the question (even if the tank wasn't too small), but otherwise those parameters don't immediately say RODI to me. Native species of plants and the more hardy or fast growing plants should do fine for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I already do have a journal thread up and running for this tank under the title "20 Gallon Madness..." I'd link it but having problems from my phone.

I've fallen in love peacock gudgeons, depending on where I look I'm seeing mixed results on weather they will be okay. For plants I wasn't planning on any demanding stems (or stems at all for that matter), mainly crypts, small swords, hair grass, anubias, and buce. That may change as I start planting and scaping.

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I already do have a journal thread up and running for this tank under the title "20 Gallon Madness..." I'd link it but having problems from my phone.

I've fallen in love peacock gudgeons, depending on where I look I'm seeing mixed results on weather they will be okay. For plants I wasn't planning on any demanding stems (or stems at all for that matter), mainly crypts, small swords, hair grass, anubias, and buce. That may change as I start planting and scaping.

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No experience with the fish, I expect your plant choice will work well, those are all pretty hardy. I would expect a lot of crypt melt when first introduced but they should recover fine.
 

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I purchased an aluminum tank and was looking for a refill vs. a swap. In case anyone else is looking, the best option I found was Fireline in Leesburg that did a 5 lb fill for $25.

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I've used Fireline for years. They are the cheapest source in Loudoun County. Only problem is their hours. If I remember correctly 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM weekdays.
 
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