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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
not sure this is the best sub forum to ask these questions but here it goes:

I want to set to a WC system to make it easy as I now if we take the time to do it right and make it easy we will do it.

that this time I do not want to set up a anutomatic water change all tho I am setting one of for my reef tank vai doseing pumps. anyway

what water to use?
my 1st issue or thought is what water to use for my heigh tech planted tank?
my option are:
1. noram hard water - not really an option but it's there.
2. soft water - it does bring the water down to around 125-150 TDS deff. alot softer the normal water here.
3. soften water then put through 3 stage filter 1 sediment the 2 stage carbon 5 micron and 1 micron not sure this will add anything other than needing to replace the carbon alot faster.
4. above then as RO membrane

thoughts? prob go with RO water but I go through a lot of filter water here so if I can get away with a cheaper way than i would like that. maybe soften water then ran through a single carbon?


re-mineralize the water?
if I use RO water could I not just add a some hard water to give it some minerals?
if not what should I use? what are the levels are we after and how to we test for it?


water storage?
once I figure out what water to use then storage is next. I live in a cold climate and the utility room is in the basement mech./fish room average temps are around 58ish
I have 2- 55 barrels for my salt water mixing stations I was thinking I could have another set up like that for RO water( or what ever water i dedide ) but RO water is so much faster to make than RODI water so not sure i need a supply of RO water ready to go?
and If I did then comes the process to heating it up I am guessing it's "best" practice to match the tanks temp with WC H2o? I dont want to run the heater 24/7 maybe a few hrs before the WC to bring it up to tank temp.

water hoses.
I was watching a aquascaping channel from a well respected LFS where they said you should have once hose for clean water and one for "dirty" tank water. is the true? do you guys even do that? hell most of the time we dont even do that for our reef tanks and there picky.
IDK I was thinking of something like a python WC system or maybe a DIY version I need about 50-75 feet to get to the basement sink, only sink in the house with the old school type of attachment. unless you guys have a better idea.

so I am very curious how you guys do your water changes? 5 gal. buckets or something a little easier?
what is your process?
I am way over thinking this??
 

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You might be over thinking this - what are your tap water parameters?

Unless they are really wildly out there, or unless you are also trying to keep something particularly finicky (flora or fauna), tap water generally will suffice.
 

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In my opinion the easier you make it the more often you will keep up with regular water changes, and that is good for the tank.

What is the dKH of the source water? A softener will remove dGH but not dKH, so if you have very high dKH the softener won't help.

Much depends on your ambitions. Many plants can do well in harder water, but there is a large subset of more finicky plants that do best in very soft water. So if your goals are high, then RO is the way to go.

If you go with RO you can remineralize to any dGH with CaSO4 and MgSO4. If you want to add back in some dKH you can use K2CO3 or KHCO3.

I have two 55 drums for storage in my basement. There is a pump in the aquarium full time, and a full time pump in the storage tanks. PEX piping is run inside the wall to just above the tank. One switch turns on the pump in the aquarium and sends the tank water down the PEX piping to a basement drain. Flip another switch and the RO water is pumped up into the tank.

I use a smart power strip and turn on heaters one day before a water change. I also have circulation pumps and aeration in the storage tanks.

It took a bit of doing to set it up, but I still get a grin every time I flip the switches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In my opinion the easier you make it the more often you will keep up with regular water changes, and that is good for the tank.

What is the dKH of the source water? A softener will remove dGH but not dKH, so if you have very high dKH the softener won't help.

Much depends on your ambitions. Many plants can do well in harder water, but there is a large subset of more finicky plants that do best in very soft water. So if your goals are high, then RO is the way to go.

If you go with RO you can remineralize to any dGH with CaSO4 and MgSO4. If you want to add back in some dKH you can use K2CO3 or KHCO3.

I have two 55 drums for storage in my basement. There is a pump in the aquarium full time, and a full time pump in the storage tanks. PEX piping is run inside the wall to just above the tank. One switch turns on the pump in the aquarium and sends the tank water down the PEX piping to a basement drain. Flip another switch and the RO water is pumped up into the tank.

I use a smart power strip and turn on heaters one day before a water change. I also have circulation pumps and aeration in the storage tanks.

It took a bit of doing to set it up, but I still get a grin every time I flip the switches.
sounds like you put in the work up front for ease down the road.
fortunately where the tank is I cant to and auto water chage system like that. but I was thinking about a pump in the basement that could push the water up into the tank.

what GPH pump did you use for your project?

my tank waterbox 2420 (33ish gallons )will be a carpet of MC with buce, anubus and a few ferns and stems mixed in will be Co2 injected. so I guess RO might be the best. just dont want it to be complicated or spendy as mixing salt water. that is why I was thinking of cutting some hard water back in to the RO
but I am not even sure what levels I am shooting for and best way to test for it.

do you have a source for bulk ca,mag or a all in one solution that is easy?

You might be over thinking this - what are your tap water parameters?

Unless they are really wildly out there, or unless you are also trying to keep something particularly finicky (flora or fauna), tap water generally will suffice.
well my TDS after my softener is about 140ish
going to test my KH now.

what levels are we shooting for in a high tech tank?

OK just tested my KH with an API test kit

dKH is 10 and my GH/KH ppm =179

that is H20 after my softener.

how do those numbers sound?

after a quick google search and found this
from the 2hr aquarist

"Between 2-7 dKH you can keep 97% of all commercial aquatic plants in optimal condition. (Some Rotala and Ammania species may have an easier time in softer water). Between 6 -12+ dKH you can probably grow 95% of species well, but some will be sub-optimal. Above 18 dKH or so, more plant growth issues start arising - at this level, hardy plants such as Java fern, Anubias, Vals, certain Swords and Crypts will still grow well, but many other species will stunt."

source: What is a good level of KH in a planted aquarium ?

so right now I am at 10 so that puts me in the 95% of plants prob. a good start for my 1st aquascape?
but I could always mix in some RO water to get it lower. like maybe 10% RO to 90% softed water?

IDK not trying to make this harder than needed but what to do it right from the get go.
 

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after a quick google search and found this
from the 2hr aquarist

"Between 2-7 dKH you can keep 97% of all commercial aquatic plants in optimal condition. (Some Rotala and Ammania species may have an easier time in softer water). Between 6 -12+ dKH you can probably grow 95% of species well, but some will be sub-optimal. Above 18 dKH or so, more plant growth issues start arising - at this level, hardy plants such as Java fern, Anubias, Vals, certain Swords and Crypts will still grow well, but many other species will stunt."

source: What is a good level of KH in a planted aquarium ?

so right now I am at 10 so that puts me in the 95% of plants prob. a good start for my 1st aquascape?
but I could always mix in some RO water to get it lower. like maybe 10% RO to 90% softed water?

IDK not trying to make this harder than needed but what to do it right from the get go.
Dennis Wong's 2hr Aquarist is a great source of information.

He's right at 10 dKH you can grow most plants. But there are subsets like Syngo's that need really soft water. And most all plants with very few exceptions simply grow better in softer water. So put it this way. Your planted tank life will be easier at lower dKH, but much of that depends on your ambitions and how far down the rabbit hole you want to go.

You can get dry ferts lots of places. Here is a good example. Nilocg Ferts.

What size is the tank? If it's anything over 25G you are really better off buying dry ferts rather than an all in one. While they are convenient, you are mostly paying for water and the bottle. A typical $20.00 bottle of liquid ferts has about $1.50 of actual ferts in it.

what GPH pump did you use for your project?
Here is the pump I use.

The rise is about 16 feet and it pumps up 70 gallons in about 15 minutes.

Pump
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dennis Wong's 2hr Aquarist is a great source of information.

He's right at 10 dKH you can grow most plants. But there are subsets like Syngo's that need really soft water. And most all plants with very few exceptions simply grow better in softer water. So put it this way. Your planted tank life will be easier at lower dKH, but much of that depends on your ambitions and how far down the rabbit hole you want to go.

You can get dry ferts lots of places. Here is a good example. Nilocg Ferts.

What size is the tank? If it's anything over 25G you are really better off buying dry ferts rather than an all in one. While they are convenient, you are mostly paying for water and the bottle. A typical $20.00 bottle of liquid ferts has about $1.50 of actual ferts in it.
yeah so far I am finding the 2hr aquarist a pretty good resource. :)

my tank will be a 33 us gallons it's a water box 2420 to 24" long 20 deep and 17.7 high.

I do like the nilocG line I got there drop cheaper and the liquid thrive + I did see the dry ferts but so many options I got scared and just went with the all in one. lol
I fugured the dry is a way better value but so much to learn figured I would see how the all in one liquid goes and go from there.
IDK is there a way to get the dry ferts and make an all in one or even a two part that a guy could just do a pump or two a day and not have to think to much?
 

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yeah so far I am finding the 2hr aquarist a pretty good resource. :)

my tank will be a 33 us gallons it's a water box 2420 to 24" long 20 deep and 17.7 high.

I do like the nilocG line I got there drop cheaper and the liquid thrive + I did see the dry ferts but so many options I got scared and just went with the all in one. lol
I fugured the dry is a way better value but so much to learn figured I would see how the all in one liquid goes and go from there.
IDK is there a way to get the dry ferts and make an all in one or even a two part that a guy could just do a pump or two a day and not have to think to much?
Learn to use either the Rotalabutterfly or Zorfox planted tank calculators. Once you do ferts will make much more sense.

Try to start thinking in terms of ppm of each nutrients. It's the universal language of the planted tank.
 

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my tank waterbox 2420 (33ish gallons )will be a carpet of MC with buce, anubus and a few ferns and stems mixed in will be Co2 injected. so I guess RO might be the best. just dont want it to be complicated or spendy as mixing salt water. that is why I was thinking of cutting some hard water back in to the RO
but I am not even sure what levels I am shooting for and best way to test for it.
Given the size of your tank and to avoid "complex and spendy" you might want to start off simple and then see how the plants do. You can always change later. With the "easy care" plants that you mentioned both ways can work.

I have similar plants in a 75g Waterbox tank and this is what I do...

I use a 50 foot Python to do a 50% tap water change ~weekly. I add Prime to de-chlorinate the water. I have a Jebao DP-3 Programmable Auto Dosing Pump and a 5 liter single chamber dosing reservoir. I use either Nicog AIO or 2 Hour Aquarist Zero AIO ferts. I mix the AIO ferts in with RO water so that each morning before the lights and CO2 go on I dose 100cc of a daily appropriate amount of diluted ferts. I dose 100cc because it helps with top-off. My reservoir lasts for about 50 days and works perfectly. I have scant algae and the plants are doing well. With this simple system you can still easily move to mixing dry ferts later as your plants become established and you have spent some time researching/testing the best mixture for your own situation. Of course you can always start really simple and just squirt in some AIO ferts each day but I found that my plants did much better, and the algae did not, once I automated the ferts to dose a predictable amount each day. I tended to forget otherwise!

Be sure to start a journal so we can follow your progress...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Learn to use either the Rotalabutterfly or Zorfox planted tank calculators. Once you do ferts will make much more sense.

Try to start thinking in terms of ppm of each nutrients. It's the universal language of the planted tank.
I did look at the rotalabutterfly calc. then again last night when i was looking a materialization salts but there does not seem to be the GH bosster on the list or at least I could not find it.

IDK I might just stick to AIO liquid ferts as I have an unopend bottle that should last 6 months that will give we time to get the hang of the planted world with the intention of moving over to dry ferts with an auto dosser by mid summer.


Given the size of your tank and to avoid "complex and spendy" you might want to start off simple and then see how the plants do. You can always change later. With the "easy care" plants that you mentioned both ways can work.

I have similar plants in a 75g Waterbox tank and this is what I do...

I use a 50 foot Python to do a 50% tap water change ~weekly. I add Prime to de-chlorinate the water. I have a Jebao DP-3 Programmable Auto Dosing Pump and a 5 liter single chamber dosing reservoir. I use either Nicog AIO or 2 Hour Aquarist Zero AIO ferts. I mix the AIO ferts in with RO water so that each morning before the lights and CO2 go on I dose 100cc of a daily appropriate amount of diluted ferts. I dose 100cc because it helps with top-off. My reservoir lasts for about 50 days and works perfectly. I have scant algae and the plants are doing well. With this simple system you can still easily move to mixing dry ferts later as your plants become established and you have spent some time researching/testing the best mixture for your own situation. Of course you can always start really simple and just squirt in some AIO ferts each day but I found that my plants did much better, and the algae did not, once I automated the ferts to dose a predictable amount each day. I tended to forget otherwise!

Be sure to start a journal so we can follow your progress...
yeah I need to start a build thread for sure! i'll go a read throw your now I might have seen your tank on the WB FB group?

how do you get the temp up on your WC water? or do you not worry about it.
I am thinking of making 5ish gallon of RO water then using the rest "soft" water that should lower my dkh
mix it in a brute can add a 300W heater for a few hours then do the WC.

it's hard when starting out one need to do 50% WC every other day for the 1st week then every 3 day for the next ect. so the 1st month its gonna be a lot of water and hoses. ha

i think I will get a kick out of added the AIO ferts for the 1st few months but i am sure after that I will want to automate it.
 

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how do you get the temp up on your WC water? or do you not worry about it.
i think I will get a kick out of added the AIO ferts for the 1st few months but i am sure after that I will want to automate it.
In the Summer my cold tap temp is close enough. In the Winter I mix hot/cold to get it about right. I bought an inexpensive aquarium thermometer with a probe to check with.

Yup. In time you will want to automate it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
In the Summer my cold tap temp is close enough. In the Winter I mix hot/cold to get it about right. I bought an inexpensive aquarium thermometer with a probe to check with.

Yup. In time you will want to automate it :)
oh yeah I can use warm water...haha totally forgot duh so used to running all my water thought an RODI then mixing in the salt and bring it up to temp for 24hr for my saltwater tanks. HA

i'll take the win.

OK so here is my plan.
filter about 5 gallons of RO water into my brute can then fill the 10 gallon with tap soft water ran through a carbon filter i'll test the dkh but I am guessing it should be around be around 7.5.

I wonder if using a chlorine carbon block filter would be a better option and prime?

this:
 
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