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Discussion Starter #1
I checked both my tanks tonight using the API Master kit and these are the results:
....................Tank 1.....Tank 2
Ammonia.........0............0
Nitrite..............0...........0
Nitrate.............0...........0
PH..................6.2.........8.2
GH..................22..........9
KH..................5............4

Both tanks have been running for about a month, are very well planted, high light, pressurized c02 just got started a couple days ago, I dose daily with PPS-Pro. Currently I use Spring water from the store, however, I am going to be changing this by this weekend to RO water using the Barracuda RO/DI system.

From what I have read, GH and KH should be between 3 and 8. What do I do to get the GH down?

And, shouldn't I see some sort of Nitrates? If the plants are taking them all in, then should I do more ferts?

Any advice or suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)
 

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And why such a large difference in pH? Do both tanks have the same substrate?

RO/DI should be stripped of minerals which makes up the gH, so if you wish to bring down the gH you are going to be able to. Eventually you will mix the RO/DI with something that restores the minerals to give gh = 3-8 range.

If you trust the 0 Nitrates, then it is likely your plant demand is higher than PPS dosing provides. If it were me, I would dose more, because zero nitrates can lead to a few problems. Shake those bottles though, getting zero nitrate on both tanks is a bit suspicious.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Question is what is in tank 1 that is making the GH go up? Most likely suspect is a rock or stone of some type.
I did have a rock that I had tied riccia fluitans on; I took this out of the tank tonight before I did the water check and floated them instead. Other than that, there is just eco-complete, fish, plants, and a piece of driftwood.

I did a 25% water change last night; should I do another one of like 50% tomorrow?

Bump:
And why such a large difference in pH? Do both tanks have the same substrate?

RO/DI should be stripped of minerals which makes up the gH, so if you wish to bring down the gH you are going to be able to. Eventually you will mix the RO/DI with something that restores the minerals to give gh = 3-8 range.

If you trust the 0 Nitrates, then it is likely your plant demand is higher than PPS dosing provides. If it were me, I would dose more, because zero nitrates can lead to a few problems. Shake those bottles though, getting zero nitrate on both tanks is a bit suspicious.
yes, both tanks have eco-complete. One tank has brand new stuff, the other is the substrate I used before this set-up. other than that, they are both the same. Would driftwood make a difference?

For the RO, I have Equilibrium and Replenish...both look to be the same thing to me except for one is dry and one is liquid. I will need to read up on this next - lol
 

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Yes, it could leach some ph reducing tannins in the water. Does the water seemed stained (tea coloured) a bit?
none at all...water has been very clear. The tank with ph of 8.2 has more wood than tank with lower ph. Some of the wood is called bog wood...does this make a difference in any way?
 

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I did have a rock that I had tied riccia fluitans on; I took this out of the tank tonight...
Which tank was this in? Rocks can supply a lot of different minerals. Try putting this rock in a jar or RO water. Test it after a day or so, then several days later. GH, KH, pH.

Do the same tests on the spring water you have been using. The companies that bottle the water have no requirements about what goes into the water, and can change their recipe whenever they want. Much better for you to not use spring water for aquariums.
What is in your tap water that you do not use it?

When you start with RO water you need to add minerals calcium and magnesium to suit the fish. What kinds of fish are in each tank? If they are soft water fish then your goal of 3 degrees or a bit more is good. If you have hard water fish then you want the GH to be higher.
Then add potassium bicarbonate or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to raise the KH to something pretty close to the GH. The goal here is to make the pH in the right range for the fish and make it more stable. Soft water fish generally prefer a pH on the acidic side of neutral to about neutral. Hard water fish generally prefer more alkaline pH.
If you are keeping black water fish then add some peat moss to the prep to add the organic acids these fish thrive in.

To make the change go slow.
I would still use some of the spring water for your first few water changes. For example, make a mix that is 25% RO with the right minerals added + 75% spring water. Do 1-2 water changes of about 25% a few days apart with this. Then do the same thing with some water that is 50/50. 3-4 water changes over a period of 2 weeks. Then a few more with water that is 25% spring water + 75% RO and minerals. After that you can use the RO and minerals with no added spring water.
This sort of change is very gradual, might take a month, but will give the fish plenty of chance to get used to the new mineral levels, and adjust their metabolism.
 

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Which tank was this in? Rocks can supply a lot of different minerals. Try putting this rock in a jar or RO water. Test it after a day or so, then several days later. GH, KH, pH.

*** This was in tank 1 with the gh of 22.

Do the same tests on the spring water you have been using. The companies that bottle the water have no requirements about what goes into the water, and can change their recipe whenever they want. Much better for you to not use spring water for aquariums.
What is in your tap water that you do not use it?

*** the water is unfiltered well water, rust/iron from pipes (older place here). The tds on it was 298 out of the tap.

When you start with RO water you need to add minerals calcium and magnesium to suit the fish. What kinds of fish are in each tank? If they are soft water fish then your goal of 3 degrees or a bit more is good. If you have hard water fish then you want the GH to be higher.
Then add potassium bicarbonate or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to raise the KH to something pretty close to the GH. The goal here is to make the pH in the right range for the fish and make it more stable. Soft water fish generally prefer a pH on the acidic side of neutral to about neutral. Hard water fish generally prefer more alkaline pH.
If you are keeping black water fish then add some peat moss to the prep to add the organic acids these fish thrive in.

To make the change go slow.
I would still use some of the spring water for your first few water changes. For example, make a mix that is 25% RO with the right minerals added + 75% spring water. Do 1-2 water changes of about 25% a few days apart with this. Then do the same thing with some water that is 50/50. 3-4 water changes over a period of 2 weeks. Then a few more with water that is 25% spring water + 75% RO and minerals. After that you can use the RO and minerals with no added spring water.
This sort of change is very gradual, might take a month, but will give the fish plenty of chance to get used to the new mineral levels, and adjust their metabolism.
***The fish in tank 1 are honey gourami, neon tetras, pygmy cories, otos, nerites. Tank 2 is leopard danios, neon dwarf rainbowfish, honey gourami, nerites, otos.

***Will the gh of 22 at the moment effect the fish at all?
 
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