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What are people using for planted tanks?

I have an RO/DI system I could use and my tap water is Very Hard (SoCal).

Should I use RO/DI and buff to what is needed, use straight tap or some sort of blend of the 2?
 

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I use 100% RO. Mixing is ok and can save time, but depending on how you're set up, it could be easier to just reconstitute 100% RO than it would be to mix. I feel like it's easier to add even spoonfuls of GH booster and bicarb then it is to take the extra steps to mix tap water in. That involves a little more time and thinking, and testing if you don't have it down pat, even then the treatment plant can change things without warning. I know my params are spot on every time without testing. There's also the question of whether or not the tap's GH is a good ratio of both Ca and Mg.
 

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I use straight tap water but I won't vouch for it. I haven't had problems at all but some people do for sure. I do drip acclimate my fish and haven't had any losses doing that. I read somewhere that it takes fish a very long time to adapt to chemical changes and that temperature was the only important thing. Acclimating my fish that way...more than a few didn't last more than hours.
 

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I use tap water.
1 dKH, 1 dGH, just enough chlorine to keep me from getting cholera, but not enough to taste or smell. :)

I reconstitute with GH Booster. I tried it without the GH booster for a couple months, ran into enough plant deficiencies to convince me it was necessary.

I don't add any carbonates, and have been pretty successful so far - every plant I have tried has thrived, even "difficult" toninas. I had a shrimp only tank that the shrimp did poorly in, but I don't know if that was from the acidity of the water or high temperatures. I tend to think the latter, although with pressurized co2, my pH was below the lowest range on a cheapo pH test kit. Haven't had any problem with fish thriving.
 

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What are people using for planted tanks?

I have an RO/DI system I could use and my tap water is Very Hard (SoCal).

Should I use RO/DI and buff to what is needed, use straight tap or some sort of blend of the 2?
I like you have very hard tap water, TDS varies from 370 ppm to 550 ppm! I mix RO:tap depending on the aquarium and it's inhabitants. For example, my community aquarium which has a blackwater Apistogramma species (they are rather sensitive) I bring down the TDS to between 90-100 ppm with a dGH and dKH of less than 1 degree.

On my pleco tank, I keep it at around 270 ppm.

So it really depends on your target animals as most plants can do well in hard water. There are only a handful that require soft water.
 
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