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What do you re-constitute your RO/DI water with and why?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by bsmith782, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. bsmith782

    bsmith782 Guru Class Expert

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    I'm going to be setting up my RO/DI filter tomorrow and would like to know what everyone does to make there water un-sterile.

    I like the cheapness of just using tap but it seems kind of hard to do accurately. I also have never done this before so Seachem and other companies additives are all unfamiliar to me and I just want to do this correct.
     
  2. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

    Add GH booster, you need something to up kH, if you want soft water kH 2-4 is ok. GH booster to up the GH to desired levels. This is what you need. Other things you consider is normal fertilitation and it is all. I dont think that quemicals for fish (stress, slime) are neccesary, I have very good looking fish with only good food and I think traces elements helps somehow to the fishes.
     
  3. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    If you don't have GH booster or Seachem Equilibrium, you can go with CaSo4 or CaCl2 + MgSO4.
    Use fertilator to get your targets

    I don't add any KH (RO in my case is about 0.6 KH) and I target a 3.5 GH. Gives me soft acidic water which seems to work very well

    I always add GH to the container. Never do a waterchange with only RO and add later GH in tank. 50-70% WC volume with RO could harm the fish or at least stress them bacause of a +50% sudden change in GH. For live stock, I really don't recommend it.

    Finally, RO out of tap is cold, so of course, let it rest or heat it before the WC

    No other additives are needed
     
  4. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    My US$ .02

    Hi B,

    I really think you should consider using your tap water. At the very least cut the Reverse Osmosis RO water with tap water.

    Mixing the water vigorously (aerating, splashing and so forth) is also a good idea. It is more than GH difference that harms fish with un-reconstituted RO.

    I know in the beginning a lot of this EI and planted tank stuff appears complex, it really isn’t.

    Imagine a world where communities awarded medals and trophies to gardeners that managed to raise dandelions and crabgrass in a patch overrun with rats and mice, well welcome to the world of planted tanks.

    Ninety percent of what we raise, are noxious weeds that any sane person would be working to eradicate, Most of our critters are the aquatic equivalents of mice and rats.

    So understand that these things are actually hard to kill, over thinking is perhaps one the biggest problems most beginners face, right after lack of patience. Give your tap water a try, do not worry much about the math, post your water report if you wish plenty of folk can see if there is a significant problem and what if any steps to correct those problems.

    My two pennies worth. :cool:

    Good luck,
    Biollante
     
  5. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Depends on your tap water. Mine is GH 15 and KH 18. I didn't give it a try and I won't, unless I switch once to a malawi tank
     
  6. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Convenience & Cost

    Hi All,

    Unless plants or critters are particularly demanding try the tap water. If like Jonny you wish to keep the GH low, in that case I would cut the RO with 1/5 tap water at the least.

    I have high KH (12-14 dKH) ridiculously low GH (0.5-1 dGH), generally I raise my GH to around 7 dGH. I have a few plants and fish that will not cooperate at all over 4 dKH, for those tanks it is 3 or 4 parts deionized (DI) water to one part tap water.

    There really is no right or wrong way, just a matter of convenience and cost. :cool:

    Most of our weeds and critters will do well even in Jonny's water. :D

    I think I recall Tom Barr talking about living some place where the GH was 24 dGH

    Oh well, good luck,
    Biollante
     
  7. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Many thanks Biollante for the feedback. Never thought it would be ok to grow my plants in a KH of 18. Well, I also didn't like to try on the amazonian cichlids I have as I always heard that high KH for them is too extreme.

    Do you have expierience or idea if the Ramirezi would tolerate such a tap water without being affected on the long term/breeding?

    Also, in such a water, did you find your filter, glass and other hardware to have calcareous deposits after a while? When I see the kitchen aspect after 2 days exposed to tap water, I can't imagine the state of the glasses with calcareous deposits at the water levels and in the canister parts/joints.

    Finally, there's also a myth in many forums I was active in before I came here that says algae is more prone to happen in calcareous waters than soft acidic waters. After I discovered EI, I thought it could be to plants having a hard time to grow in a high GH/KH water like mine. Now, you say plants will be as fine...

    Anyway, you're the first one I read having some expierience in such a water like mine with KH. I never gave it a try, so really won't know if it works
     
  8. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Salt Creep

    Hi Jonny,

    No, I do not recommend trying to breed Mikrogeophagus ramirezi or any Mikrogeophagus or for that matter, Apistogrammas or any of a number of critters that have special requirements. Goes for plants as well there are a few plants I keep, if I even consider 4 dKH or more, they just die. I know Tom Barr, John the Moderator and others successfully grow and propagate at higher total alkalinity, but not me.

    I keep my soft water types around 2 dKH and 5-7 dGH.

    My first recommendation to folks starting out is fit your plants and critters to the water you have, keeps things simple.

    Unless someone states they are dealing with flora or fauna with special requirements I give the advice I would give a friend or family member.

    Over all I think 7-dGH and 6-12-dKH are in the easy to work with range good for the vast majority of beginners and people that want a pleasant easy to maintain tank.

    Generally I have had little trouble with “salt creep” on the tanks where I use in tank heaters I have seen some calcification.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Biollante
     
  9. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    I Do Not Understand!?

    Hi Jonny,

    I got to thinking (always painful) about what you said regarding the way your glasses looked with water like that. Then I got to looking at my outdoor tanks not just the south porch and it seemed to me I should have more grungy build up or “salt creep.”

    I took a clean flask and dunked it eight times in the 55-gallon tank, allowing it to air dry between dunks. With sub 7% relative humidity it does not take long. :)

    Frankly, I do not understand it, the flask is nasty, but you can see the pictures. It seems as though the tank should be nastier. :eek:

    [attachment=574:name]

    [attachment=575:name]

    Biollante
     

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  10. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Strange, with my water, the high GH and KH makes it really nasty. Any container left with that water to evaporate will have white deposits. If not cleaned regularely, it will be a real pain to remove. In aquariums, it happens on the glass at the upper water level line. Kitchen recipients must be wiped. When boiling water than let it rest, it forms a milky precipitate of calcareous stuff. It's the high GH that causes it, not the KH I think
     
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