confused,what is best RO or HMA water

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by nige2473, 18 May 2008.

  1. nige2473

    nige2473 Newly Registered

    Messages:
    9
    I want to use my 180 litre tank to keep four discus and 15 rummy nose tetras.Which water is the best to use HMA or RO.Whats the best diffuser to use with my JBL CO2 kit.I will be using a aqua one regency 80 tank with tetra complete substrate and eco complete planted aquarium substrate from carib sea with under gravel heating.The lighting will be provided by two 20 watt hagen power glow tubes.what hardy fast growing plants should i use to plant the aquarium out.A lot of questions i know help please????
     
  2. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Welcome along Nige,

    Best bet is to find out what the supplier of your discus uses. As far as the plants grow you don't need to use either so it's all about the fish there. I use RO water for the killifish and dwarf cichlids in the tank and find I have far less problems with fish, plants or algae since using it.

    I'd use a Rhinox diffuser, but most of the glass diffusers are great really.

    I really wouldn't bother with the gravel heating. It may have a small boost in the initial stages but I can't think of anyone on here who uses one, they really don't seem necessary. I also wouldn't bother with both the Tetra and Eco-complete substrates. One or the other will be fine (though I'd use Aquasoil as it's awesome stuff!)

    Power glos are quite pinkish, I'd use a daylight type of tube. Are your tubes T8s (the standard diameter of tube) or T5s (thinner, more efficient tubes)? You want to aim for around 2 watts per gallon of lighting with good reflectors ideally. So I think you'll need a bit more lighting in the long run for a 180 litre tank. I have 90W of T5 lighting with good reflectors over my Rio 180.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. nige2473

    nige2473 Newly Registered

    Messages:
    9
    Many thanks for your quick reply and accurate response im well impressed!my lighting is in T8 format as supplied with the tank and working on the watts per litre im quite a bit under 0.98 i think,another lighting unit might be the order of the day.My worry there is temperature, would you have any recomendations in lighting for a hooded tank from the aqua one range(regency 80).Maybee just a duplicate unit.

    In relation to the discus the supplier i`ll be using is Cherry Hill nurseries,Stokesley,in the north east and they use HMA water however,from what you say about RO water giving you less problems i may use that.What addatives do you use for minerals and also what do you use to bring the PH up,im told RO water is about PH4 in its raw state.Do you use a blackwater extract?I apologise for my my constant questions.
     
  4. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi
    RO water should have a pH of 7 which is neutral. A pH of 4 would be 1000 times more acidic than pH 7. I would advise to ignore the pH of your water for now. The injection of CO2 will lower the pH by quite a bit but this is also unimportant. If you focus on maintaining some target pH you will have more troubles. Let the pH fall where it may and concentrate on keeping your tank spotlessly clean and free of organic waste as much as possible via water changes, and concentrate of dosing the correct level of nutrients to satisfy the plants. Funnily enough the impact of cleanliness and nutrient dosing on a planted discus tank is about 1000 time greater than the impact of the water's pH.

    I would also stay away from as many additives as possible. Ed can tell you more about products for re-mineralizing the RO water, but other than that and nutrients for the plants there is no need for any other products.

    Cheers,
     
  5. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    If your supplier simply uses HMA then I would say you are best to do the same. I started using RO to breed fish that needed it and found that the softer water works best for me. Most people on here use tap water and one guy at least uses HMA for his tank, so anything will work really. Your water needs to be about keeping the discus healthy first and foremost.

    If you do go down the RO route it will allow you to manipulate the water conditions which will help if you want to spawn the discus. In that case you have two easy options. Either mix some filtered tap water back to the pure RO product water to add some minerals back in. (And the easiest way to get filtered water is to use a small amount of the rejected water with the minerals in). Or you can use something like Kent's RO Right to add enough GH. It doesn't effect the KH though but I don't finds that a problem, even when injecting CO2.
     

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