Ideal Water Parameters

Ryouku2015

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Hi

I have a 240l tank that I have now converted to a high tech planted tank. Ive decided to use RO water and remineralise as my tap water is terrible (about 60-80ppm nitrate and very hard water) and have been deciding on what parameters to aim for and so far ive settled on a pH of 7, GH of 6 and KH of 5.6 i wanted to check if these are ok.

Also, the fish I have don't require anything special in terms of water softness from what ive researched. I plan to swap my existing water over by doing 25% water changes twice a week until it changed to the RO water.

Any help is greatly appreciated
 

Sam the Slayer

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Probably splitting hairs here as your aims seem good but I have a better time with most plants with a lower kh. I currently keep a kh of 1 via k2co3. Seems to be a good balance for me with a lower kh and lower potassium (only additional from kno3 and kh2po4).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Edvet

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Except for a very few plants which have soft water requirements i would aim to use tap water. Nitrates won't be a problem ( we add it in large amounts in the EI system, it's plantfood) and hardness will not be a problem for the most plants. Evidence can be the multitude of beautifull tanks here on the forum from UK hard water regions.
Using tap water will make doing waterchanges ( much needed in a high tech tank) far easier.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Welcome to UKAPS.

Have you had a look at the <"Strood Aquarist Society factsheets?"> I'm not sure there is much specifically on plants, but some of the species accounts have <"plant data in them">.
i would aim to use tap water.
I tend to agree with @Edvet, all the other options are more problematic in the long run.
high tech planted tank. Ive decided to use RO water and remineralise
Could you use rain-water rather than RO? I know you live in a <"dry part of the country">, and would need a lot of water for high tech, but it is a cheaper and (more <"environmentally friendly">) option.
about 60-80ppm nitrate and very hard water)
Your water will be hard, because it has come from a chalk aquifer (even if it is reservoir water). If you only have <"carbonate hardness"> (most of us do in the UK) then your tap water will be about 18dKH & dGH.

You shouldn't have more then 50 ppm NO3, because that is the EU limit. Water companies have made a lot more effort to comply with NO3 limits in recent years. Most years now water companies don't have any breaches of NO3 limits (which wasn't always true in the past).

You should be able to get accurate water parameters from your water supplier (SE Water?), test kits often aren't very accurate.

cheers Darrel
 
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Ryouku2015

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Hi thanks for the replies everyone, I did think 60 was high its just impossible to read the kits once it's starts going to the reddish colour area.

My hardness according to southeast water is 18 degrees. I'll still most probably use the ro only because I use it for my shrimp (crystal red and black), it's not too bad as I can fill 25l in 30 minutes with 1.5:1 waste ratio. If I didn't have the shrimp I'd use tap.

Also for the rain water if I did how would I collect it only as we have water butts but wouldn't trust the water from them especially with some of the stuff that's come out of them in the past
 

Ryouku2015

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Also if I used ei salts how would I go about changing the dose as ideally I'd want to do 25% water changes weekly or 50% every 2 weeks if possible as the tank is well filtered and heavily planted. You'll have to excuse me if I'm being optimistic as I've only done lower maintenance tanks in the past
 

Simon Cole

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Hi thanks for the replies everyone, I did think 60 was high its just impossible to read the kits once it's starts going to the reddish colour area.
The test kits are very unreliable. 60 ppm is a great nitrate level to have and you don't need to worry.

we have water butts but wouldn't trust the water from them especially with some of the stuff that's come out of them in the past
Water is water - just give your water butt a rinse occasionally and keep the lid on.

Plus final question what would be a good fast growing carpeting plant
Hemianthus callitrichoides would look neat. Why don't you post a picture of you tank and ask members for suggestions?

With relation to the dosing, I'll leave it to somebody on here with more knowledge than me.
 

ian_m

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Please please please don't rely on test kit results to work out your tank build/stocking/maintenance regime. We have seen so many many disasters here, where tank has turned into a complete unrecoverable disaster, at monster expense, and the start of the path to disaster has always been...."but my test kit said"....

I seriously doubt nitrate in your water will be greater than the EU illegal of greater than 50ppm, just shows you why hobby grade test kits are so unreliable.

Please read this...
https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/what-about-test-kits.52487/

Then either put test kit back on shelf and ignore or if you feel like your really really must test something buy a proper quality (non hobby grade) test kit, bearing in mind even these will have issues testing for nitrates and phosphates due to other ions present in tank water.

eg Nitrate test kit.
https://uk.hach.com/nitrate-test-kit-model-ni-11/product?id=26427780260&callback=pf

I have never tested my water, can't see why I would ever want to, I just work with my extremely convenient and cheap but very very hard (2nd highest in UK) tap water. I am seriously considering getting my fish neutered to stop the b*ggers breeding as well as using plant killer to stop the plants trying to take up 100% of the tank volume each week !!!

You would be much better spending you effort and worries on sorting CO2 levels, flow and distribution. Most of the issues people have with planted tanks are nothing to do with water quality but poor CO2 levels, poor CO2 flow and poor CO2 distribution.
 

sparkyweasel

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Another approach to the water butt is to leave the lid off, put some pond snails in to eat leaves etc that fall in, and stock it with daphnia and cyclops. That gives you a source of free live food, and a warning if anything bad happens to the water quality, as those crustaceans are more sensitive than fish or shrimps. As long as they are alive the water is fine.
 

Ryouku2015

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Thank you really appreciate it, I'll make sure to take the test kit results with a pinch of salt, and nice idea on the water butt might give it a try as we have some pond snails spare.

In regards to co2 flow I've got a 2kg cyclinder that goes to a dennerle flipper the larger model. And for flow filter wise I've got a fluval 306 and eheim classic 350 at each end of the tank. One outlet points length ways of the tank whereas the other points towards the centre. The flipper is under the outlet that points the length of the tank. I take it the flow from these would be enough as I know flow/circulation and filtration are different.

As for photos I'll post some when I'm home from work and if anyone has suggestions fire away as I'm always up for tweaking and improving
 

Ryouku2015

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Also forgot to mention as far as lighting goes plant wise it 4 fluorescent tubes at 54w each with reflectors
 

Simon Cole

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Does the Dennerle Flipper actually work? I would have thought that you would be looking at an inline diffuser or a large CO2 reactor.
 

Ryouku2015

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That's what I was investigating, as it definitely diffuses in a sense as the bubbles that travel up it get small until there pin sized. I'm trying today as once my tank lights and co2 switch on I'll keep an eye on the indicator and see if I get the same response as my bazooka
 

Edvet

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These flippers work but wont deliver large amounts of CO2. When used with low tech levels of light theygive a positive growth effect, for higher light levels i wouldn't even try.
 

Ryouku2015

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If not what would be better an inline diffuser or the bazooka my only concern with the inline is the outlet point slight towards the waters surface and don't want to waste loads of co2
 

Edvet

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Both will be able to deliver more, adjusting light levels to CO2 availability will always be prudent.
For optimal CO2 delivery we like to see about an full point pH drop ( before lights on) and a flow of about 10X tank volume, best with a spraybar.
Remember you can do wilth less CO2, just adjust lightlevels. (it's far easier to give high light then to give high CO2)
 

Ryouku2015

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Thank you I shall have a tinker with the co2 and lights, very last questions is with the two filters how would you have the spray bars from the sides going across the tank, or from the back to the front. Or one of each
 

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