Locked down and short on RO

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by Gaina, 26 Mar 2020.

  1. Gaina

    Gaina Member

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    Hi All,

    I run my 125l aquarium on remineralised RO Water and I have hengels rasbora and Amano shrimp.

    My LFS has closed completely and I've got enough water for one 10% water change plus top-ups. If we are only going to be in this situation for 3 weeks, I might just manage, but any longer and things could get difficult.

    I've been considering my options and here's what I've concluded:

    1 - Softening 'pillows'. The main drawback with these appears to be that they can increase the salt in your water.

    2 - Buy water online (it needs to be delivered to my door).

    3 - Buy an RO Unit. This would be the obvious solution, except I don't have space in an easily accessible area to hook it up. Would a drinking water filter system suffice?

    4. Small water changes with tap water or 10% with a 50/50 mix of tap/RO. My tap GH is very near the limit my fish can stand, and incorrect water hardness was the reason I lost fish when I was a 'newbie', so obviously I'm reluctant to go there (also my tap water frequently smells like chemicals, but I always keep tap water conditioner on hand).

    I also wondered of there an additive which is the opposite of remineraliser and allows you to soften water by a specific amount.

    My aquarium parameters are as follows:

    Tank:
    Gh - 9
    Kh - 4
    Ph - 7.5
    Ammonia - 0
    Nitrite - 0
    Nitrate - 20+ (still in safe zone according to my test kit, but definitely less than 30).

    Tap:
    Gh - 13-14 (I'd say 13.5)
    Kh - 12
    Ph - 7.5
    Ammonia - 0
    Nitrite - 0
    Nitrate - 5 max


    Any advice gratefully recived!
     
  2. Simon Cole

    Simon Cole Member

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    Water butt? rainwater.
     
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  3. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    Hi all,
    Is rainwater a possibility?

    cheers Darrel
     
  4. lazybones51

    lazybones51 Member

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    Our local Maidenhead Aquatics are shut, however if you need food, RO, medicines or something else crucial there is somebody there who will let you in and serve you.
     
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  5. Siege

    Siege Member

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  6. sparkyweasel

    sparkyweasel Member

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    You may have been misinformed there, possibly by some-one selling RO water and remineraliser.

    "Tap:
    Gh - 13-14 (I'd say 13.5)
    Kh - 12
    Ph - 7.5
    Ammonia - 0
    Nitrite - 0
    Nitrate - 5 max"
    should not be a problem for T. hengeli or Amanos.

    I would do small water changes to avoid sudden changes, and gradually let the tank water match your tap water parameters.

    Definitely use a good water conditioner is you can smell chemicals (chlorine?).
    If do you want to soften the water, there are softeners (including 'pillows') for aquarium use. You are right about non-aquarium ones, they replace the hardness with salt, which would be a bigger problem.
     
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  7. MWood

    MWood Member

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    I’m another rainwater advocate. However if that’s not possible, I wouldn’t be too bothered about acclimating them to tap for a shortish period. I’ve done this over dry summers before, while London water is definitely not ideal, I still feel it’s better than not changing water at all.
     
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  8. Gaina

    Gaina Member

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    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I was looking at that site earlier. Unfortunately I have a parent who's under the 12 week stay at home as she's classed as vulnerable, and I live at home so I don't want to risk brining anything home.
     
  9. Gaina

    Gaina Member

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    I've never tested my rainwater to be honest! Might do that tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestion. :)
     
  10. Gaina

    Gaina Member

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    Thanks, I had heard London water was pretty poor! :angelic:

    I guess if I start with 50/50 tap/ro water changes at 10‰ will get me through this initial 3 week period and with at tank my size it's going to take quiet a while to match my tap parameters. :)
     
  11. Gaina

    Gaina Member

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    Thank you :) The info about gh for this species was from all the reliable species profiles online like 'seriously fish' as well as books I have. The max these sources said they can tolerate is 14gh.

    I've got a full bottle of tap water conditioner and I can get more online thank goodness!
     
  12. sparkyweasel

    sparkyweasel Member

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    I love fish books, got a huge collection. But I have found they often tell me things I know are wrong, often apparently copied from one book to another.
    My T. hengeli used to thrive and breed in the tap water at my last house, 17 - 18°DH.
     
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  13. SRP3006

    SRP3006 Member

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    I have kept both of those species and I live in Somerset, I know it doesn't fix your present problem it may be worthwhile to acclimatise them to your tap as it will save a lot of effort in the future.
    Makes water changes easier anyway
     
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  14. Mr.Shenanagins

    Mr.Shenanagins Member

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    You wouldn’t be able to use a portable RO unit? Simply screw into a faucet and then store it away when your done.
     
  15. Dr Mike Oxgreen

    Dr Mike Oxgreen Member

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    I also use rainwater from a butt, with a little tapwater mixed in to give me the hardness I want. I don’t worry at all about airborne pollutants because we’ve made such progress on that in the last 30-40 years that I don’t think it’s an issue any more. The only thing that would give me cause for concern is if I ever have work done on the roof that might introduce new tiles or sealants that might leach things into the rainwater - I would probably stop using rain for a few months.

    You don’t need to test your rainwater. It’ll be zero for all the major parameters you can test for: KH, GH, NH₃, NO₂⁻, NO₃⁻, etc. The pH will be governed by the level of CO₂ in it, which will probably be very low. I doubt acid rain is too much of a problem.
     
  16. Aqua sobriquet

    Aqua sobriquet Member

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    Another Rainwater advocate here. Too expensive to use long term or for large aquariums but is this a possibility?

    https://zerowater.co.uk/
     
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  17. Gaina

    Gaina Member

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    Thank you, that's useful to know. :) I will see the next few weeks as an experiment and seriously consider putting them back on tap.
     
  18. Gaina

    Gaina Member

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    I live with my parents so it's not just me that messing around with an RO unit would impact (I'm not paying the water bill!), and up until now, getting my water from Maidenhead Aquatics has been working out well. :)
     
  19. Gaina

    Gaina Member

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    In principal it's great but I'd need something that did 20 liters at a time to cover weekly water changes plus top-ups. :)
     
  20. Gaina

    Gaina Member

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    Thank you so much for everyone's help. :) I think I've got a good short term plan:

    50/50 RO/tap water changes every 10 days will mean I've got enough RO for 2 water changes plus top-ups, and there won't be any mad parameter swings. That should see me through the 3 week lockdown then I'll reassess things after that.

    On the bright side, if I can get back to tap it means I can have those cherry shrimp I've been coveting. 'Every cloud...' and all that :D.
     

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