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RO or Tap Water

RoasterToaster

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Hey guys. I’m just in the process of setting up a large planted tank that I’ve converted from my old mixed reef.
I’ve tested my tap water and it’s currently sitting at
pH 7
KH 2-3
GH 2
NO3 0
TDS is usually in the 40-50 range
Would you recommend using this to run the tank (will start off low tech but totally open to the idea of CO2 injection as needed) or am I better off using RO?
I’m assuming with either I’m going to need to buffer up both KH and GH?
I’m currently thinking of planting up with Asian plants and populating with Asian fish (barbs etc)
Substrate is lava rock topped with aqua soil and finished with sand. I am using seiryu rock and azalea root for the aqua scape.
Would appreciate any insights regarding this and water chemistry. Many thanks
 
Solution
I’ve used Equilibrium on a small tank before for GH
I would personally stay away from Seachem Equilibrium for two main reasons. The first one being the reason provided by Darrel (which is already a good enough reason), the second and I would say the most important in my opinion, is that you will end up with very high amounts of Potassium specially if you don't do heavy WCs religiously. In fish only tanks or in tanks with very hardy plants where plants are not the main attraction, that's fine but when you start having many delicate plants SP and start focusing more into plant health etc, high amounts of K can be detrimental on the long run.

You can buy Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium separately and add what you need instead and...

Hanuman

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Your TAP is beautiful, but does the tap stays like this year round? If so you have absolutly no reason to use RO. Anyone reading your post will envy you having such tap water.

Seiryu stone will leach carbonates in the water more so when you start injecting Co2 due to acidity, so your KH will go up. Not a big deal but certain plants will not like it although that’s just a small % of them. Personally I don’t like rocks that leach carbonates because that means your KH is fluctuating from early week to week end and if there is one parameter I like to keep stable and constant, it’s KH. But that is just me. Many people use seiryu with no issues.
 
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RoasterToaster

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Thanks both. Yes tap water levels (well at least tds) stays fairly constant throughout the year. I never needed to test tap water for the reef tank as I would only use RODI. As tds doesn’t fluctuate much I can only assume other parameters are fairly stable.
I live in South Wales so my water comes from the valley reservoirs so we are pretty lucky. I just checked the quality report and NO3 didn’t exceed 5.8 last year!!!
I assume I’ll need to buffer the carbonate leaching from the rock to maintain stable KH throughout the week?
Would I need to raise KH & GH of the tap water or are they fine this low?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
.. ........ I live in South Wales so my water comes from the valley reservoirs so we are pretty lucky.............
I assume I’ll need to buffer the carbonate leaching from the rock to maintain stable KH throughout the week?
Would I need to raise KH & GH of the tap water or are they fine this low?
You can keep the water soft, the pH won't be stable, but it doesn't matter.

Stable pH only exists in strongly carbonate (dKH) buffered water, like sea water, or Lake Tanganyika.

That is why you can get hard corals, maerl or shell beds, the pH never dips below pH 7 and biogenic aragonite CaCO3 is potentially eternal, even after the organism that has created has perished.

Freshwater is much more variable and a lot of the plants and fish we keep come from very soft water.

Have a look at @Roland 's posts, he raises dGH, but leaves dKH very low.

Cheers Darrel
 

RoasterToaster

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Thanks Darrel, I’ll keep all that in mind. I’ve used Equilibrium on a small tank before for GH as I was using RODI (should’ve just tested my tap water and saved me some hassle!!!)
 

Hanuman

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I’ve used Equilibrium on a small tank before for GH
I would personally stay away from Seachem Equilibrium for two main reasons. The first one being the reason provided by Darrel (which is already a good enough reason), the second and I would say the most important in my opinion, is that you will end up with very high amounts of Potassium specially if you don't do heavy WCs religiously. In fish only tanks or in tanks with very hardy plants where plants are not the main attraction, that's fine but when you start having many delicate plants SP and start focusing more into plant health etc, high amounts of K can be detrimental on the long run.

You can buy Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium separately and add what you need instead and will still have paid less than Seachem Equilibrium. You can then use the < IFC Calculator > to make all the calculations you need in one go.
 
Solution

RoasterToaster

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Thanks for all the replies. The tank has been running around 3/4 weeks and all my Pogostemon helferi melted within a week or 2. I’ve now realised they need harder water than I used 🤦‍♂️
I had some equilibrium left over from a smaller tank so have upped GH to around 5 (KH is still around 2). I’m hoping this may help the Pogostemon (if there’s any root left to regenerate?!). My other Pogostemon (erectus) also disappeared and I’ve had an Anubias fall apart (rhizome above substrate).
It’s a new tank and all plants were grown emersed so I guess it’s wait and see whether it’s change of environment or tank parameters that are having this effect
 

RoasterToaster

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aquaessentials
All plants were ordered with next day delivery so were in transit only minimal time. The Anubias started losing leaves and when I looked at the rhizome it was going bad. I had it wedged between a stone and azalea root
 

RoasterToaster

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I also have an Anubias coffeefolia that is showing browning of the leaves on the ends, wondering if it’s due to the same reason as other Anubias or whether too much light? (I know this isn’t plant health forum so apologies just replying to previous question)
 

dw1305

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RoasterToaster

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CCBC4116-1B4D-4C8C-9DEF-303757960284.jpeg
 

RoasterToaster

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This is the coffeefolia. I was just blowing it with a baster to clear some debris off the leaves and one just came off.
How long with ammonia for Anubias to start shedding leaves? As they have been in from the beginning and I used aqua soil so obviously there is ammonia release. I measured ammonia early on and it was all eaten up within a week or so. I was unaware they could be so susceptible to ammonia
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
....... This is the coffeefolia. I was just blowing it with a baster to clear some debris off the leaves and one just came off.....
I'd guess that those are fairly old leaves, which have dried out and crisped around the edges before they were in the tank.
How long with ammonia for Anubias to start shedding leaves?
I don' t know I'm afraid. The time I experienced it I was away from home and it was only much later that I found the answer.

Cheers Darrel
 

_Maq_

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all my Pogostemon helferi melted within a week or 2. I’ve now realised they need harder water than I used 🤦‍♂️
I had some equilibrium left over from a smaller tank so have upped GH to around 5 (KH is still around 2). I’m hoping this may help the Pogostemon (if there’s any root left to regenerate?!). My other Pogostemon (erectus) also disappeared and I’ve had an Anubias fall apart (rhizome above substrate).
They don't need harder water. Howgh.
 
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