Very thorough answer Darrel thanks. Kinda get most of that I think haha. Basically you’re saying my water is ok. Is it worth thinking about an RO unit that kinda not OTT but helps with water changes and making the water a bit purer?Hi all, You still have soft water.
All the water companies add phosphates (PO4---) and inject sodium hydroxide (NaOH) to raise the pH of tap water. This raises the pH and the combination of insoluble metal phosphates and alkaline pH stops any lead (Pb), zinc (Zn) or copper (Cu) going into solution from old copper pipes, brass fittings, soldered joints etc. At the moment the EU are very strict on heavy metal limits, and they have gone from the WHO 50 ppb limit to 10 ppb and eventually 5 ppb, although I suspect the 5 ppb won't happen in the UK post-brexit.
Because NaOH is a <"strong base"> (it entirely disassociates into Na+ and OH- ions), you don't need to add very much to raise the pH of the water. But it doesn't add any buffering (buffers are weak bases and acids). I wouldn't worry too much, the pH will settle back to a baseline level fairly quickly after water changes. Vegetated soft water <"naturally differs in pH during the day">, due to the changes in ratio of dissolved oxygen and CO2.
In soft water I'm always more interested in conductivity (which you've measured as ppm TDS) than pH. You know that there isn't much NaOH in the water, because the Na+ and OH- ions will raise conductivity, your conductivity is still low, so there wasn't much NaOH added.
So just cycle the Amazonia with the usual tap water? Was mentioned about adding Potassium Bicarb to give it something to bite on before with the issues I had with neons and fish becoming stressed etc. But I’ve now added more wood and Amazonia and not too much rock so if I keep checking ph ideally I want the ph to balance as a set number with the Amazonia if I check it daily - bearing in mind it’s 7.7 when it goes in from the tap.
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