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Buffering RO water

This is a discussion on Buffering RO water within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by maxw47 Impresive tanks! I see what you're saying. I guess I didn't realize dirt had such highs and lows. Would you ...

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Old 11-06-2012, 07:20 PM   #21
 
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Impresive tanks! I see what you're saying. I guess I didn't realize dirt had such highs and lows. Would you recommend the plant substrates or just regular sand for the soft water tanks?
I've tried one enriched substrate, Flourite, and found it disappointing. It cost a lot, $180 compared to $14 for playsand for the same sized tank. I've had it in my 70g for 19 months now. I would not waste the money. My plants (same species, under the same light, with same fertilization) in the sand and gravel tanks are doing just as well. Now, having said this, I have read that some of the newer substrates are better. But still seems a money pit to me. Another issue is substrate fish, some will not do well over these because they are angular and a bit sharp. I had to remove my corys from the 70g, and I would never have loaches in this. I'm planning on tearing this tank down one day and replacing the Flourite with sand; I have the sand, just getting myself geared up to washing it.

Quikrete Play Sand from places like Home Depot or Lowe's is very inexpensive and works well; I now have it in 5 tanks. Liquid fertilizers are sufficient; I do also use substrate tabs in 2 tanks but only for the larger swords plants and the Tiger Lotus lilies.

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Old 11-06-2012, 07:27 PM   #22
 
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That helps a lot. Another trap I would fall into if it wasn't for you! Should I be take caution on how much aroganite sand I put in the tank? For eample, if the tank was ten gallons, should I put 10 pounds in? That's what I do with other substrates.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:46 PM   #23
 
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That helps a lot. Another trap I would fall into if it wasn't for you! Should I be take caution on how much aroganite sand I put in the tank? For eample, if the tank was ten gallons, should I put 10 pounds in? That's what I do with other substrates.
I go by the depth. You probably want about 1.5 to 2 inches overall (by which I mean the depth of the washed sand across the entire tank floor after you dump it in and before aquascaping). I have this in my smaller tanks. In the 115g I probably have 3 inches. Then you can slope it with less at the front (1 inch is fine) and more at the back where the larger-rooted plants will be. Heavy chunks of rock can be used to build up deeper levels, though frankly they tend to level out over time anyway. This applies to the aragonite sand in the livebearer or the inert playsand in the other.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:58 PM   #24
 
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Alright. I think that answers all of my questions. Thank you so much for all of your help and advice.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:12 PM   #25
 
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Alright. I think that answers all of my questions. Thank you so much for all of your help and advice.

You're very welcome. Don't hesitate to ask us questions, ever. That's why we're all here, to help each other.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:09 PM   #26
 
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Hmm, you inspired another question! What other plants besides val. likes the aragonite sand and hard water? Oh, and what lights would you run on a tank with this sand (10 gallons)?

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Old 11-07-2012, 11:34 AM   #27
 
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Hmm, you inspired another question! What other plants besides val. likes the aragonite sand and hard water? Oh, and what lights would you run on a tank with this sand (10 gallons)?
Most plants will manage in harder water. Corkscrew Vallisneria is just one that really does better in harder water, and it is a lovely plant; check the profile. Also browse the others, the water params are given where this is important. Off the top of my head, I can't imagine any of the commonly-available plants not coping.

On the light, what fixture do you have? Be specific (if fluorescent tubes, what is the tube length), and what is the tank length?
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:05 PM   #28
 
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On one of the ten gallons, I have just one T8 tube, 20 inches. The other has 2 compact flourescents.
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:09 PM   #29
 
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On one of the ten gallons, I have just one T8 tube, 20 inches. The other has 2 compact flourescents.
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Both are fine. With the fluorescent tube, find one with a Kelvin around 6500K, anywhere between 5000K and 7000K is good. I like the Life-Glo 6700K by Nutrafin or the UltraSun 6500K by ZooMed. In T8 obviously, the T5 (which won't work in your fixture) are getting common.

For the screw-in, two 10w Daylight 6500K CFL bulbs. I use the GE, but Sylvania and Phillips also make similar. Just make sure it is the 6500K, might take a bit of looking as these are ot as common as the warmer CFL's. And 10w is plenty.

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Old 11-07-2012, 04:47 PM   #30
 
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The T8 that I have been running is an Aqueon Full Spectrum Daylight. It says nothing about color temp though. Is this fine?
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