03-15-2011, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by rnsheehan21
i have thought about using R/O but i'm not to familiar with it other then what i have read..... is it expensive?.....would bottled or distilled water have the same effect of lowering ph if mixed?
The initial RO units is expensive, a few hundred dollars; but that's the end of the expense. Distilled water will work, so will rainwater. All of these have basically no mineral content. I've never had to go down this road, having very soft tap water, but if I did have hard water and wanted the wild-caught soft water fish I have, I would get a RO unit or use rainwater. But then, I have 7 tanks running and this would be much more economical if necessary, compared to the buffer preparation.
The idea behind mixing water is that it dilutes the hardness and this allows the pH to naturally lower as the water in the aquarium acidifies. The higher mineral content in the tap water acts as a buffer, preventing this natural acidification. So once the tank pH is lower, it is easier to keep it there by using mixed water for water changes.