05-27-2008, 10:08 PM
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I have been thinking all day about your problem, and if you're up to experimenting with water testing, there might be 1 other long term solution that is cheaper than the chemicals, and much more natural.
Try using distilled water mixed with your tap water... it will take some testing to see how many parts distilled to how many parts tap, but this would be just as safe provided your tap water is giving you reasonable readings. Distilled water is much cheaper than the chemicals, and there is less chance of "messing something up" while using it... just don't use straight distilled water. Distilled water doesn't contain the mineral content that your tap water does (it doesn't contain any at all, the distilling process removes everything) and your fish need some of that mineral content... so mixing it will simply dilute your tap water.
Keep us posted!