Rainwater as an alternative....
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Rainwater as an alternative....

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Rainwater as an alternative....
Old 06-29-2013, 12:24 PM   #1
 
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Rainwater as an alternative....

I've been thinking about using Rainwater as part of my water replacement after a water change. It's summer here in Florida which means lots and lots of rain, and my tap water is 0.50 ppm of Ammonia present. My BB has not fully established itself yet, and I'd like to lower my Ammonia levels without adding more. RO water and distilled water are in my radar, but I'd like to go for Rainwater first. Any opinions? Maybe advice from actual experience?

I also hear that it can lower ph by using those waters, but my tap water Ph is at 7.4-7.8 which I am assuming is an okay level to be at, right? So if I use any of the three, how should I keep my Ph up? Should I use partial tap, partial rain/RO/distilled?
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:52 PM   #2
 
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We live in the same town. Too many possibilities for hydra, mosquito and dragonfly larvae, and others for me to want to try that. I filter my water through an RO/DI but out of the drinking spout. So it is filtered with a sediment sleeve, two carbon blocks, but not the DI resin which was removed a couple years ago when we got out of keeping sw.
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:14 PM   #3
 
WELCOME TO TFK!

I tried rain water with very poor results, but I was collecting from a downspout from a shingled roof in Central New York. I let it rain awhile to rinse the roof, but between pollutants and residual roof crud, it was a disaster.

If your location is relatively free of air pollution and you have a clean collection system, you should be okay. Remember though that like RO, RO/DI, DI and distilled water, rain water alone is too pure for tropical fish. You should mix 50/50 with ground water to provide the necessary minerals and/or add minerals and trace elements as you would for RO water.

Good luck - keep us posted.
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:54 AM   #4
 
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I agree with what others have said, but I don't want to add more negatively so I will be positive and encourage you to use this. But provided it is safe from contaminants of course. And if you have soft water fish.

With respect to the pH, this would depend upon the fish. If you have hard water fish like livebearers, rift lake cichlids, etc. then the fussing to increase the pH would make me forget using rainwater. But if you have soft water species like tetra, rasbora, and all the others, then this will be ideal if the pH lowers into the 6's as it might, depending upon the volumes mixed and your tap water GH and KH/Alkalinity.

Now to the ammonia. By "BB" do you mean beneficial bacteria? Are there live plants in the tank? These (live plants) will help you with the ammonia in the tap water and they also make "cycling" unnecessary if there are enough of them. I'll wait for your response before going further on this. Except to say that once the tank is established and especially with live plants, the 0.5 ammonia in the tap water will not be problematic at water changes. A conditioner that detoxifies ammonia (many do, it will say on the label) will deal with the initial influx, and then the plants and bacteria will deal with the rest.

Byron.
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:03 PM   #5
 
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Yeah, I don't know about using the rainwater for now, too risky at the moment after I just got the tank cleared and hopefully established. Thing is, I've been told in another forum that API Freshwater Master Test Kit might be off with the Ammonia count when using Prime, is that true? Because my tests show that I have 4.0ppm but the fish and shrimp are active, eating anything I drop into the tank, even stealing from each other(shrimp from the tetras). Also, I have another question while I have you here, Byron. 150 watt light bulb; could that be used as a plant light for my 20g?

Now the plants that I've got are: 1 Amazon Sword, 1 Melon Sword, Java Moss, and 1 Anubias that came with a lava rock as an anchor. I plan to get Wisteria soon, and maybe Java Fern as well. On top of that, that supplement you told me of from SeaChem, that has Copper in it and I've got shrimp. That'd kill them, wouldn't it?

And I thank you for being helpful, all of you. ^_^
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:14 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Thing is, I've been told in another forum that API Freshwater Master Test Kit might be off with the Ammonia count when using Prime, is that true? Because my tests show that I have 4.0ppm but the fish and shrimp are active, eating anything I drop into the tank, even stealing from each other(shrimp from the tetras).
It isn't that the kit is off, it is how it works, and most other kits are the same. The ammonia test measures total ammonia which means ammonia (toxic) and ammonium( non-toxic). Prime and similar products detoxify ammonia by changing it to ammonium. So this will still show in tests, but be harmless. Prime remains effective for up to 48 hours, but by then the plants and bacteria will probably have things in hand.

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Also, I have another question while I have you here, Byron. 150 watt light bulb; could that be used as a plant light for my 20g?
No. At that high a wattage, it will be too much light intensity over a 20g, whatever type it may be. Over a 20g, if you have aqn incandescent (screw-in bulb) fixture, use two 10w Daylight CFL bulbs. Daylight means a 6500K rating. GE make these. The 10w should be adequate, or 13w, but no more.

Quote:
Now the plants that I've got are: 1 Amazon Sword, 1 Melon Sword, Java Moss, and 1 Anubias that came with a lava rock as an anchor. I plan to get Wisteria soon, and maybe Java Fern as well. On top of that, that supplement you told me of from SeaChem, that has Copper in it and I've got shrimp. That'd kill them, wouldn't it?
No. The level of copper in Flourish or similar products is not sufficient to harm invertebrates unless you overdose, and quite a bit at that.

Byron.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:13 PM   #7
 
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So a 10w or 13w. . Hm, this is on basic light bulbs, right? I've got a lamp with a bendable neck, so I was thinking of using it as a light for the tank while I collect some money to buy one of those LED light fixtures for plants. It's pretty expensive for those lights. It almost made me choke on my cola when I saw the prices. . Okay, maybe not that shocking but it's still pretty pricey.


Addition : Nevermind, I researched it, I get what you're talking about now. Awesome.

Last edited by T4V3N; 07-01-2013 at 05:18 PM.. Reason: Addition to post.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:34 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T4V3N View Post
So a 10w or 13w. . Hm, this is on basic light bulbs, right? I've got a lamp with a bendable neck, so I was thinking of using it as a light for the tank while I collect some money to buy one of those LED light fixtures for plants. It's pretty expensive for those lights. It almost made me choke on my cola when I saw the prices. . Okay, maybe not that shocking but it's still pretty pricey.


Addition : Nevermind, I researched it, I get what you're talking about now. Awesome.
Just to ber sure...CFL means Compact Fluorescent, they are the energy-saving spiral screw-in bulbs. I have two 10w 6500K CFL over my 10g and 20g, plants are thriving.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:50 AM   #9
 
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Went hunting, not thoroughly but at Home Depot for those bulbs, since I was there for other reasons. Highest I saw was 5000k, then again I didn't see GE surprisingly. I also just bought a 45G tank that has flourescent lighting, sooo what do I go for on those for plants?
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:07 PM   #10
 
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On addition to the bulb on the 45 g, it's a 24" 17 w full spectrum T8
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