Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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magic_marty 02-07-2007 03:10 PM

water question
Hi again all..
I have been reading on germen blue rams and from most of the info i have gathered they like soft water.My question is how can i tell what kind of water i have ? and is there anyway to alter the makeup of it ? if its to hard how can i soften it? other then RO is there any other way? My water is rain water witch is stored below ground in a cistren under my garage.It runs through 2 filters one is in the basement it is a sediment filter and the other is under the sink it contains fiber and carbon or charcoal to further filter the water..It comes from the faucet at around 7.6 PH..

Thanks a bunch...

musho3210 02-07-2007 03:46 PM

they like a low ph and at a level of 7.6, it will be hard to acclimate them. If any of them do become aclimated they should be fine but the hard part is the acclimation. You can buy some test kits to find out whether the water is hard or soft.

FDStation152 02-07-2007 03:49 PM

Yeah there are test kits for water hardness aka gH. The pH is definitely too high to successfully keep GBRs. Short of buying a de-ionizing filter or reverse osmosis unit the best way to soften the water is to blend it with either distilled or RO water. The rain water shouldn't be hard but you never know and its work spending the 10-15 bucks for a gh/kh test kit. Don't bother with the test kits that use strips you dip in the water as they tend to be very inaccurate, go for one that uses drops.

magic_marty 02-07-2007 04:10 PM

what stage of RO is recommended ?

FDStation152 02-07-2007 04:18 PM

I'm not sure what you mean. Whenever I'm in need of RO water I just go down to the LFS with some containers and ask for it :)

magic_marty 02-07-2007 04:28 PM

oh ok i see what you mean.I was looking at RO units on ebay and i noticed there are diff stages from a stage 6 to a stage 3 the higher the stage the higher the price i did find a 4 stage that simple hooks to your faucet for around $50.00 but the shipping is non-sense..actually theres 2 of them..

FDStation152 02-07-2007 04:34 PM

What size tank are you going to be using anyway? Unless you are in need of massive amounts of RO water I wouldn't go through the expensive of getting your own RO unit. I think it costs about 50 cents a gallon at the LFSs around here and you can get it in walmart too for about 30-60 cents a gallon.

magic_marty 02-07-2007 05:34 PM

i was thinking ahead when we upgrade to a 55g. I don't have a close lfs but we do have a big wall-mart, ill look to see if they have some next time i go there.From what i have read rain water is naturally soft so i might be fine as far as the hardness of my water but will need to lower the PH.

musho3210 02-07-2007 05:36 PM

lowering the ph can be quite a nuisance too as the ph chemicals do more harm then good, and if you want rams its best to bring the ph below 7 which is very hard to buffer since every time your changing the water, the new water will be 7.6

FDStation152 02-07-2007 05:37 PM

They should...just check back with all the bottled water. Ph can be tricky to get low and stable especially with chemicals so take care with that. My main tank is the only one with a lowered pH and gets no tap water whatsoever. I strictly use reconstituted distilled water with seachem pH buffers. Unlike with using tap water the effects of the chemicals on distilled water will not reverse to some other reading after a bit of time.

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