softwater buffering, made easy?
sooo for those who werent following, i made the noob mistake of not researching and wound up with rams in with swordtails. go easy, i admit i didnt do my homework! Ive since moved them to a more suitable home, though not one that can necessarily be permenant. its closer to what they need, but not great for the long term. they are in my 20L temporarily with my female bettas at 79 degrees, with driftwood and live plants.
ANYWAY... im not giving up. my current goal is to make a softwater tank with maybe some cardinal tetras, and whatever anyone else can come up with. so here is my question, whats the most reliable, most stable, and most cost effective way to attain a desired Ph and hardness, and keep it where it needs to be?
I'd have to say...that dep what your current source water reads (ph & hardness) and how far you wanna drop it.
I have had 2 different set ups in the past (when I actually had water WITH hardness image that). One route was peat, which works well and effective IF the source water if not too hard/ need too much of a drop. Downside it swings unreliable with water changes and stains your water.
Next approach was collecting rain water, which also works very well cause you can mix it VERY exactly. Downside you can't do it if you eg. live in the city/ polluted area and you'd need a rain barrel to ensure you always have enough water on hand (so won't work if you live in the desert).
What are you water parameters that you want to alter them?
Most fish are pretty adaptable unless your stats are off the scale!
Soft Water Buffering
My water was too hard for my tetras and corys so I started using reverse osmosis water in my 7 gallon water changes each week. I can get the water at the local grocery store for only $ .45 per gallon. My water has gone from moderately hard to approximately 53-60ppm. The ph has dropped from 7.5 to 6.8 and the fish are doing better. I can keep it there by doing water changes with 6 gallons of R-O water and one to one and a half gallons of tap water. I can add extra alkinity if I need to with an alkine buffer. Hope this helps.
By expierimenting in separate container, you can observe the change to the pH,gh,kh, and not cause stress to the fish.
I might consider a smaller tank which would make storing water and amount of R/O needed more manageable.
not sure what the gh or kh is, need to pick up a test kit, but i use private well water. Ph last i checked was 7 if memory serves, i need to grab the kits this week to test. im sure the hardness and ph will have to come down some, but how much i dont know yet
Do keep in mind that Ph of 7.0 is considered neutral and that after a few months,the water in the aquarium will acidify (become softer)through natural processes. This could leave you with suitable water for the Rams and other fish who prefer softer water WITHOUT doing anything to your water unless said fish were wild caught.
oooh i didnt know that 1077, thats interesting, not to mention good to know! my goal at the moment is to make a habitat to make both the female bettas and the rams happy, if only for the time being. I know ultimately they are incompatible water wise, but its the closest i can get for right now. like i said ill get on that test kit thing this week :)
pH 7 is wonderful! If that would check out to be combined with some KH anywhere less then 5 degree...that's wonderful for Tetra I"d even bother then "messing" with that well water.
BTW well water if often very high in minerals, so that alone with no ferts is generally very awesome for planted tank *jealous here8
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