First water change, need advice
It's time for my first water change. I have a 6gal tank that has been going for a month now, with a betta and 2 algae eating shrimp, and 2 live plants. Tank was set up using bottled spring water, as the tap water here is full of iron and a bit hard. Water pH is over 7.6 (limit of the test kit) probably due to the minerals in the spring water, and the GH is about 200 (dH 11.2). I was thinking about adding some distilled water mixed half half with the spring water, and doing a 30% water change. Hopefully this will bring the pH towards neutral, and dilute the hardness a bit. Don't want to shock the critters though, so is this amount of distilled ok to be a gradual change? I would then continue to do future changes as this mixture, or maybe change to using RO water from my LFS. Or maybe the spring water is OK by itself? Future additions to tanks may include 2 oto cats and an ADF, not sure what they like in terms of pH and hardness.
Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thx.
I would recommend converting over to RO water from your LFS. A 6g doesn't warrent buying your own RO machine. Distilled water can cause fluctuations which can shock the fish. As for spring water, the problem with this is that 1, it's expensive, and 2, there's no regulation on it, so it may be jst as bad as your tap or worse.
I agree that messing with pH and hardness isn't a good thing. I have a very high pH and very hard water, and still use tap water.
The iron might be a problem, not sure. How high is the iron? Do you get brown water? If you put bleach in it does the water almost jell-up?
Since it's only a 6 gallon and with the type of fish you have, you could probably just buy 2 gallons of bottled water a week for water changes, or get a faucet mounted filter for the tap and get the cartridge that removes iron.
The most important thing is consistency and they'll be fine. I would do a very small change at first, and then go from there- each day a small change until you are able to perform full changes with whatever water you are going to use.
I was definitely not even considering using the tap water. Ick. I will only be using the bottled water, but was concerned that the pH was too high. I did the water change, adding a 50/50 mix of distilled and spring water. Oddly enough, the distilled had no effect on lowering the pH. As you suggested, I'll continue to be consistent, Fibi seems to be very happy, so the pH mustn't be a problem.
Thanks for your help !
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