water parameters, hardness concerns
I have had several non planted tanks in the past and have now decided to set up my first planted tank. After much research I thougth I had everything planed out for a low light non co2 tank. My last decision was on using tap water or mixing it with RO water. I have researched PH and hardness and came to the conclusion that I would live with the tap water I had since most fish could adjust to different parameters.(I also had lemons tetras in the past that did wonderful in my water for many years) My tap water has a PH of 8.2 and KH of 15. I do not know what the GH is, but I'm sure it is hard. I can not find a liquid test for this in any of my LFS.
I am planning on keeping white cloud mountain minnows, possibly Celestial Pearl Danios and cory cats (if I can determine they are suited for a lower water temperature. Lots of conflicting information) in this first tank. And if all goes well, then I am planning on adding a second tank with tetras.
I ran across a thread by Bryon that talked about water parameters, but now I can't find it. It made me think I might want to mix my water with RO water.
Any suggustions on this would greatly be appreciated.
I can't really help on that other then here is that post from Byron
your tank is alkaline you might want to check and see what fishes like alkaline water since i know tetras like soft acidic water you might want to find ways on softening and acidifying the water.peat is always great so is black water extract.as for hardness in the water adding ro to the tap water mix it will solve the problem.white minnow prefer a cooler tank and so do some plants esp the types like cabomba and milfoil.they will melt and make the tank unsightly if theres not enough nutrients,lighting,co2 and if the tanks too hot.the max heat range they will stand is 28 degrees and if it's long term at 28 degrees and anything is off in the water they will melt as well.so i would stay with stem and hardier plants.since you don't want to add co2 get a canister filter it hep with retaining the co2 in the tank.this is just the basic. bryon will tell you,you will need at least a 6500k tube for optimum growth and seachem flourish as a liquid fert.frequency depends on the size of tank and how heavily stocked in plants is it.
hope this helps till bryon gets here :-D
Thank you for your replies I was hoping to avoid RO water for this first tank. I'm not sure I have any where to buy it. Distilled I can find in gallon jugs, but it will be a pain. My tank isn't that big, 38 gallons. But that still is alot of water I would need to find a way to get home.
try peat,black water extract or a bogwood :-D
I believe most grocery stores, and walmart supercenters have ro water, the water stations that they have which you can fill bottles or bring your own in to refill. Might want to check that out. I would suggest reading the article that was linked on water hardness and ph. You will probably only need to use a mixture of the tap water and ro to get something that will work. Also I believe that I read that boiling water and than letting it cool will also help to soften the water, not completely sure but thought I read it in a post somewhere. Hopefully someone elese with more experience will be able to give you more help.
Also welcome to TFK :)
Given the fish mentioned earlier, I would suggest basically staying with the water you have. The corys are the only really questionable fish, and if you stick with the "common" species that are commercially raised, Corydoras paleatus, Corydoras aeneus, and some of the spotted species, you should be OK.
Having siad that, it wouldn't hurt to dilute the hardness a tad. The Celestial Pearl Danio comes from basic (pH above 7) water but water that is still quite soft, so I wuld not want to try this beauty in too hard a water. You can do this with RO, distilled or rain water. Diluting the tank by half will reduce the water hardness by half, etc.
Thank you for your response. I think I will stick to my tap and white clouds and corys for now. If I decided to get the CPD later I will see what I can do about the water before getting them.
Kitten Penang, I was curious about the Blue tetras. I have heard they are very nippy and can be aggressive. Do you find this to be true?
yup it's true.they tend to rule the front portion of the tank and play tag there.they aren't afraid of me unlike the blacks,golds or neons.these guys are the braver members of the tetra family.in smaller tanks they can be aggressive to a point where other tetras will die from their constant harassment.it's best kept in a species only tank imo.unless it's a very large tank and they have ample hiding places for the more meek ones
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