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  1. I will admit that probably due to my own negligence over the past 6 month I have been slowly losing fish (my excuse is busy life with 3 young kids). Just recently my two large breeding pair of BN plecos passed on and I had lost most of the babies prior to that. I had also lost all my cories over a couple of months before that. Not sure really why. Water quality by overt appearance is fine. Clear is water with minimal algae and no smell. The tank has been established over a year, well planted and lightly stocked (72g). Shockingly, I have not lost any of my school of cardinals, the only fish remaining, only the bottom dwellers. The other day after dropping some food in and walking away, my eldest told me to come look and a mountain of planaria had come boiling out of the substrate to eat the food. Obviously I need to cut back on feeding since the fish population is so low now. I was thinking of restocking since things have lightened a bit at home with the youngest baby getting a bit older. Does anyone have experience with fish that will eat planaria? Might as well utilize that live food source for the new fish. I was thinking either angels or some other cichlids. Maybe bottom dwellers like Kuhlis or cories?
  2. Yes you have 0 KH so very little buffering capacity. My guess is that the organic acids from the fish waste etc is lowering the pH once you add the tapwater. You can try adding some crushed coral to your filter to add a bit of KH.
  3. How long have the tanks been established, whats in them in terms of decor and livestock and do you know the hardness of your tap water? Its possible that your water is quite soft but has a high pH. Once it hits your tank, the lack of hardness will cause the pH to drop especially if you have lots of sources of natural acids like driftwood and fish waste.
  4. Unless the fish is very sensitive, it should be fine. It would be like soft tap water and you add some aquarium salt to it. Again the amount of salt would be proportional to how much hardness was removed. Fish that like hard water will probably be okay. Fish that dont like hard water still wont like it. Im not sure about plants as some plant dont tolerate salt well.
  5. The hot water tank should be after the water softener. One of the major points of a softener is to protect the hot water tank and make it last longer. The levels of salt will correspond with the amount of hardness present in the water. In essence if the fish could tolerate the hardness, they can tolerate the salt. A softener does not help with fish that actually likes soft water.
  6. While Zerowater claims it produces 0 TDS water, with it being basically a fancy brita filter, it cannot guarantee that over time. The bigger issue is that with Zerowater being a Brita competitor, its not practical to use it to produce the volumes of water that most hobbiests need. RODI is tried and true technology for household, industrial, and scientific use. So many options out there.
  7. Is there any salt left in the water softener? If not then its not really doing anything other than some additional plumbing for the water to go through. A water softener works by replacing the hardness in water with salt. It should not affect the fish as osmotically the water is the same to them. You lose buffering capacity though.
  8. Its possible that CO2 is off gassing from the tap water leading to rising pH levels over time being plateauing. Tap water often has a lot of dissolved gases out of the tap. Try making the RO water and letting it age a day or two first before adding the buffers.
  9. High vs low tech generally refers to whether you have CO2 or not. Unfortunately, I have never grown Marsilea Quadrifolia so I have no idea what substrate it needs. The root tabs seem to be working well!!
  10. Are you planning on doing a carpet or going high tech? If not then you may not need fancy substrate. Just add some root tabs for the root feeding plants. It already looks good. Otherwise, I don't think there is a way of getting anything underneath the existing substrate without pulling everything out and restarting. If you do that you might as well go pure eco-complete and not worry about layering.
  11. True enough, but how many people do you know that has the bad luck of having the bottom fall out of a tank. I guess Im paranoid now. I am wondering if the silicone has weakened over the past 10 years being exposed to air rather than water. I wonder which is more harsh on silicone. I guess its not an immediate leak that concerns me, but whether there is an increased chance of a near term leak. Thanks!
  12. So around 10 years ago I suffered a catastrophic tank failure with a 75g. The tempered glass bottom broke. The tank was an Aqueon and I managed to get a warranty replacement tank and stand. Coincidentally, I was moving out of my parents home and I was not in a position to use the tank for these past 10 years. Hence the new tank has been sitting empty (never touched water) in a climate controlled room for the past 10 years. Now I am in a position to set it up again. What do people think about using this tank? Any potential issues with the seals? I also have some PTSD from the failure and wondering if I should risk a glass tank at all. All thoughts appreciated.
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