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  1. I have very hard water. Very. I know this might me anathema around here, but I am tired of trying to grow plants in my water. I'm largely abandoning planted tanks. But, I am not abandoning aquaria! I've decided to rework a 42 gallon bowfront tank that I have filled with N-class Endler's and cherry shrimp. (Don't worry, they happily live down in my aquarium rack in my basement now. Their tank is just not as pretty.) I've decided I wanted to start a tank that looks like saltwater, but in fact contains freshwater fish. My plans are to stock with some Julis (as stand ins for striped blennies) and Cyps (as somewhat less colorful stand ins for Anthias sp.). I have some other plans too, but those two are anchoring my effort. Tangs should love my water and that will make things easier. Plus, it will be fun to have a tank like this I think. I've always liked salt water, but I'm not into the workload that goes into maintaining it. I'll post photos of what the tank looked like at some point, but for now, I'm curious what folks think of the rockwork. It's been a challenge this morning to get it to meet what I am aiming for: not too look too much like a pile of rocks, have caves that will fit the Julis' needs, will potentially province enough space for two Juli territories, and rearranging rocks when my entire arm is numb because the water hasn't warmed up to room temp from my well (which comes out at a balmy 5.5C). Okay that last one could be fixed with patience. So here is a shot of the tank as it is now. What do you think?
  2. Hello all. I have been keeping fish casually for over 30 years but I am not nearly good enough to be at nerm level! I just moved to a new house and it's my first time having well water or hard water. Being a long time viewer of Cory I decided to order the COOP test strips. I ran a couple through my water. Everything was as expected except that the hardness turned a color that isn't even found on the bottle. Does this mean my water is harder than hard or what? Here are the results.
  3. Any good products or ways to soften hard water besides a large water softener?
  4. So where i live i have Incredibly hard water since we get it from the lake in my city. the fish do Great in it and i'm very lucky to live in the same sewer district as my fave lfs so our water is Identical. plants are doing well too, but i'd love to give them a boost. However i really don't know how to approach fertilizing with hard water... i feel like it would mess with the water chemistry and depending on whats already in the water, it may even end up overdosing something. of course i may be over thinking this cause i haven't really seen anything either way, i just am nervous since most people talk about
  5. Hi everyone this test is from my sink and I see I have no chlorine and my water seems hard, any ideas on what fish are appropriate with hard water or what’s the deference between hard water and soft water thank you
  6. Let me start this out by saying, I have super hard well water. There's tons of limestone in the area. I'm fact, about 5 miles down the street is a limestone quarry. On a well water testing kit the GH reads 450 ppm. PH is 8.4. We have a water softener, it sort of works. An RO system is not an option. Fishkeeping started as my pandemic hobby last year. Anyway, my first tank was a 3 gallon with one Betta and some plants. I used UNS Controsoil in that tank. Aquasoil only buffered my water for about 3 months. My biggest struggle with that tank was keeping it balanced. It was an algae filled mess. In January, I bought a 5.5 gallon tank, and switched my substrate to Seachem flourite. This tank has been easier to balance. Yesterday, was tank maintenance and water change day. I looked at my tank and decided to rescape it a bit. Then because I had the day off, I decided to visit two lfs. I bought some limnophila (can't remember what variety), water sprite, and luduwigia repens. After talking to the employee at the first lfs I visited, he thinks the only plant that will make it is the luduwigia. He did say I could set up an African Cichlid tank and they would breed without me having to anything. I really don't want to breed fish lol. I've run peat in a HOB filter before. Currently I only run a sponge filter. Louie my betta can't handle 2 filters running. Sir Nippy Fins (my first Betta) had no issues. Sadly, I lost him after jumped out of a gap in the lid. Indian Almond leaves and Adler cones don't do too much. Mostly, I use them for the tannins. I could mix in a some distilled water every week. Anubias grows well. I have an aponogeton that's pretty happy in my tank. I struggle with crypts. Amazon swords and Java fern merely exist. They don't really grow at all. Java moss and bucephalandra turned into a melted mess. My biggest surprise was red tiger lotus. It did so well, I had to trade it in after it outgrew the tank. The plant had two leaves when I brought it home. Three weeks later it had taken over half the tank. Floating plants are hit or miss. I've tried red root floaters twice. One lfs sells them by the giant handful for $3. My frogbit is doing alright. What other plants that like hardwater should I try? Sorry for the novel length post but I figure there are people who would find a discussion on hard water planted tanks useful. .
  7. 300+ GH, 0 KH, and 6.4 PH Nitrates 25 Nitrite 0 Ammonia 0 Chlorine 0 Temp 74-76 20 gal tank Water varies only slightly and I check everyday. Do I need to do something to my water or is this an acceptable combination for Emerald Corydoras? I have just started a few plants but am adding more. My tank has been cycled now for several months. TIA for your help.
  8. My tap water is TDS 300+. However, my pH is 7.4-7.6 rather than more Alkaline. Is there some mineral component that drives this? I don't think it is a problem but I am curious. In my tanks with plants, peat, leaves my tanks have dropped into acidic ranges while getting ridiculous TDS with water top- offs. That did create problems.
  9. Has anyone had otocinclus in very hard water and high ph. My water is 20dgh, 10dkh, 8.0ph. I've always wanted them but stayed away because they are wild caught and from soft water. I was just curious if anyone had pulled it off successfully?
  10. I live in northern Indiana and we have really hard water. My pH is testing at 8.0 or a bit higher and I know I likely have very hard water even though my test kit hasn't arrived yet so I haven't tested that yet. Anyway, I have a new planted tank (20 gal.) that is currently cycling. Question: how do I safely lower my pH and soften up my water? RO is not an option. I've yet to add any fish or invertebrates to my tank but i want to have things ready when it's time! Thank you in advance!
  11. I just got a gh and kh test kit, and when I tested one of my betta tank's water, it read 21 dGH 😰!! I also tested my tap water and it read 17 dGH. I live in California and the water is supposed to be really hard, but that is still super high. When I used the test strips before, the water tested 180 ppm but that was the max reading on the testing. I'm really freaking out right now, and I'm also highly discouraged because I was really excited to get corydoras and other fish for my new 20 gallon but the gh is way too high I think😭😣. Does anyone know what I should do about my betta tanks and also know any fish for really hard water?? If there is a way I still want to get corydoras.
  12. Hello All, I’m swapping some fish around my tanks and I’m looking for some mid/top level fish for my 29 gal. They will need to live with my Kuhli loaches and Apisto (he’s been in there about 4 years- they need to get along with him). I have very very hard water. temp 79/80 usually. PH- 6.8-7.2 Not looking for guppies or endlers (I have another display tank filled with them). I wanted cardinal tetras originally, I’ve purchased groups twice now and had them all die in quarantine on the 1st or 2nd day. So I’ve basically given up on them. Does anyone have tips on keeping cardinals in hard warmer water? thanks in advance! Just looking for inspiration/information.
  13. Looking to get as much insight as possible on plants that people have had experience are unaffected by 8.2 PH and fairly high GH/KH. So far my list is Pogostemon Stellatus oct., pogostemon Downi/Helferi, Red Leopard Val, Anubias, Red Tiger lotus, and Bacopa. What others do people have experience with that handle hard water well?
  14. So I have had 7 Paracyprichromis nigripinnis (Blue neon herring cichlid) in a tank by themselves for about 6 weeks. I had no deaths for the first 4 weeks (except one a few days after they arrived, I don't think it handled the overnight shipping well - I ordered 8 and it was pale and lethargic compared to the others). Then I had one die with no symptoms, parameters were all perfect (0 amm. 0 nitr. 5-10 nitr. dkh 14 dgh 18 ph 8.0 temp 77), then another several days later, still no symptoms. So I decided to treat with Maracyn and ParaCleanse, per Aquarium Coop treatment suggestions on Wednesday, after vacuuming the tank and doing a water change. I haven't fed since then, and I noticed a bacterial bloom this evening. Tested parameters, sure enough I had detectable nitrite (0 amm. 0.25 nitr. 10 nitr. dkh 14 dgh 18 ph 8.0 temp 77). So I did a 70% water change, being sure to match the parameters before changing. I find this interesting, as @Bill Smith mentioned in a post that he always has bacterial blooms after a Maracyn treatment. I add baking soda and epsom salt to my tap for this tank, since its a Tanganyikan tank. Bill's thought that he gets bacteria blooms while Aquarium Coop didn't in their testing was due to his water hardness. Curious if that could be the case here, since I have such hard water in this tank? I'm also currently treating a 5.5 gallon tank with a group of 9 juvenile white clouds that I just purchased, I haven't yet had a bloom in that tank, but it just has water from my tap, which is sourced from our well (7.4 ph, 4 dkh, 7 dgh). I also am treating that one prophylactically with Ich-X, which I'm not doing is this tank, since none of the fish have shown signs of Ich. I am planning to follow the current treatment with a course of Ich-X for this tank, I was just spacing them out since the Paracyps seem to be more sensitive.
  15. Hello, quick question, have any of you had any luck breeding rams in hard water. My water out of the tap is 7.4 ph with a gh of 8-10 per the api test. Edit: the Columbus 2020 water report states a ppm of 120 which lines up with the api test. Is this too hard for rams if I keep the water clean and temps high? dean talks about high temps, but doesn’t mention soft water. I know he has soft water, but I also know he lived in Ohio for a little. I wonder if dean had any luck breeding them in Ohio. I’m very interested in this fish, but idk if they will fall apart in my water. Thanks!
  16. Hi all. Returning to the hobby after a very long lay off. Ive had issues with my local water supply, extremely hard, and want to use distilled water to start my tanks. What can I use to mineralize my water into average (middle of the road) hardness and mineral levels? Right now I'm working on sub strate, but in a week or two I'll be filling them and buying plants. Thanks in advance.
  17. Shrimp are kind of a white whale thing for me currently as I’ve tried keeping them twice but didn’t succeed either time. The first time I believe was due to molting issues and the second was really unexplained. My water is very hard at about 17 degrees gh and 15 kh. Now the first time I used only my water and lost all the shrimp and did see molting issues. The second time I used 50/50 RO to my water. I still lost all the shrimp and still saw molting issues although less. I did daily tests with the second batch and was sitting around 8-9 gh and 7 kh. Has anyone ever kept neocardinia in hard water. If so what were your experiences?
  18. Looking for some input on whether I should just use my tap water or use RO and remineralize for a planted tank. out of the tap: PH: 7.2 (ish)Ammonia:0ppmNitrite: 0ppmNitrate: 2-5ppmGH: 143.2 (8 dKH)KH: 340.1ppm (19 dKH) just to make things a little more interesting, our tap water often has a very strong sulfur smell to it, not sure how that will effect things. Does anyone see any issues with using water this hard (aside from limiting what livestock can be kept)? Anything I should look out for or be concerned about. My initially concerns are having way too much nutrients and just having an algae bomb waiting to happen. On the other hand I've never used RO water in freshwater applications and am not sure what products to use to achieve a desired chemistry. Long story short, I'm setting up a 5 gallon Fluval Spec V in my office, but we're on well water with incredibly hard water It's been a while since I've done freshwater and plants. I'm just getting back into it after keeping salt water for a while (so I still have my RO/DI unit and all that jazz. So I'm not concerned about equipment) BUT being an office tank - I'm not in everyday of the week so I want to keep it fairly low key, while still giving everything my best effort, and without cutting corners.I appreciate any insightThanks!
  19. Looking to get some more plants. The first round of mostly died or is melting back? im not sure. Instead of fighting my water parameters im looking for plants will survive (most likely) in my hard water. I have liquid rock well water lots of iron, and a tap water softener. I started with just conditioned tap water. NOT GOOD. no minerals. added equilibrium that helped. Now im mixing in the well water with water changes. My lily bulbs took off. Like inches per day its crazy. . So what other plants will thrive in almost liquid rock?
  20. I have wall of dragon stone I created, i stacked and crazy glued it and it looks pretty neat but my water keeps getting harder over time. I live in Washington which has soft water and I have added crush coral to keep my Ph from crashing so not sure if that has help create harder water but my water has gotten harder over time ( yes I do water changes each week). I have even in created the amount of catappa leaves to try and make the water softer. If I am reading my aquarium co op test strips right, my water hardness is getting up to the 150-300 range. I worry that its getting too hard for my betta's. I have a 20 high with a divider so i have a betta on each side. If I pull the dragon stone, is there any other stone that I can use in this tank that wont raise the hardness of the water? OR Is there anything I can use to Seal the dragon stone and be safe in the tank?
  21. Well, I'm in a conundrum and have a controversial question: I have hard water (Ph 8.2, Gh 300, kh 250). I have been setting up a new 95 gallon tank mostly for livebearers, which I enjoy and are well matched for my hard water. So far so good. Now the controversial part: I'd really like to add a single angelfish for a few reasons: 1. I have always wanted an angelfish--I think they're beautiful 2. Its large size will look good in the large tank--right now everything seems a little "undersized" and I think having a larger fish will make the proportions look more balanced 3. It seems like they're a good option for fry control without being too likely to attack my adult livebearers. Now, I am well aware that angelfish are supposed to be kept in soft, acidic water. That's obviously the complete opposite of what I have. So, I've gotten multiple opposing views from my LFS (Ph/hardness aren't important vs. Ph/hardness are super important long term) and from what I've read online about the "okay-ness" of keeping angels in hard water, knowing that it's less than ideal for their physiology. I don't want to be a fish torturer--they're living creatures who deserve to be well cared for. So, this is a pretty research/experience based group--what's your take on angels in hard water? Oh, forgot to add...if it's a "no" for you--have another recommendation for me instead?
  22. Hey everyone, I'm in the process of buying a house that has very hard water but also uses a water softener. As I have planted tanks I'd prefer to remove sodium from the softened water before putting into my aquariums. I've decided to split my outdoor hose line (which uses the regular hard water) and make it accessible to my sink as well as using some RO/DI filtering on the soft water to cut down on the mineral hardness and hopefully maintain some control over the pH. Does anyone have experience with this process? Has anyone installed an RO/DI to remove sodium ions from softened water?
  23. I started this 55 Gal tank around 15 years ago. Its had good times and bad but about to redo it with the largest change it has ever had. I want to get more live plants into it. This has proven to be a bit of a challenge. Last year I added some plant friendly substrate and purchased a a kit of live plants. What I got was a few bags of substrate several small puck size containers that contained plant clipping and a bottle of fertilizer along with some other assorted tools. The Duckweed lasted just over a month before all of it died, of the rest of the plants only some of the moss survived even that long. My Pleco's would not let them alone to allow them to root and since they are as old as the tank I am not getting rid of them. Where I live in South Eastern New Mexico the water here is just about the hardest in the country per the USGS. The water stains on the back should be some indication of how hard the water is as I clean them off every few months. The air here is also very dry. I tend to add 7 to 10 gal of water every other week or so. I have not added fish in about a year and most in the tank are 7 or older. The pregnant Zebra Danio is probably 7 or 8. My question is this, with the goal of making this tank more plant friendly and perhaps more friendly to other types of fish, hard water is hell. What steps should I take and what plants are going to be advised.
  24. I am wanting to set up a 29 gallon medium tech planted tank with Rummynose and Neon Tetras and Cory cats and maybe even a few shrimp...I may even add Co2 someday. My problem is, my city water is so hard it rattles when it comes out of the tap. 😉 Seriously, the API tests results are off the chart with KH at 13 drops and GH a whopping 15 drops....PH around 8.0. In addition, sometimes we’re on city well water and sometimes local lake water. The water department lists, vaguely, that it uses chlorine and chloramines. This is just fine for my Lake Tanganyikan cichlids but I don’t think more sensitive plants and fish will thrive in it. I am seriously thinking about buying the small 4 stage RODI Buddy that sells for under $60. It would be more than enough for my one small 29 gallon tank. I guess my question is; am I better off adding various chemicals and treatments to make my tap water suitable...OR strip my hard water of virtually everything and start with a clean slate and add only what I need to produce the water parameters that I need?
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