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  1. First time poster here...I did try to search for an answer but couldn't find it. Great forum with tons of knowledge being shared though! I'm about to get a new 40 gallon breeder going and am going to be planting it using eco complete, root tabs, and easy green. I saw one of Cory's videos suggesting stocking it with some bolivian rams, black phantom tetras, and julii corydoras and I really like that idea. I have an under the sink RODI unit that I use for my smaller shrimp tank. Should I go RODI water for the 40 gallon or my tap water? I just tested my tap water and here's what I got: pH = 6.8 No ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates. GH = 0-.5 KH = 2 TDS = 80ppm Thanks!
  2. Hi- I have a 75g that has been set up for 20months. Fully planted, high light, co2 for fun. I had been doing 2-4 pumps per day of Easy Green over the life of the tank. My city must be adding something in the water for winter as now when I change water my nitrate levels stay at 20ppm. Any opinions if I should continue to dose? Thinking I may be missing some other elements If I stop - but nitrates seem to be staying at 20 even without dosing. In the past my nitrates would drop significantly each day.
  3. After my newly set up 55gal unstocked planted aquarium was reading at 40~60ppms, I checked my faucets parameters. This is the reading of the faucet water with dechlorinater in it. Nitrates: 20ppm, ph is at 8.2., ammonia is at 0~0m25ppm. Is this normal? Also, after a 50% water change my waters sitting at about 40ppms still and ph is now 7.8. Should i do another 50% water change? Are there any products that are shrimp and scaless fish safe to adjust the water during water changes? Im currently using prime to dechlorinate. Im getting a reverse osmosis system for my sink for drinking water. Should I use that water instead? Im hoping to have shrimp in the tank
  4. Hi, I'm pretty new to the hobby and am enjoying this forum! I have the API master test kit and recently noticed a trace ammonia reading in one of my tanks. This was new, so I tested my tap water. The tap water reads 1 ppm ammonia! After 48 hours or so in the fish tank (it is fully cycled), the water will be down to trace to no ammonia. Any chance this 1 ppm reading is an artifact? Should I be concerned? I don't want to stress the fish every time I do a water change, but tap water is sort of my only option for water changes. I know our city water has chlorine and chloramines in it. Any help appreciated.
  5. last saturday i redid a tank that had leaches that came in on some plants. ive had 2 of them sitting in a tub of water straight from the tap (no dechlorinator). our water is very hard and mineral rich here so i wanted to see what effects this would have on the leaches. its now thursday and they are still going strong. not sure what this proves besides them being unnecessarily hardy but i’ll see how long it takes for them to finally kick the dust. there are some pond snails in the tub that are still going strong too which is interesting.
  6. My Southern California water is hard, high-pH, and contains high quantities of chloramines. I have 13 tanks at last count. That's a lot of buckets to dechlorinate on water change day! About a year ago, I took the plunge and researched what it would take to pre-filter my tap water so that I could refill tanks directly, I'm really glad I did, because in the long run, it has saved me more hours than I can count! Thankfully, it's a lot easier than it might seem. Below I will walk through the steps the average household can take to set it up, to show how easy and effective it really is! Plan on a $100 total expense. (All links are non-affiliate) (I have ripped off illustrative pics from the internet. He had it coming.) (Apologies to our overseas friends; this is how I did it in the U.S.) I'm assuming you know how to connect push-fit quick-connectors: Push, then pull, then insert a blue clip. PARTS: 1. 2 x Clear filter housings for 10" x 2.5" filters: 1/4" ports ($28) (clear is useful to see how dirty the sediment filter is) 2. Sediment Filter Cartridge: 1 micron ($7) (you could get 5 micron, but at this cost, why?) 3. Chloramine Carbon Block Cartridge: 1 micron ($20) (this cartridge is overkill if you're only treating for chlorine) 4. RO Canister Wrench ($7) (must-have for opening/tightening canisters) 5. Threaded fittings for RO canister housings: 1/4" ($7) (this is a basic selection; you can get more fancy here: elbow, direct connection, etc.) 6. Water supply RO adapter ($11) (basic is generally fine) 7. 25'-50' of 1/4" RO hose ($9) (how much do you need to reach your tanks?) 8. Assorted RO hose fittings ($12) (buy them all; you'll use more than you think!) 9. Vaseline or silicone grease 10. Teflon tape. STEP 1: Tap into the Cold Water Supply Pick a room with running water. I used my kitchen sink because of its proximity to big tanks, but bathroom or laundry hookups will do. Right where the cold water supply feeds the faucet, you can easily install the adapter valve. To install, simply: 1. Place a towel under the cold water shut-off valve. 2. Turn off the cold water valve. 3. Disconnect the hose to the faucet. 4. Install the adapter (use teflon tape for the threads!). 5. Close the new adapter's valve. 6. Reattach the faucet hose. 7. Turn the water valve back on! Here's a not-very-helpful picture of my installation. I have a RO-drinking water unit, so I had a similar adapter already installed: I do not worry about water temperature when refilling my tanks. I can't prove it, but I've heard that a quick blast of cold water simulates a rainfall and can stimulate breeding and other behaviors. Otherwise I will lose gallons of water trying to get the mix just right every time. Maybe if I had a fish room, but for 13 tanks, cold water alone is just fine. I change 50% in every tank every weekend. STEP 2: Load the Canisters Each of the filter canisters has a black o-ring in its housing. You'll want to gently pry it out, coat it with some vaseline or silicone grease, and push it back in. You can then load the filter cartridges in each one and screw the housings into the lids. Use the wrench to tighten them. STEP 3: Connect the Filter Canister Tops An RO threaded fitting needs to be screwed in both ports on each of the two canisters. You must use teflon tape or you'll have leaks! Once closed up, you can use some RO tubing to connect them to your home water supply adapter. Take note of the "IN" and "OUT" markings on the lids. Run a short length of tubing from the new adapter on your plumbing to the "IN" port of the canister with the sediment filter. Then, run a very short tube from the "OUT" of that same canister to the "IN" of the canister with the carbon block. The remainder of your tubing can be attached to the "OUT" port of that second canister, and will hopefully reach your tanks. Be sure and put a ball valve (you bought several) on the end of the tubing to your tanks, so that you'll be able to turn it on and off at that point! STEP 4: Check for Leaks I had to do this several times until I had used enough teflon tape or vaseline grease on the o-rings. It's worth paying attention at this stage to save yourself grief later! I closed the valve on the very end of my tubing, and opened up all the others. I keep it in this state indefinitely. STEP 5: Flush out the Carbon Powder I ran my unit for about an hour into the sink, until the water came out with the lowest TDS and clarity. STEP 6: TEST! I have a chlorine test kit that measures total and free chlorine; this allows me to infer chloramine quantities when I compare with an ammonia test. None of this is necessary, in my opinion, except maybe for peace of mind. I found that water coming out of this unit tests at zero for chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia. I suppose maybe the ammonia could read as much as 0.25 ppm, but it's my opinion that it's not enough to hurt fish, and any bio filter will snap that up right away. STEP 7: USE IT! I keep all the valves open at all times, except for the one on the very end of the hose that goes in the tanks to refill. The water coming out of this unit is not high pressure; it runs about 1 gallon per minute for me. I prefer that. Now, I just uncoil my hose to any part of the house I need, and coil it back up under the cabinet when I'm done! Clean water from the tap! STEP 8: ADDITIONAL TIPS 1. You can drink it too. 🙂 Unless you're already drinking RO water, it's MUCH better filtered than that stuff that comes out of your fridge icemaker or Brita filter. 2. The hose is so small I can put a tiny hole in my wall and get it to a tank for a permanent installation: Think auto-water changing! 3. You can add stages to improve the filtering capabilities. For example: A 5 micron sediment filter before the 1 micron will increase the lifespan of the latter. I haven't needed this; at seven bucks I plan to change it once a year whether it needs it or not. If you just want to take care of chlorine and not chloramines, you can go for a less restrictive carbon filter, which will boost your water pressure. For more neutral water and low-pH applications, you can add an RO membrane or DI resin. And so on. 4. For filling my rack, I went nuts: Hope this has been helpful. Thanks for reading! Bill
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