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Crazy hard water - Use it or remineralize? (planted tank)


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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:0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 2-5ppm
GH: 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 insight


Thanks!

Edited by TheDish
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14 minutes ago, TheDish said:

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:0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 2-5ppm
GH: 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 insight


Thanks!

Hey there! My water out of the tap is as follows:

PH: 7.6 out of the tap, closer to 8.0 when allowed to sit (about 8.0 in the tank)
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm
GH: 12 dKH
KH: 12 dKH

I haven't had too many issues. I have staghorn algae growth on my Java Fern that I'm struggling with, but it's not too bad otherwise. I'm experimenting with light and fert levels to see what it'll do. Good luck!

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Honestly, I'd personally try to figure out a way to make this water work for you. Figure out what plants and what fish / shrimp / snails love that level of hardness. Your choices may be limited -- especially in a 5 gal (cool as the Fluval Spec V is) -- but in the end, your life will be easier. Otherwise, you'll be always chasing parameters.

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Since my water is not to far off from yours, here are some fun suggestions:

1.  Mystery Snails!!! Snails in general often do great. Snails tend to do exceptionally well in hard water.

2. African Dwarf Frogs - Supposedly the water needs to be softer, however, I have kept them for years and bred them many times.

3. Live bearers!!! Most live bearers do exceptionally well in hard water.

4. Celestial Pearl Danios? This may be to early for me to recommended, but so far they are doing really well in my water.

5. Ghost shrimp? There are so many types of ghost shrimp out there, and many come from brackish or hard water areas. 

 

Edited by Ben_RF
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1 hour ago, TheDish said:

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.

I approach freshwater (I would suspect I am in the minority here) from exactly this position, as a reefkeeper. I do so for a couple of reasons. When I first seriously got into fish, I was on horrible well water (so awful that we did not drink it), but I did have access to softened and RO water, and I learned fishkeeping in (and a few plants) water that was partially mixed with our well water, and a few additives. After having kept fresh and then saltwater fish like that for years (20 or more), it just felt natural to me to continue doing so.

It is second nature to me now, but I do not feel I am 'chasing the water chemistry'.

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Just now, DShelton
1 hour ago, TheDish said:

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.

I approach freshwater (I would suspect I am in the minority here) from exactly this position, as a reefkeeper. I do so for a couple of reasons. When I first seriously got into fish, I was on horrible well water (so awful that we did not drink it), but I did have access to softened and RO water, and I learned fishkeeping in (and a few plants) water that was partially mixed with our well water, and a few additives. After having kept fresh and then saltwater fish like that for years (20 or more), it just felt natural to me to continue doing so.

It is second nature to me now, but I do not feel I am 'chasing the water chemistry'.

I mix every water change. Ro and tap.

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1 hour ago, sreding said:

My params are:
pH 8 - 8.2
kH 13
gH 20 

My plants are doing great in my low tech 75.     

Jungle Val
Pogostemmon Stellatus
Java Fern
Java Moss
Christmas Moss
Anubia (I'm actually struggling with this one)
Purple tiger lilly
Dwarf sag
Green Temple (Hygrophilia)
Ludwigia Repens
Hornwort

April122021.jpeg

What a beautiful planted tank! I hope mine looks this lush once it grows and matures!

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My GH is 10-11, though KH is just 6. Plants that are doing well are vallisneria, watersprite, hornwort, duckweed, and pothos (just the roots in the water.) If you do have an algae bomb, I hear fast-growing plants slow it. And ramshorns will clean flat algae off hard surfaces in approximately 3 seconds. 

For what it's worth, with my GH and KH, and a pH near 7.9, endlers seem to be doing very well. Just mentioning that since you'll have a 5 gallon.

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I felt the same way you did a couple months ago.  I was researching CO2 and all sorts of hi intensity lights thinking I needed that.   I never got around to purchasing a CO2 system (to be fair I would have had it if the local welding supply store had hours past 5!) and it just happened on it's own.  I do root tabs for the root feeders and dose easy green at a 1/2 dose, 2x per week.  Lights are on a timer.   I need to do some pruning in the next week - the pogostemmon and jungle val are taking over!  

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