Lama Posted September 8, 2021 Share Posted September 8, 2021 Hello all! My son and I forayed into this world of aquarium keeping in June of this year. We set up a 15 gallon columnar tank with a HOB filter (with a surface skimmer we added later), preset heater, Niko rock for caves, Fluval stratum substrate, several types of plants. We currently have 7 harlequin rasboras, 3 cherry shrimp, three Nerite snails, and two river snails that came in on some duckweed we tried (we’ve since removed the duckweed as it was complicated to deal with while using the skimmer). We’ve been learning as we go and have made some mistakes along the way. However, we’ve also had some successes. I have been wondering what my best option for water in the health of our tank and it’s flora and fauna might be. We are on softened well water but, have access to RO water (we have two gallon tanks and a pumped system). I’ve been using the RO water in the aquarium since I figured the salts in the softened water would not be good for the plants. It is somewhat of a process to do water changes since I have to save up water if we need to do a water change of any substance. My understanding is RO water has minerals and elements removed from it, which may not be optimal for plants or invertebrates. The well water seems to have a lot of iron in it; I have not measured it in any way, just based on how it stains things orange. This is not uncommon in northern IN. Currently the GH in the tank measures at 5, the KH is at 3, and the pH is 7.0. From the RO faucet the GH is 1, KH is 1, and pH is 7.6. From the well (before softening), the KH is 14, the GH is 13, and pH is 7.2. My questions are: Is RO water the best option for use in our aquarium? Will the lack of hardness in the water adversely affect the invertebrates? (The shrimp seem to be molting and growing so far). As for pH in the aquarium, it has vacillated between 6.6 (in the very beginning before fish were added) and 7.8. Most frequently it is around 7.2. How much pH fluctuation do the inhabitants of the tank tolerate (last week it measured 7.8 and today it is at 7.0)? The rasboras have been glass surfing a lot and I’m wondering if it’s the pH fluctuations. We are anxiously looking to add 6 special ordered Corydora Hasbrosus sometime soon. We want to make sure we are set up for success. I greatly appreciate all and any input! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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