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GH KH Remineralize RO / DI questions


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Hello fellow fish nerms! I have a few questions about RO / DI water.

 

Why?: I have not had success with German Blue Rams. I had a pair and the male died in 2 weeks and the female died in 4 weeks. Their color was good and they were active and eating until they would just stop eating and then about 3 days later they would die.

Tank Setup:

16 Gallon Cube with Co2 reactor (home made out of abs pipe fittings) and canister filter (Fluval 107)

Lily pipes with surface skimmer

Dosing EI method fertilizers on a dosing pump

50% WC every Sunday

 

Logic?: My parameters are good except for water hardness (too hard):

Temperature 80F

CO2 30ppm

Ammonia 0ppm

Nitrite 0ppm

Nitrate  30ppm

PH 7.2

Phosphates 2ppm

GH 21d/375ppm

KH 9d/161ppm

 

Questions: I have decided to invest in an RO/DI system and I had originally planned on using a 50/50 mix of Tap and RO/DI but the maths show that would leave me with GH 10.5 and KH 4.5 and also leave me with less control of hardness than if I remineralize the RO/DI water myself. Which leave me with the following questions:

1. What is the best way remineralize the water?

2. What is the most cost effective way?

3. What is the easiest way?

4. Should I buy a container to store the RO/DI water and remineralize the water in this container, then pump it to my aquarium for water change?

5. Reserved for the things that I don't yet know that I don't know 😉

 

Thank you for sharing your help and knowledge on this subject

Edited by Tommy Vercetti
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I've used one of those big trash cans with wheels and that's where I mixed my water. I mix it a few days earlier or a few hours before water change, depending on how lazy I'm feeling. I put a pump and heater inside to circulate the water and keep temp the same, then I connect a hose to the pump to refill my aquarium.

Not sure what's the most cost effective way because I just used seachem products. 

 

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On 2/27/2023 at 11:21 AM, knee said:

I've used one of those big trash cans with wheels and that's where I mixed my water. I mix it a few days earlier or a few hours before water change, depending on how lazy I'm feeling. I put a pump and heater inside to circulate the water and keep temp the same, then I connect a hose to the pump to refill my aquarium.

Not sure what's the most cost effective way because I just used seachem products. 

 

Thanks for sharing your setup. Do you use Seachem alkaline buffer and Equilibrium?

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Before I did. Now I just do 50/50 RO/tap because I don't wanna have extra plugs for the pump and heater because I'm lazy and this eliminates a lot of steps for me lol.

I would collect my RODI water before I change the water and I add hot tap water to match tank temp.

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On 2/27/2023 at 11:41 AM, knee said:

Before I did. Now I just do 50/50 RO/tap because I don't wanna have extra plugs for the pump and heater because I'm lazy and this eliminates a lot of steps for me lol.

I would collect my RODI water before I change the water and I add hot tap water to match tank temp.

I am going to count that as 1 vote for 50/50 RO / tap. Thanks for the information. At 50/50 I would be slightly out of my ideal ranges for GH and KH. I wonder if that would be "close enough" for my needs.

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On 2/27/2023 at 11:56 AM, Tommy Vercetti said:

I am going to count that as 1 vote for 50/50 RO / tap. Thanks for the information. At 50/50 I would be slightly out of my ideal ranges for GH and KH. I wonder if that would be "close enough" for my needs.

What do you need it for? Breeding? Wild caught fish?

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I dont use rodi water but my tap water is very soft.  The water district adds calcium and alkalinity to the water to keep ph basic and stop lead from leaching from old plumbing solder…

 

at that, out of the tap I have GH and KH just barely 2 degrees of hardness..

I dont have the option of 50/50….

I add Equilibrium and Alkalinity buffer.  I like the simplicity of it.  1 tablespoon Equilibrium raises GH 2.8 degrees in. 20 gallons of water.

 

1 teaspon of Alkalinity buffer raises KH about 2.8 degrees iirc..  I am going by memory here, but I always read to make sure….

 

on the Alkalinity I add measure to a few cups of water, stir well and pour in.

 

on Equilibrium, I have a stainless canteen I fill 3/4 full of hot tap water. (120 degrees max temp), add the powder, cap and shake vigorously…. And repeat every 10 minutes or so… after 45 minutes or so I pour into the tank avoiding in habitants for temp shock…. Then I add some more water to rinse out sediment into the tank…

I generally aim for between 4-6 degrees hardness.  When I do a water change replacement water is dosed to see 6 degrees.

 

after a month or two, tank inhabitants and plants deplete the whole tank to around 4 degrees and I boost whole tank back up…

 

I test GH and KH tank levels at the beginning of the month…

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On 2/27/2023 at 12:46 PM, knee said:

What do you need it for? Breeding? Wild caught fish?

I just want to keep German Blue Rams alive in my setup. I might be missing something but it just seems that my water is way too hard for GBR.

Thanks again for all of your help. 

Edited by Tommy Vercetti
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I can help here.

Easiest and cheapest way is to get CaSO4, Potassium Carbonate and plain old Epson Salt. You will use the CaSO4 and Epson for GH and potassium carbonate for KH. Then reduce your potassium dose some to account for the potassium carbonate. Then use rotalabutterfly to make the calculations and the mix will never change.

I use Brute grey trash cans to store RO and then fill additional cans for mixing and water changes. I try to use my mixed up cans completely so the mixed water doesn't sit. The RO can is good to last as it's pure H2O.

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If you are just wanting to keep the GBR in your aquarium, they should be fine in your tap water. My tap water tests harder than what you have, and I have no problem keeping GBR and black rams, as well as wild caught angels and discus. fish are amazingly adaptable. I have an RO/DI unit that I can use to make pure water if I want, but I only use it when I first bring in any new wild fish or am attempting to spawn and raise fry of any species that need the softened water. 

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On 2/28/2023 at 3:39 AM, Andy's Fish Den said:

If you are just wanting to keep the GBR in your aquarium, they should be fine in your tap water. My tap water tests harder than what you have, and I have no problem keeping GBR and black rams, as well as wild caught angels and discus. fish are amazingly adaptable. I have an RO/DI unit that I can use to make pure water if I want, but I only use it when I first bring in any new wild fish or am attempting to spawn and raise fry of any species that need the softened water. 

Do you think that it could be my nitrates at 30ppm? I could lower this by adjusting my fertilizers. Or maybe my Rams were sick and I could not tell.

I am feeling frustrated and would like to succeed with Rams. 

I am feeding live baby brine shimp, twice a day. Feeding with xtreme food nano sinking pellets and or bug bites in the evening to supplement the BBS.

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On 2/28/2023 at 10:21 AM, Tommy Vercetti said:

Do you think that it could be my nitrates at 30ppm? I could lower this by adjusting my fertilizers. Or maybe my Rams were sick and I could not tell.

I am feeling frustrated and would like to succeed with Rams. 

I am feeding live baby brine shimp, twice a day. Feeding with xtreme food nano sinking pellets and or bug bites in the evening to supplement the BBS.

I also experienced some difficulties keeping Balloon GBR and EBR. Petsmart is the only place (in my area) that sells balloon female GBR and I was also able to find female balloon EBR from a LFS. I bought 5 GBR and 2 EBR, and all of them eventually died so I decided to read a bit about them.

I mostly found that they prefer a mature and established tank. I also read that most of the GBR being sold in big box stores are really weak because they're pumped with meds and hormones before being shipped out. That's why Petsmart and Petco rams always look really colorful in their tanks.

I only have one pair right now and the female is also from petsmart but I picked her because she was the least colorful one in the tank and I assumed that she'll be able to handle the change from Petsmart to my tank better. She's been in the tank for two months now and looks really good. She was also doing fine with my tap before I switched them to 50/50 RO/tap and I only did that to see if I can get them to spawn. 

 

 

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One thing to think about as well, rams like their water temp up in the 80s, most big box store and some LFS don't keep any tanks in those temps. One thing I would do when I saw a store with rams is touch the back of my hand to the tank, if its not warm enough, I wouldn't buy because they seem to go down hill the longer they are kept at lower temps. The best luck I have found and had with rams is to find a good LFS that gets them from someone who breeds them locally. That way they are accustomed to the local water parameters, and most likely haven't been kept at the lower temps. 

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