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3 hours ago, Neilabraham said:

Is it really worth it....what water do aquarium co.op use in water change 

RO water can be useful if you have very high ph hard water and want to have an aquarium for fish that prefer soft or low ph water. Most commonly kept fish in the hobby are fine for a wide range of parameters, especially if they are captive bred. Wild caught specimens can require more specific parameters. It's also commonly used in saltwater aquariums/reef tanks.

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6 hours ago, Neilabraham said:

Is it really worth it....what water do aquarium co.op use in water change 

From my understanding, most fish will adapt to a certain degree regarding water parameters.  I feel the majority of the Aquarists really don't need RO water, unless your H2O is way out of whack.  Actually my well water over the winter dropped from a pH of 7.6 to a pH of 6.5 from the snow pack melt.  It is sort of like having free RO water, LOL.  Anyway, would rather my usual harder water back for my livebearers.  

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My tap water comes out super hard  at around 15 or 16 GH & KH. This is fine for my 60 gallon species only Brichardi tank. However, I wanted  more of a planted tank with softer water that fish like Neons and Rummynose Tetras would find more hospitable. For this reason I bought an inexpensive RODI unit to use on a new 29 gallon.  At first, I was mixing half RODI and half tap to provide the necessary minerals but the high silicates in the tap water gave me a dose of diatoms and the resulting “brown algae”.  The half tap half RO provided a GH & KH of closer to 7 and ph 7.8. 
 

For water changes on that tank, I’m now using straight RODI water wit Seachem Equilibrium and Alkaline & Acid Buffers to get to this same parameter. 

Is it really worth it, is the question. Well, I ask myself the same question when I’m lugging 5 gallon buckets of RODI water from the hall bathroom  to the living room. I think I have a pump that will fit my Python hose so I can refill from the buckets that I store and treat the RO. Which reminds me...the RO water has to be heated as well; which is my latest challenge.

 

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3 hours ago, ererer said:

It's actually neutral. The lack of carbonates to serve as ph buffers means that the addition of acids can more easily lower the ph.

 

1 hour ago, Fishdude said:

Oh, I had read somewhere that it runs a pH of like 6 - 6.5 (maybe that's neutral?)

Haha, you are both correct! 😎

Fresh from the output, R.O. (or distilled) water is neutral, pH 7.0. However within hours of being exposed to the atmosphere, the water absorbs CO₂ (carbon dioxide). Some of the CO₂ dissolves in water and turns into H₂CO₃ (carbonic acid), which being an acid, drops the pH down to roughly around 6.0, sometimes lower. This is also why planted tanks running CO₂ typically have lower pH than tanks without CO₂. 🍃

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3 hours ago, ererer said:

It's actually neutral. The lack of carbonates to serve as ph buffers means that the addition of acids can more easily lower the ph.

If your RO is working well, and your TDS is very, very low, it will often measure slightly acidic.  Water itself is of neutral pH, but has a low buffering capacity as you point out, so once exposed to air the pH tends to drop.  This is because CO2 becomes dissolved, particularly at cooler temperatures.  So, if you fill your aquarium with RO water and have nothing to buffer it, your pH will tend to be on the acidic side.  This of course can be good or bad depending on your inhabitants - though I tend to agree with folks that argue precise specificity of pH to match the fish's natural habitat is not likely necessary under most circumstances. 

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10 minutes ago, Anita said:

 

 

Haha, you are both correct! 😎

Fresh from the output, R.O. (or distilled) water is neutral, pH 7.0. However within hours of being exposed to the atmosphere, the water absorbs CO₂ (carbon dioxide). Some of the CO₂ dissolves in water and turns into H₂CO₃ (carbonic acid), which being an acid, drops the pH down to roughly around 6.0, sometimes lower. This is also why planted tanks running CO₂ typically have lower pH than tanks without CO₂. 🍃

This science break brought to you by the letters C and O and the number 2!

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7 hours ago, Neilabraham said:

Is it really worth it....what water do aquarium co.op use in water change 

Depends on condition of your tap water and the fishes you wish to raise. There are quite a few fishes that require near blackwater condition and most tap (at least where i live) is not near soft enough.

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Of course if all you have are swordtails and guppies it is hard for me to imagine a justification for ro water regardless of tap water condition.

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