Water Options

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Offline Ironside79

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Water options
« on: May 23, 2017, 04:36:10 PM »
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hi all

my tap water
GH just under 5dH = very soft water
KH very low under 1KH = pH may be unstable
pH over 7

or I can try my local company supplying natural spring water
GH under 12dH
KH under 10kh
pH around 8

tested with api tests, which water is best



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Offline Sue

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Re: Water options
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2017, 04:55:05 PM »
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For the fish in your wish-list, use tap water. They are all soft water fish. And it makes it easier to do an emergency water change if you can use what comes out of the tap. You may not have enough spring water to hand if you need to do a water change when the shops are shut.

However, if you intend doing a fishless cycle, it would be advisable to artificially boost the KH during cycling. This is because the bacteria need carbonate in the water to encourage them to multiply; and because the nitrite and nitrate made during cycling are acidic and will probably cause the pH to crash. This happened to me with a KH of 3.

Have you read up on fishless cycling yet? If you have, I'll let you know how to boost the KH straight away.

Offline Hampalong

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Re: Water options
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2017, 05:06:52 PM »
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I would use half and half for cycling, then change it for tap when the cycle is done. Once you have fish, a little bit of coral gravel in the filter will help maintain some KH.

Offline Sue

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Re: Water options
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2017, 05:09:48 PM »
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Ooooh! Hadn't thought of that!

And at the big water change at the end of the cycle, all the hard water would be removed.

Offline Ironside79

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Re: Water options
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2017, 05:12:53 PM »
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hi sue

I found your fishless cycle with ammonia guide, I will be following that

I will fill the shed with 19L Drums from the company, I always wanted harder water anyway and i can change my wish-list

I was thinking of cycling with tap water, and adding spring water for the big change ?

does this spring water seem ok

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Offline Sue

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Re: Water options
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2017, 05:18:21 PM »
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I would look for a full analysis of the spring water and compare it to the water quality report of your tap water - all the minerals etc.

It would be easier to cycle in harder water than softer because of the bacetria's for inorganic carbon (carbonate, ie KH) and other minerals. If you use tap water you'll have to increase the hardness during cycling.


If the GH of the spring water is under 12, you can't keep very hard water fish like mollies and cichlids from the African Rift Lakes.


The other alternative for harder water fish is to use your tap water and add remineralisation salts of the type used by people who choose to use RO (reverse osmosis) water

Offline Ironside79

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Re: Water options
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2017, 05:23:40 PM »
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hi sue

if I was to stick with my tap water, could you advise me on altering it to get it to medium GH or is that complicated

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Offline Sue

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Re: Water options
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2017, 08:24:15 PM »
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It's not hard.

You need a remineralisation salt such as Tropic Marin Re-Mineral Tropic (caution, they make a marine one too). Both Ebay and Amazon sell it, and probably some shops local to you will stock it.

Then experiment with a bucket of water and your GH tester. Add the salt a bit at a time till you get the GH you want. You will know the volume of water in the bucket and how much salts you used in the bucket, so multiply it up to the volume of your tank.
The advantage with these salts over crushed coral etc is that they contain all the minerals found in hard water not just calcium carbonate.


Once you have fish, when you do a weekly water change it would be easiest to refill the tank using the bucket and make up the water to the right concentration in each bucket before you add it. After a few water changes you will know exactly how much salts to use.

But make sure you always have a spare pack in the cupboard as you won't be able to do a water change with either plain tap water or spring water as that would change the mineral content of the tank too much.



If you decide to do this, start now before you have fish!

Offline Ironside79

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Re: Water options
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2017, 10:38:39 PM »
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I will buy the Tropic Marin Re - Mineral and experiment with it

I wont be buying fish for awhile maybe up to 2 months and only when the tank is cycled as per your guide

thank you sue

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