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Old 12-21-2016, 04:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default RO Water for These Fish?

I'm in the process of setting up a 112G tank and I'm finally getting to the part where I'm choosing which fish and shrimp to get once everything is done. Here's a list of the fish and shrimp I'm hoping to keep:

Dario dario
German ram
Rummy nose (H. bleheri)
Threadfin rainbowfish
Gertrude rainbowfish
Forktail rainbowfish
Marbled hatchetfish
Celestial pearl danio
Zebra danio
Oto cat
Panda cory
Cardinal tetra
Julii cory
Yellow cherry shrimp
Babaulti shrimp
Amano shrimp
Tangerine tiger shrimp

Based on my research on Seriously Fish the needed water parameters for these fish all overlap with the following:

24-25C temp (75-77F)
6.5-7 pH
90-179 ppm GH (5-10 dh)

My tap water has the following parameters:

142.8 ppm GH (8 dh)
89.3 ppm KH (5 dh) - added this just in case

I'm still waiting on the TDS meter but from others in my area the TDS should come out to be 190-200 ppm.

I know my pH is a bit high compared to the ideal for these fish but based on my research the consensus seems to be that pH isn't as important as GH and/or TDS. Apparently usually when low pH is recommended it actually means low hardness/TDS. As long as that's correct the pH can be higher without any ill consequences.

My water changes will be automated with about 25% of the water being changed per week on a continuous basis. None of the hard scape will raise the hardness and I will be using driftwood which should lower the pH ever so slightly.

I'm hoping that some of these fish will spawn for me. Would be especially excited to get the German Rams to breed, which probably means that I should be aiming for the lower end of the above ranges, especially the GH.

Given all of this information does it make sense to invest in an RO unit and perform water changes with part tap and part RO water?

Since my water changes will be automated I will already have some components in use that an RO filter would need so it would only be about about $120 to get a good quality RO unit setup. However, because of the waste water involved in using an RO filter, if I only use it for 25% of the the water changes I will end up using double the actual amount of water, meaning all the other filters (chloramine removal, etc.) will need to be replaced twice as often.

Looking for opinions and feedback. If you've kept and possibly bred some of these species in similar water conditions please let me know. Would you bother with an RO unit in my situation?

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Old 12-21-2016, 11:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: RO Water for These Fish?

Harry, is that a short list of fish which like your water parameters, or do you want to keep them all in the same tank? Breeding in a community tank is very iffy for survival of the eggs or fry.

I keep a short list of fish which prefer the water parameters for my current community tank, but I don't expect much reproduction. Right now, I am actually doing my first community tank since I was a kid. For several decades I have only done species tanks, yet, I still buy fish in M/F mating ratios out of habit

If you only want to keep fish, many will thrive outside their native water parameters; I know a discus breeder who raises all of his fish in our local, hard water. He only meets their native, soft water conditions for breeding. I am using 1/3 RO for this community tank and a successful breeder told me I am micro managing.

I guess I am asking, what is your goal, breeding or keeping?

Last edited by s2man; 12-21-2016 at 11:49 PM..
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