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Discussion Starter #1
I've just moved to Ithaca, NY. With me, came my 20H Planted and a 29g lightly planted.

With this tap water, how should I condition it correctly? Currently I've had to use what I've got and that is seachem Equilibrium. I am fairly certain this will lead to green water and all kinds of algae problems. Already in under a month I have cloudy water, green spot algae, and some kind of staghorn or black beard algae or a combination. It took quite a bit of equilibrium to get the ph down to 7... :-/

I like to use seachem products, so I'm thinking I'll try the acid buffer. Is this the right thing to do?

As far as ferts go, does anyone know a good method for me to figure out a regiment? I use (seachem) Excel/Flourish/Potassium/Nitrogen/Iron/Trace.

ALL ADVICE WELCOME!!!!! THANKS IN ADVANCE


Tap Water:
8.3 pH
12dKH
12dGH
"lots of calcium"

20H:
4x20W T12 full spect bulbs 12hrs/day
Magnum 220 Canister (currently has carbon...)
Plant Gro Co2 Natural System w/ ladder diffuser slightly modified mixture
1 bag Oxyn Sand
1 bag EcoComplete

Fish (heavy load):
1x Angel (small 3" nose to tail tip)
Several Mollies
2x small Khuli
4x Pristella Tetra
3x Neon Tetra
2x White Tetra
1x Glofish
1x Amano Shrimp
TONSx Malaysian Trumpet

Plants:
Wisteria: Hygrophila difformis
Anacharis
Foxtail??
Limnophila ‘hippuroides’ (Limnophila hippuroides)
Ludwigia Peruensis (Ludwigia peruensis)
Rotala Magenta (Rotala macrandra v. 'narrow leaf')
Tiger Lotus, Red (Nymphaea zenkeri)
Moneywort: Bacopa Monnieri
couple random long leaf swords
 

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Hi
RO unit for drinking, cooking and water changes with PPS-Pro will solve your problem. When you say 12 dKH you know most plants will not grow in it. But you got Onyx substrate so you have a good Ca supply, you don't need to worry about KH and Ca, just straight RO and a fertilizer.
 

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Seachem Equilibrium will not lower the pH. It affects the GH, not the KH. You could try peat moss in the filter to lower the KH. I haven't tried it, but several people posting here have found it to be effective. Or, if you aren't trying the EI fertilizing method you could dilute the tap water with RO/DI or distilled water, sold at grocery stores for about a dollar a gallon. You would need about $50 worth to get the KH reduced by half, but you wouldn't have to do weekly water changes, so it would be a high one time cost, followed by small costs to maintain the lower KH.
 

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If you use a fert method that does not require frequent/large water changes then the grocery store RO water would be cheaper than having the RO sytem in your home (unless you would use RO water for other uses as well). I have near-similar water and use about 5 gallons of RO every month during water changes on my 50 gal. I do have problems with certain plants (Blyxa grows but doesn't 'flourish'), but I still manage to get good growth on the more common ones.

PPS-pro, EI, and Seachem's Recommended Dosing Guide are all good options. The Seachem Guide is a bit light on ferts in my experience, so you can do small or infrequent water changes with it (that's what I do). EI is more accurate from what I've read and PPS pro is supposed to be accurate as well in regards to exactly what the plants need (so, no excess build-up).

-Dave

EDIT: I did not realize some people were paying $1 per gallon for RO at the store. It's $.25 per gallon where I live. You'll have to crunch the numbers to see if it's worth buying the RO unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow I've always thought about an RO unit. Now I just might need it. How would my water come out with an RO? That won't change the ph, just make it easy to buffer, correct?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
UPDATE:!:! well I did a bit of pondering and a bit of talking with my landlady. She doesn't want me putting in an RO unit, so hoping I was wrong about the water I re did my tests, (been a month since the initial tests). I was slightly wrong, my Tap water is 8dkh, 12dgh, 8.1pH... so what else can i do?!


I just went out and got some of that seachem acid buffer, and tried a 10g dose in a 1g jug, it dropped the kh to 5, and the ph to somewhere about 6.6-6.7. Anyone remember their chem? How does that look in a 20g tank such as mine?
 

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There is nothing wrong with your tap water. Just use it as is. When you add things like acid buffers you then always have to treat what ever water you use for make up water, or when you do water changes. It is a nuisance that doesn't gain you anything. If you had some of the few plants that really do prefer soft water it would be different, but you don't.
 
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