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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Planted tank, tap water is city water with ph= 7.5, I know to put dechlorinator in the water but what can I do to get the ph down without buffers, and do I need to put any trace elements in the water b4 going in the tank or just do the water change before I do my dosing for the day?

I am new to planted tanks and I don't want to hurt the fish or the plants. It has been running fishless for a month, the fish are going in today, they are beautiful Angels and I don't want to kill them.
 

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Unless you are keeping tender species or aiming for a specific biotope, there really isn't a need to adjust the pH from 7.5 (in my experience). I've kept many species of fish anywhere from 6.2 to 8.0 and didn't have any problems except with cardinal tetras. Most plants will adjust as well except the more difficult ones.

As far as trace elements, you want to add fertilizers for the plants, but it doesn't have to be at water change time. Just start a regime and stick with it, adding Macros (N,P,K) and micros (lots of other stuff/trace elements).

-Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just tested my tap water further, the kh=0, gh=3, and get this the nh3 + nh4= 3.0 mg/l. This is the first tank I have set up since I moved here from NC. I always had well water before, I haven't ever had Ammonia levels like this from the tap. Any suggestions?
 

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Many water conditioners will remove chlorine, chloramines, chelate heavy metals, AND detoxify ammonia all in one. Personally, I like Seachem's Prime. It will only detoxify ammonia for 24 hours, but in an established, cycled tank this should be more than enough time for the plants and biofilter to take care of it.
 

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I just tested my tap water further, the kh=0, gh=3, and get this the nh3 + nh4= 3.0 mg/l. This is the first tank I have set up since I moved here from NC. I always had well water before, I haven't ever had Ammonia levels like this from the tap. Any suggestions?
I don't know how you could have Ammonia in your tap water if it is chlorinated. I'd complain to my water company that my water was bad. Cl2 is supposed to kill NH4.

Having kh=0, gh=3, implies that your water is very soft and without any carbonates. I'd suggest adding NaHCO3 to increase your pH stability and also add some NaHSO4 to keep you pH at about 7.4.
 

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I agree, those ammonia levels out of your tap don't sound right, so I'd call the water company to investigate further.

As for differences between your tap water and tank water; unless you're doing more than a 50% water change at once, the fish will barely notice it, and it will be fine. The bigger thing to watch for is to get your temperature as close as possible between the tank and the water you're adding.
 
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