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Windmill water

1518 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Sir_BlackhOle
I just got my new 75 gallon set up and would like to put some blue rams in it. The guy at my LFS says that they only use water from the local windmill dispensers. My test kit wont measure GH/KH below 20/10. I think that it is R/O water. He says that they dont add anything to it and they also use it in their plant tanks with no trouble. Does anyone else have windmill water stations in their towns and have you ever used it for fish/plants? I would like to use tap water but it is really hard (gh 160 kh 70) and ph about 8. I know that the plants would do fine, but the rams wont. Should I just buy a different test kit and check the windmill water? Anyone know of a decent/cheap test kit for GH/KH?

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As long as the rams get a long enough acclimation period before being added to your tank (you might want to drip acclimate them for about an hour), they'll be okay. If you want to be really careful with them, get a small 10 gallon with a sponge filter and quarantine them for a few weeks. Rams are prone to gill flukes and it would be much easier to treat them in a bare quarantine tank than it would your planted aquarium. During that quarantine time, you could also transition them more slowly into your tank water.

I see absolutely no problem with rams in those parameters... I've kept them in water with a slightly higher KH and they were breeding, even. Of course, the eggs didn't hatch, but they grew well, had excellent color, and were active eaters. Those fish probably haven't seen super soft water in several generations and their bodies are probably more used to a normal tapwater now, anyway. Most fish common in the hobby are so removed from their native habitat that they can handle parameters outside of the "perfect" range as long as they're kept clean and fed well.
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I've got a bit of experience with that... if you want to bring your pH down to 7.6 without CO2, mix the tap and RO to get a KH of 3. A KH of 2 will get your pH 6.8-7.2, but that won't be as stable and you'll probably want to keep a closer eye on your KH to make sure it's not going to dip below 2. I don't think it's all that necessary to have a pH closer to neutral for your rams, so for your purposes, a KH of 3 will work just fine.

Again, that QT tank might be a good idea... gill flukes are not fun. It may be an uneventful couple weeks, but they will be worth it if your fish do come down with an infection. If you have the space, just chuck a 10 gallon in the corner. Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now... :)
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