Apologies, yet another newbie!!

  • Get the NEW AquariaCentral iOS app --> http://itunes.apple.com/app/id1227181058 // Android version will be out soon!

Ch4rlie

AC Members
Sep 18, 2021
12
2
3
46
Oxfordshire, UK
hello all

As title says, apologies as am yet another newbie to this forum. Have been lurking and reading some posts recently and thought why th hell not joine and ask my own questions!

I have been absent from fishkeeping for a couple of years so am not quite a total newbie to the forum but still learning new things everyday!

Recently just bought a new fish tank to get back into the hobby, just a small 180 litre / 48 US gals Juwel tank as for me its a comfortable size for those weekly water changes and maintenance etc.

Anyways, not set up yet, took out the internal bioflow filter as I am not the biggest fan of internal filters, they have thier place in the hobby, just not in my tank is all! Have bought an external filter also, Oase BioMaster Thermo 350 which after reading a number of reviews and recommendations seems good for my set up.
Oase is an unknown brand to me, am used to the usual Fluval and Eheim filters but think their quality is lacking now compared to 10 years ago, pricey for what they are now I reckon. But thought would try it out anyway and see how it fares, what swung it for me are two things, the ease of access for heater and sponge media and george Farmer, known aquascapist recommends them, thats all it was really. Build quality seems fairly sturdy seeing it out of the box etc, we'll see what happens when i set this up later.

Got a question regarding my tap water, its reading at 11 kH and 18 gH with TDS hovering around the 294 - 300ppm mark. With pH around 7.6 - 7.8

Pretty hard water really, liquid rock some would say.

I would like to at least halve the 300ppm TDS so that i could have some coryadroras as never had these and other soft water species.

I have never used RO water system and considering setting up a RO system so this is a completly new area for me.
Would mixing 50 / 50 RO water with tap water be suffiecient to do this for my aims for softer water for cories and softer water species?

Thanks in advance and i look forwards to reading more threads and posts on this forum.

Ch4rlie
 

FreshyFresh

Global Moderator
Staff member
Jan 11, 2013
4,926
814
120
West Falls NY
Real Name
Joel
Welcome and it's good you are doing your research! It's very wise to pick a setup and a location for your setup that allows for easy water changes and maintenance. To me, any style filter has it's advantages and disadvantages. My personal fav for a hang-on-back is Aquaclear. For cansiters, I like a bunch. I currently have Eheim classics, Marineland and Penn-Plax.

In terms of your tap water parameters, to me the main thing is knowing if your municiaplity uses chlorine or chloramine and is there ammonia right out of the tap or not. Hopefully not. TDS, Kh, pH, etc.. doesn't really matter unless it's a breeding project you're after or you are keeping some rare or wind caught sensitive fish.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ch4rlie
Apr 2, 2002
2,945
485
92
New York
That's a name I recognize from across the pond and another site :)

General Hardness

0 - 4 dH, 0 - 70 ppm : very soft
4 - 8 dH, 70 - 140 ppm : soft
8 - 12 dH, 140 - 210 ppm : medium hard
12 - 18 dH, 210 - 320 ppm : fairly hard
18 - 30 dH, 320 - 530 ppm : hard
higher : liquid rock (Lake Malawi and Los Angeles, CA)

I would consider doing a 50/50 mix with RO water. That should give you what you might call medium soft and should be fine for corys etc.

Even if you cut the KH in half, I doubt that will lower the pH much if at all.

I have a portable RO/DI unit, but I cannot help with getting one in the UK. I have a fish space with a utility sink. The faucet has an output that allows me to connect garden hose connectors to it. Ny RO/DI unit came with a connection for garden hose size for the input.

If you change 50% of the water every week. you need about 38-40l of RO. So you can look for a small unit. I batch my RO and store it in 5 gal. cans and 1 gal jugs. So I only need to make it once a month. The tank it is for is about 10% bigger than yours.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ch4rlie

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
11,360
1,779
200
SF Bay area, CA
Welcome to AC! I don't have anything helpful to say except I have read good things on the Oase filter relatively recently. You must be in the UK, lol, almost nobody in the US uses internal filters beyond sponge bubbler airstone driven 1s or mattenfilter types.

As FF said, many farm & locally bred fish can live in harder water...breeding & wild fish are often a different story. It will depend on species & your goals for them.

I'd go with RO/DI as TTA suggested. For such a small amount of water for changes the filter resins will likely last quite a long time. A fairly big investment initially but not too much after that or not often anyway. But you never know, you might need another tank or 3 before you know it, don't go with a too small RO/DI system, it's not much more for a bit larger...

Will you have live plants? & we love pics here, fish, equipment, everything, lol. I think you have to have 5 posts before you can do that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ch4rlie

Ch4rlie

AC Members
Sep 18, 2021
12
2
3
46
Oxfordshire, UK
In terms of your tap water parameters, to me the main thing is knowing if your municiaplity uses chlorine or chloramine and is there ammonia right out of the tap or not. Hopefully not.
According to the water quality report from my wlocal water suppliers online, it seems that my water supply tends to use chlorine rather than chloramines.

Can confirm, using API test kit, that Ammonia is at zero, nitrite at zero also from tap water, tested twice, once straight away from tap and once after gassing off water overnight.

TDS, Kh, pH, etc.. doesn't really matter unless it's a breeding project you're after or you are keeping some rare or wind caught sensitive fish.
I always thought that kH was fairly important for the keeping pH levels steady, kH acts like a buffer to stop pH swings, the higher the kH the more steady the pH is and if your water is hard with high TDS then means that one should look for hard water species of fish and vice versa. Certainly do not plan on keeping wild caught or setting up any breeding projects.

The pH does not matter so much really, its the gH and steady parameters being the more important factors I thought?

Corect me if I am wrong about those, thanks.
 

Ch4rlie

AC Members
Sep 18, 2021
12
2
3
46
Oxfordshire, UK
That's a name I recognize from across the pond and another site :)

General Hardness

0 - 4 dH, 0 - 70 ppm : very soft
4 - 8 dH, 70 - 140 ppm : soft
8 - 12 dH, 140 - 210 ppm : medium hard
12 - 18 dH, 210 - 320 ppm : fairly hard
18 - 30 dH, 320 - 530 ppm : hard
higher : liquid rock (Lake Malawi and Los Angeles, CA)

I would consider doing a 50/50 mix with RO water. That should give you what you might call medium soft and should be fine for corys etc.

Even if you cut the KH in half, I doubt that will lower the pH much if at all.

I have a portable RO/DI unit, but I cannot help with getting one in the UK. I have a fish space with a utility sink. The faucet has an output that allows me to connect garden hose connectors to it. Ny RO/DI unit came with a connection for garden hose size for the input.

If you change 50% of the water every week. you need about 38-40l of RO. So you can look for a small unit. I batch my RO and store it in 5 gal. cans and 1 gal jugs. So I only need to make it once a month. The tank it is for is about 10% bigger than yours.
Indeed you guess correct that you do recognise my name from across the pond and from another site! 😄

Thank you for confirming with me that my water supply is indeed med to fairly hard, always good to have confirmination.

And that a 50/50 or perhaps even a 40/60 mix of RO to tap water would likely work out in lowering the water to be more suitable to around medium soft which would be more suitable for corys which ive always want to have but never could due to waters being too hard for those cories.

Was a little worried about kH if i use too much ro to tap water hence my idea of using 50/50 or 40/60 mix, I guess may be a trial and error to find a good ratio mix to keep steady parameters and not dropping the pH too much if at all.

I have a garage with water pipes and a sink in there so that makes it ideal to set up a RO/DI unit for doing this, just a case of setting up a unit and plumbing those in etc

Thinking a 100 gallon per day unit would work fine for me as I do plan to set up a nano type SW tank also in future so can use the unit to produce enough water in a day to change water on both tanks.

5 gal containers is a good idea, not too large to lift and does not take up too much space either, nice little tip and will see what connections i can get for connecting to pipes or tap etc.

Thanks TTA
 

Ch4rlie

AC Members
Sep 18, 2021
12
2
3
46
Oxfordshire, UK
I'd go with RO/DI as TTA suggested. For such a small amount of water for changes the filter resins will likely last quite a long time. A fairly big investment initially but not too much after that or not often anyway. But you never know, you might need another tank or 3 before you know it, don't go with a too small RO/DI system, it's not much more for a bit larger...

Will you have live plants? & we love pics here, fish, equipment, everything, lol. I think you have to have 5 posts before you can do that.
Thank you for that welcome, appreciated.

Ro / DI filter resin, have to admit i dont really know what that does exactly but hopefully you are corect that it will likley to last some time before needing any replacement cartridge or whatever you call them, guess i need to research a bit more on RO/Di systems!

It is fairly expensive but belive to be cheaper than getting this water from LFS as time and travel costs has to be factored in as well, so having a RO/DI unit would make things an awful lot easier and knowing excatly what RO water i have since if from own unit may help too. The inital high cost will probably end up being cheaper than LFS water in the long run after a number of months/years.

I do plan to set up another tank, a SW one, small tank tbh but thats another story for another time, concentrating on setting up my freshater tank first and researching RO systems.

Definitely plan on having live plants, a fairly densely planted tank with large bits of driftwood and caves etc for the cories to start with. Liwuid and root tab fertilisers are planned for too.
Sand substrate is likely as well, more natural imho and i dislike the very fine silica sand from LFS as well as being pretty expensive from most LFS.

No pictures at the moment but certainly will load those on possibly a journal thread on here in future, apologies in advance for poor photos as am not the best at taking pics 😆
 
Apr 2, 2002
2,945
485
92
New York
The DI part removes ions. I had to self teach chemistry as i never studied it in school. And ion is anything that has a charge, either positive or negative. Normally, an atom has en equal number of electrons (-) and protons (+) and the result is a neutral charge. But if an electron is added or removed, the result is a charge and that becomes and ion.

Normally, we can tell if something has a charge by its symbol- i.e. water is H20. This site doesn't permit sub or postscript. but in science the 2 in H2O is smaller and written in subscript. An ion will have a - or a + in sub or superscripts and may aslo have a number. The number indicates how many electrons are added or substracted if that is more than just one.

We all know the most common ions found in our tanks as Ammonium, nitrite and nitrate. These things will also be detected by conductivity or TDS meters. However, none of them register on GH tests.

it is not all that important to be able to make sense of the exact chemistry as it is to understand these things can be removed by Deionization. If you get an RO unit it will not remove ions and the result is your RO water will not test as o ppm using a TDS meter. it will test at more like 10 ppm. You need to add the DI module if you want close to pure water.

Also, even when we use an RO/DI units the water it produces come out into the air. When it does it absorbs gasses like oxygen and C02. Because CO2 creates acid in water, the pure water one makes which should be neutral pH will actually test at an acid level because the pure water has absorbed CO2.

The problem I, and many other fish keepers have with all this is we may not be educated in aquatic chemistry or we may be so far out of school we have forgotten a lot of it.

While we may not be aware of it, there is a lot of microbiology and chemistry involved with keeping fish. When things are working well we never see much of it and do not think about it. it is when we decide to do things that involve chemistry that we find out we need to know more and to understand the processes underlying things becomes more important. Sometime the answers are not so quick and easy. The first thing that pops up on Google may not be what one needs to know. As they used to say- "Do your homework!"
 

FreshyFresh

Global Moderator
Staff member
Jan 11, 2013
4,926
814
120
West Falls NY
Real Name
Joel
I always thought that kH was fairly important for the keeping pH levels steady, kH acts like a buffer to stop pH swings, the higher the kH the more steady the pH is and if your water is hard with high TDS then means that one should look for hard water species of fish and vice versa. Certainly do not plan on keeping wild caught or setting up any breeding projects.

The pH does not matter so much really, its the gH and steady parameters being the more important factors I thought?

Corect me if I am wrong about those, thanks.
You are right on that. In general terms the GH, Kh are some of the things that helps keep a steady pH by preventing quick and drastic pH changes.

Again, sorry if I missed it, but do you intend to keep fish, plants, etc that require a specific pH? Reason I ask and I'm sure you know this, but fish you buy locally are already going to be adapted to the pH that comes out of your tap. If you keep up on regular water changes, your pH should always match what's coming out of the tap. In my opinion, the last thing I'd want to do is target a pH different from my source water if I didn't have to.

That being said, I'm a complete amateur compared to TTA, fishorama and noodle cats, therefore I would go with what they suggest given they've been at this longer than I.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ch4rlie
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store