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Old 11-16-2012, 07:12 AM   #11 
daylily
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Paloverde (and anyone else)

Ok, trying to understand. Bear with me....

Personally, I don't want to deal with RO. I have issues with mobility of arms/shoulders and am not very strong. It is very difficult for me to fill the jugs (they have to be held in the air while filling), lifting in and out of car and carrying a ways into the house. If I have to use RO, then I think I need to get an RO unit put into the house.

The local fish store tested and said "WOW - your water is really hard! Also high alkalinity - use RO water and mix with your well water, till your numbers come down to normal ranges" A local fish club member was with me, and he said same thing - that it might be easier to use all RO water and rebuild it. At another store, a mom/pop type that's been around for years and years - she said my PH is to high - that is all she tested for. She recommended adding driftwood and maybe peat moss.

As a new person not used to dealing with water chemistry this is all confusing.

I bought test kits, and my well water tested (with API master test kit - and I did these several times with same results - carefully followed instructions etc.)
PH 7.8
ammonia between 0 and .25
KH and GH tests both took 26 drops, 1 drop = 1 degree hardness, and the last one they list is for 12 drops/degrees. So, wouldn't it follow that 26 drops would equal 26 degrees?

When I look online, a KH of 4-8 is recommended, and a GH of 6-12.

Yesterday, the 25% well water, 75% RO water in the tank tested PH 7.6, KH 6 and GH 8. It tested the same a couple days ago. So I was thinking, great I have this ratio of well water to RO water figured out.

But, your saying since I have about 75% RO that the PH will crash?

I got this tank so I could grow plants and have a betta. I've loved them since I had them as a child. If I could have plants and a betta and only use well water - that would be ideal. Especially since small tanks are supposed to be unstable, water wise. It would make it easier.

But I don't want to have fish dying right and left, or end up with plastic plants.

Is there really a chance that I could use just well water with any success?

Thanks so much
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:03 PM   #12 
paloverde
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Tropical fish store experts tend to over think the process, while yes your water is hard enough to walk on, it's still fine without the ro mix. Your not going to be keeping a species that requires it. Since you do have limits with lifting, be kind to yourself and just use conditioned ( seachem's prime is as good as it gets for a conditioner) tap water. Some plants do have issues with hard water, but the species that are commonly found will be just fine. Well matured fish tanks tend to have the ph drop all on it's own and the partial water changes that we do help to keep the water replenished with those minerals. I highly recommend that the only thing you add to the water is just the water conditioner, no other adjustments or chemicals.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:24 PM   #13 
daylily
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Thank you!

My nitrites and ammonia were 0 again this morning, with nitrate at 80.

I'll do a water change and just use the well water then.

I will give it a go. If it does not work out, I can always go the other route.

I brought home a betta today. He's in his cup on the counter. I'll be reading up on how to get him used to the new water. I've seen this fish a couple times in the last week or so, and he's always been lively compared to the others. I figured he was as good here as in the pet store.

I don't have Prime - but do have some on order from Amazon.

When I got my tank, I got a "starter kit" and it has a small bottle of something called Nutrafin AquaPlus. "Tap Water Conditioner"

I'm hoping I can use that until the Prime comes.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:24 PM   #14 
paloverde
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The starter kit conditioner will be fine for now. Later on tonight set back and just look at your beautiful tank...relax...enjoy...it's all good!
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:41 AM   #15 
genemcg
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Glad I found this thread! I just bought the same tank as an upgrade for my 4 year old daughter's betta. Thought I was doing a great thing by getting him out of a 1 gallon bowl, but the filter is too strong for him. So I've turned it off until I can slow it down. I'll just keep doing frequent water changes for now.

I set the filter on the low setting but I still worry the current is too strong. I'm also worried that the intake is too strong and he will get sucked over there while he is sleeping.

I've seen things like add sponges or filter floss to key area but I'm a total beginner and don't fully understand. I also read somewhere about not using the include hose w/elbow that directs water up from the pump and into the tank. Just let the pump push water up the chamber and have it spill out the hole at the top.

What should I do? All help is much appreciated.

Pic attached. My daughter picked out the plants. there are a few bulbs in the gravel that should grow. Also I hope to get some more silk or plastic plants as well as a structure or wood he can hang out in.

Thanks,
Gene
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:09 AM   #16 
daylily
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I bought a "Pre-filter Sponge" for Fluval Edge at my local pet store. It's a cylindrical sponge with the center hollowed out on one end. I cut about 3/4" off the end with the hole. For the first few days, I used the larger section by shoving it onto the pump outlet, then loosely tying a bit of cotton string around it. Once the Betta was used to swimming in the tank, I cut through the small piece, which gave me a piece of filter 3/4 by perhaps 3 inches. I took that piece and put it over the pump outlet and secured it with a rubber band. It allows for some flow, yet, the betta can swim everywhere easily. It is easy to adjust by making it tighter or looser.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:16 AM   #17 
genemcg
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That sounds like a very good solution. I will see if my local pet stores or fish store carry that item.

What about the strength of the intake? Does reducing the outflow also reduce the intake? Or do I need to put a sponge or something near the intake?
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:18 AM   #18 
daylily
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I have not. Actually, my betta hangs out on the little slots leading to the filter. At first I thought he was stuck. But he isn't... strange behavior. He gets along those slots, lets the flow hold him against the slots and he sleeps there. His fins will be plastered up against the slots. One wiggle and he is free - so I think he is choosing to do this. Now that he has been in the planted tank for a week, he is starting to experiment with "hanging" out in the tops of the plants. I am hoping once he figures out how to do that, he won't hang on the out flow slots.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:22 AM   #19 
daylily
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By the way, to previous posters in this thread - before I put the betta in, I did a water change. Maybe 3/4 of the tank water. I refilled with my tap water from the well. I thought about what was said and decided to go without using RO water. I acclimated the betta to the water a tablespoon at a time over many hours. He seems to be doing just fine. So, thanks for that advice!
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:37 AM   #20 
ChoclateBetta
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How many water changes?
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