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Old 07-05-2012, 08:32 PM   #11 
Geomancer
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How exactly do I get RO water? Do I buy it, or do I do something to my tap water? Sorry, I'm completely ignorant lol.
Usually you buy it. Some grocery stores, and some walmarts have it in dispensers that you can fill up large jugs with (up to 5 gallons per jug). Some local pet stores will also sell it.

Reverse Osmosis water is water that passes through a membrane that is so small, it blocks just about everything and will strip the water of all minerals. It has 0 dGH, and 0 dKH. It also has a pH of 7. In essence, it is pure water (H2O). You do not want to use 100% RO/DI water though (DI is distilled, much the same but different method) because of the fact that it has no minerals. As I mentioned about, KH buffers the pH and with no KH at all, the pH can have dramatic, and sudden changes. Fast pH changes are lethal to fish.

Mixing RO with tap water has the effect of reducing the amount of minerals per gallon of water (you dilute the hard water), so you can make hard water soft with it. With your water though, you probably don't need to worry about doing this, but soft water fish would appreciate a 50/50 mix to get your GH down to 6 dGH.

It's possible to get an RO unit for your house, but they are generally not cheap.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:43 PM   #12 
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I'll start the 50% water changes tonight. You don't think that it will bring the pH down too quickly and shock them, though, do you??

I didn't know that Platys need that much space, or else I never would have gotten them. I wish I had someone I could give them to, but I don't. I'm getting paid holiday pay/vacation pay coming up on one of my next pay checks, though, so I'll have to start looking into getting a bigger tank for them. Guess that means I'll get to go tankmate shopping, also They'll have to wait a bit, though, while it cycles.

I know that bettas as tankmates can be hit or miss, but I'll be hopeful. I'll keep an eye, and if he doesn't work out, I have a tank for him to live in on his own. I've tried betta communities twice so far. The first one was great; he tried to school with my tetras, haha. The second didn't work, though. He got major fin-nipped

Thank you so much for all of your help!!!! Everybody on this forum has always been super knowledgeable and helpful!!
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:54 AM   #13 
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I'll start the 50% water changes tonight. You don't think that it will bring the pH down too quickly and shock them, though, do you??

No, it shouldn't. If you want to play it safe, remove 50% of the water then add only 25% back. Wait a half hour, then do the last 25%.

Do you heat the water before adding it to the tank? You want the new water to be close to the same temperature as the tanks so you don't also get a temperature swing.

Weekly water changes should be 1/3 to 1/2 once you get things settled.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:03 PM   #14 
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Do you heat the water before adding it to the tank? You want the new water to be close to the same temperature as the tanks so you don't also get a temperature swing.

Weekly water changes should be 1/3 to 1/2 once you get things settled.
I don't heat it, but it's room temperature. Which, since it's summer is about 78*. I figure that's close enough
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:15 PM   #15 
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It's not working. I think that the outside-tap water just wasn't gassing out in the water jugs. The pH was down to the low 8's, but spiked back up again. I think that at this point I just have to start buying the RO water. Is it the same as distilled? Should I start off with a 50/50 mix?
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:49 PM   #16 
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Just kidding. I just realized that you said a 50/50 mix would be great for soft water fish. I'll start with 2 parts tap water/1 part distilled water, I guess?
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