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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have hard water, no way to get around that fact.

I have tried DI & RO Water, along with having 2 x 20-24 inch pieces of Driftwood, have tried to use peat moss in my Bio-Wheel filter and there's no getting around it.

Tank is 55 Gallons, it's a planted tank using Eco-Complete Plant substrate. After doing all of the above here are my water parameters:

KH 215 ppm
GH 304 ppm
PH 8.0

My plants seem to be doing really well, my tetra and shrimp are doing well too. However I want my center piece fish to be Bolivian Rams and I can't seem to locate any information on their upper tolerance for water hardness.
 

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Hope this helps ... collection data from Linke and Staek's trip that finally found the elusive bolivian ram (appearantly they are hard to find in the wild).

pH: 7.6
GH: 4 dH
KH: 4 dH
Temp: 27 C
Conductivity: 123 micro-Siemens

This if from their book, "American Cicihlids 1: Dwarf Cichlids."
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah it does help, just means my KH and GH are high for wild caught Bolivians...extremely high for them that is.
 

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But luckily, the bolivians you see won't be wild caught. Still, that is a huge differance if my math is right 10ppm=1dH. The only time I've kept bolivians was in my local tap water, which is luckily perfect for south americans. But that's usual, most of the country's tap water is hard water, so I am sure someone else will come forward and said they've breed them in harder water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I hope so, it's been hard trying to find a breeder of these to begin with, but it looks like if it's possible then I need to start looking for one that has had them in harder water.
 

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I keep my bolivians in

pH 7.2
kH 2 dH (36 ppm)
gH 3 dH (54 ppm)
temp 77

I am lucky enough that those are the readings of my tap water, so it is very close to their natural parameters. I am sure some people here keep their rams in hard water so hopefully they will offer their thoughts. I would continue to mix the RO water with your tap until you get something more reasonable, like pH <7.6, kH and gH <10 dH

Good luck :thumb:

Ed
 

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The PH is doable but probably eggs won't be fertilized at PH=8. You could bring that down with peat and at PH=7.6 they will successfully spawn. If the math is right your problem is in the KH and GH. I do suggest a RO unit. This definitely will solve the KH and GH problem.

Hope this helps ... collection data from Linke and Staek's trip that finally found the elusive bolivian ram (appearantly they are hard to find in the wild).

pH: 7.6
GH: 4 dH
KH: 4 dH
Temp: 27 C
Conductivity: 123 micro-Siemens

This if from their book, "American Cicihlids 1: Dwarf Cichlids."
Thanks dwarfpike! This data is new to me and confirms my experiences with the specie that they do best on PH around 7. I do have some doubts abouth the measurement becouse it GH and KH are the same. The temps is higher as I expected. Is there some info in there abouth the location?
 

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Cook.MN - Do you own your on RO unit? Or were buying it from a lfs? If you own your own, it's just a simple matter of 1 part tap water to 19 parts RO water. But I am guessing it was purchased water since no one mentioned either way or said to just add more RO water.

Dutch Dude - Alas, the locality was just mentioned as the vacinity of Trinidad, Bolivia in a still water catchment ditch basically. Hence the higher temp, clarity was less than 5cm.
 

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Thanks for the info dwarfpike!!! It is highly appreciated. There is a real lack on info abouth the natural habitat of Bolivians so every reliable info is welcome. The higher temp is related to the location. But,....still very useful and this proves Bolivians do tolerate higher temps,....at least short term. Thanks again :thumb:
 

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Yes I have seen you tried RO water but at what quantity? Some people expect a diference wit 10% RO and 90% tapwater during water changes. I can assure you this won't make much of a diference and not worth the effort. A mix of 30% RO and 70% tapwater should make a diference. Your KH and GH is rather high so you might want to do your water changes with 70% RO and 30% tapwater.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've put in over 40 gallons of DI water into this 55 Gallon tank and those are my readings for my water parameters.

Something is indeed up as my two large pieces of driftwood should have had an impact on it. So I'm beginning to think that my substrate is in fact buffering my water.
 

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eco complete says its not supposed to affect water conditions PH or hardness, infact it "says" its packed in liquid blackwater....

you check the hardness with another tester?
 

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Hmmm,....this can't be the water so there must be something in the tank or something wrong with the test kit. Did you used stones in the tank? I reed some responses on a board that some people think it leaks nutrients to the water. This can also couse a high KH and GH. Did you checked the tap water separately? If you do you can pour some in a cup and wait for a day before testing it. This gives a more accurate reading. If the tap water doesn't contain the high KH and GH it is definitely something in the tank. My tapwater for comparison; PH=8.5 GH=14, KH=7. I use 60% RO and 40% tapwater and the reading for my tank is; PH=6.7 , GH=5, KH=1-2 and conductivity 270 micro Siemens. I don't use peat or a CO2 system in this tank. The substrate is sand (1 inch) and it contains a lot of driftwood. Water is hardly colored so the driftwood didn't influenced the water that much.
 

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that is hard but i do not think it would harm them to much. the blue rams are supposed to be more sensitive but heres my story...

a breeder i know breeds the blue rams in hard water. has 4 generations now in hard water. i bought 3 from him and had my tank all set up with soft water for me anyway(with peat and wood as yours) ph was 7.4 temp 77, gh 1.6 no kh test. my tap is 7.6ph, 2.4gh. so slightly softer but i did not use RO water. he told me that hard water would be fine. so now they are in 7.6ph with gh at 2.2.

so i would think that acclimating them to the water would be fine. if you want to breed you may want to set up a 10g for breeding only. make it softer than the main tank. use the drip method to transfer the fish each time. leave the eggs in the 10g with parents until they are wigglers. then as they grow use RO water with wc and add more and more tap water each time. till you get to only tap water and the fish are around .75"(should be about 4months old)

anyway i believe that is the pattern the breeder i know does. except know he does not use RO water anymore with the blue rams. so i hope that helps. :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The following are the readings from my tap water after letting it sit for 24 hours:

PH: 8.2
KH: 358 ppm
GH: 465ppm

So I guess using the DI, Peat Moss and Driftwood has helped lower it...I just need to find something that will lower it drastically more.
 

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not much else. i have heard of almond leaves but they are expensive. the best is start with RODI and then buff it up. it is easier to buff up than down.

easier to add than subtract(at least in real life) :roll:
 

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shouldn't the RO/DI unit remove most if not all the minerals (gh/kH) should be near 0

you would have to do more maintenance as a result as the membranes and resin would exhaust sooner.
do you have a RO/DI or are you purchasing the water labeled as RO/DI
 
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