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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In anticipation of a new Mbuna tank I've been researching the possible corrections to my tap water. Before anyone asks all I know about my tap now is the pH (6.6; before and after a 12hr rest) and the Nitrates (~ 5 ppm). I don't have a GH/KH test kit yet but I'm fairly sure they are both low. I was wondering if there was a prefered order to the adjustment - KH/pH first, then GH or the other way around or does it matter?

GCG
 

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Check your KH and get it up if needed, this will keep your pH stable. Your pH will need to come up to around 7.5 to 8.0. I don't worry too much about GH.
 

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Agree. So test kit first, then see how many drops it takes for the KH kit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm planning plants (Vals and possibly Wisteria in pots, Java Fern and Anubias on rock work) and may inject CO2. I'm not too concerned about the resulting pH drop associated with CO2 injection as I've never seen that as a problem before however this will involve 50% weekly water changes. Once I have the amounts of whatever I intend to add what would be the most convenient acceptable method to make the weekly addition? Please don't say pre-mix the full amount - I really don't have room for a 60+ gal tub anywhere.
 

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GulfCoastGuy said:
I'm planning plants (Vals and possibly Wisteria in pots, Java Fern and Anubias on rock work) and may inject CO2. I'm not too concerned about the resulting pH drop associated with CO2 injection as I've never seen that as a problem before however this will involve 50% weekly water changes. Once I have the amounts of whatever I intend to add what would be the most convenient acceptable method to make the weekly addition? Please don't say pre-mix the full amount - I really don't have room for a 60+ gal tub anywhere.
In my opinion you should do 50% water changes weekly regardless just to keep nitrates good. I have never been able to keep enough plants established in an Mbuna tank to keep nitrates under control. I add SeaChem Safe for the water I am replacing as soon as I start re-filling; anything else I mix into a gallon jug of water and add gradually as I refill to avoid spikes. I don't think there would be a problem just adding your supplements at once, I just don't do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, That'll work great.

On the subject of plants and Nitrates, I may end up using the refugium section of the sump with more Wisteria (in pots) under a grow light just to see if it can make a meaningful impact.
 

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Agree to do 50% weekly water changes regardless of any meaningful impact of plants.

I've had plants consume all the nitrates, but then cyanobacteria became a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Whatever reason, 50% water changes for me.

Got the test kit - WOW - At the tap ... KH 0-1 dKH; GH 1-2 dGH. I tested twice. Don't know how the little 5 gal we have for a couple of black skirts doesn't crash other than I keep up with water changes there. I put some tap in a red solo cup and played with it a little. Got it to KH - 10, GH - 6, and pH settled in at around 8.1 Just where I wanted. Feelin' good goin' forward.

Thanks Y'all
GCG
 

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I have the same water parameters from the tap, so I use baking soda to bring up the KH. The only problem I had at first was PH shock during water changes. But I found that adding half the buffer and letting it mix into the tank water for 5 mins before i start refilling the tank directly with tap water kept the ph at 8 - 8.2 while filling it. I add the second half of the buffer after I've got the water temperature correct, so almost all the buffer goes in before the tap water. I do about 60% water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Actually the seemingly near total lack of any mineralization in our tap water here makes me inclined to take a more comprehensive approach. I've done the math and buying in bulk I can go with the complete Seachem routine for a little less than $2.00 a week. Well within my budget. I know most here will see that as overkill but our tap is effectively little more than RO/DI. If it were even a little more than that I might have just thrown some baking soda, epsom salts and maybe some ocean or reef salts at it and called it good. Something in the back of my mind is saying that's not enough and the investment is a fraction of of the overall start up cost and I'd rather not be chasing water chemistry issues.

Some reading on their site has shown that their approach is to correct GH with their salt product and then adjust pH/KH with the buffer. I plan to go with that. Also, I've had enough experience with trace deficiencies, keeping planted tanks, I'm not comfortable ignoring them either.

I appreciate all the help and suggestions but I'm planning, what is for me, a rather large investment and I don't want to jeopardize it for the sake of a few dollars.

GCG
 
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