Custom Water

GreenGo

Well-Known Member
#1
How do you do it? What products do you use? Are there special products for certain species from certain areas (for example: shrimp, African WC Fish, the list can go on)?

Let's get this discussion going for anyone who needs help with making custom water! A truly all-in-one stop experience for those who would like to make custom water for their aquariums (y)
 

GreenGo

Well-Known Member
#4
Calcium chloride
Potassium bicarbonate
Magnesium sulfate
Shaken and stirred
What do each of these do in regards to water parameters?
 

junebug

Chune the Smiter
Staff member
#8
For my sensitive fish, I start with RO. I have a couple of options for remineralization, but I usually just use a little tap water, say 1 cup, for every gallon of RO water. This achieves enough mineral content to keep my plants alive, while not raising my gH, kH, and pH to the point where the fish are stressed.

I never really measure anything anymore. I used to try, and found the test kits I got didn't work on extremely soft water. The only thing I occasionally test for these days is TDS.
 

Navigator Black

Some odd mod.
Staff member
#9
It depends on what you start with. I like softwater fish, so my tap is good. It could be softer. I could use Reverse Osmosis. I can also reduce hardness by using with peat in large quantities (a 20 gallon tub half filled), or sphagnum moss.
When I used an RO filter, I used local tap water to balance it. I wasn't looking at 0 ppm in a tank, just a reduced level.That meant no additives.
Now, for my Mexican livebearers, I toss in epsom salts with every water change, and the fish do fine. I don't measure precisely though.
 

Discusluv

Well-Known Member
#10
I use water straight out of the tap for all my fish. No pH bounce to be concerned with.
My GH is 3/KH 5. PH is 7.4.

I am looking into an R/O system for the near future, so that I can breed my discus, corydoras, tetras.
 

Discusluv

Well-Known Member
#11
It depends on what you start with. I like softwater fish, so my tap is good. It could be softer. I could use Reverse Osmosis. I can also reduce hardness by using with peat in large quantities (a 20 gallon tub half filled), or sphagnum moss.
When I used an RO filter, I used local tap water to balance it. I wasn't looking at 0 ppm in a tank, just a reduced level.That meant no additives.
Now, for my Mexican livebearers, I toss in epsom salts with every water change, and the fish do fine. I don't measure precisely though.
This is what I am hoping to do with an R/O system. 1/2 tap and 1/2 R/O, for example. I dont want to have to add minerals to adjust.
 

junebug

Chune the Smiter
Staff member
#12
GG, I think what you're looking for is something like this:

The best way to achieve specific gH and kH is with a good test kit and remineralizing salts. WHEN I use salts (which is not often) I recommend Equilibrium and Alkaline buffer from seachem. Alkaline buffer raises kH, And Equilibrium raises gH. If you also need to lower your pH, Seachem makes an "acid" buffer that probably works as well as the others.

There is no magic formula. The best think you can do is test after measured doses of whatever you put in your water, and only put things in your water that you can test for. This is true whether you're using tap or Distilled/RODI water. Same goes for the use of salt in aquariums, whether you're doing a brackish tank or a full reef.

There are plenty of tools available for testing water. Some work better than others. I personally use my TDS meter and that alone to "test" my tanks, and it's more out of curiosity than anything else. I know my water and I know how to modify it to suit the fish I want.
 

junebug

Chune the Smiter
Staff member
#13
This is what I am hoping to do with an R/O system. 1/2 tap and 1/2 R/O, for example. I dont want to have to add minerals to adjust.
FYI, 50/50 splits usually get you water with LOW kH and gH, and pH of about whatever your tap water has. If you're going for "soft" and "acidic" water, you'll want to reduce the amount of tap you're using.
 

Discusluv

Well-Known Member
#14
FYI, 50/50 splits usually get you water with LOW kH and gH, and pH of about whatever your tap water has. If you're going for "soft" and "acidic" water, you'll want to reduce the amount of tap you're using.
Yeah, I noted in my post, "for example" because I am clueless as of yet at the amounts that i would need to lower the pH to the desired number.
 

junebug

Chune the Smiter
Staff member
#15
Yeah, I noted in my post, "for example" because I am clueless as of yet at the amounts that i would need to lower the pH to the desired number.
Oh haha okay. I just wanted to save you from the same mistake I made and had to find out the hard way why my fish were unhappy :/

Edit: You may also find the need to add acidifiers, driftwood, leaves, or Acid buffer (or discus buffer, same thing) to get the pH down depending on your tap pH and kH.
 

Discusluv

Well-Known Member
#16
Oh haha okay. I just wanted to save you from the same mistake I made and had to find out the hard way why my fish were unhappy :/

Edit: You may also find the need to add acidifiers, driftwood, leaves, or Acid buffer (or discus buffer, same thing) to get the pH down depending on your tap pH and kH.
I will use leaves, driftwood, peat moss...
 

NightShade

Well-Known Member
#18
GG, I think what you're looking for is something like this:

The best way to achieve specific gH and kH is with a good test kit and remineralizing salts. WHEN I use salts (which is not often) I recommend Equilibrium and Alkaline buffer from seachem. Alkaline buffer raises kH, And Equilibrium raises gH. If you also need to lower your pH, Seachem makes an "acid" buffer that probably works as well as the others.

There is no magic formula. The best think you can do is test after measured doses of whatever you put in your water, and only put things in your water that you can test for. This is true whether you're using tap or Distilled/RODI water. Same goes for the use of salt in aquariums, whether you're doing a brackish tank or a full reef.

There are plenty of tools available for testing water. Some work better than others. I personally use my TDS meter and that alone to "test" my tanks, and it's more out of curiosity than anything else. I know my water and I know how to modify it to suit the fish I want.
I completely agree. (She beat me to it :p) I use equilibrium and alkaline buffer, will try acid buffer soon. No magic formula, I have to use my test kits (GH/KH) for every new tank to figure it out. I start slow, and in an inhabitant free tank. Theres no formula that'll work across the boards unfortunately, plus, each fish/invert needs different params. I remineralize my tap. It's soft GH 2° and KH 1-2° TDS 65 ~ish so.... close to RO lol!

Sorry that there's no scientific answer for you GG! :unsure:
 

GreenGo

Well-Known Member
#19
It's fine (y) This is simply supposed to be a place for ANYONE and EVERYONE to see how others remineralize their RO or other purified water
 

GreenGo

Well-Known Member
#20
For someone wanting to get into this (like myself), would you recommend matching your tap pH, TDS, GH, and KH (other parameters?) using whatever aforementioned products suit their fancy for the first fill? This assumes the animals are already doing well in the person's tap water. (y)

Would such a thing eliminate the need for a gradual transition, or are there other things in tap water that our animals need to get used to doing without more slowly?

E2A: this also assumes the person doesn't want to cut the tap by mixing some of their tap with RO water. If they do want to just cut their tap, there's no easy or quick way to do so. No shortcuts.
 
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