Water changes - what water do I use?

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I would like some advice on the preparation of water for my weekly water change. I keep Amazon species (discus and tetras) which require a pH that is acidic so I require a low kH.

I have a water filter that gives me distilled water but I read that this is not good as the fish require certain minerals which can be obtained from tap water. To work around this I mix 75% distilled water with 25% tap water in a separate tank which I cycle with peat moss and bog wood for a week before doing my water change to ensure no chlorine is left. This has given me a fairly stable pH of 6.7 but what I would like to know is if there are any additives which I can use to ensure that the discus get all the right minerals without raising the kH too much.

My two main concerns are that the fish might not get enough trace elements in the way I am currently preparing my water or that I can get a pH crash over time.

I do not have access to a petshop where I can get RO water on a regular basis.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Cheers
OJ
 

Mike

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Never use tap water, it contains too many nasties (such as copper, high phosphates, some commercial weed killers/crop sprays) there are only two possible methods for tank water;-

1, you're lucky enough to live near a deserted beach, and sea water can be collected, well away from riveer esturies or busy beaches.

2, you buy and R/O filter and salt mix, the salt mix contains all the trace elements and is great for fish and corals.
 
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I have a freshwater aquarium with discus so I use a water filter which gives 99.9% pure water (tested no phosphates, ammonia, nitrates or chlorine) but I am worried about the trace elements that the freshwater fish may need which is removed by the filter. What additives can you recommend so I put back the essential trace elements without compromising the water quality?
 

Mike

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Not sure about SA (i live in England) but the koi keepers use a similar additive to the marine keepers, instead of a salt mix, you can buy a freshwater equivalent to add the correct trace elements back into the R/O filtered water. I will see if i can find a brand name.
 
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RO is not good for freshwater as it has everything stripped of it - as you said 99.999% pure. But the waste water that comes out of an RO machine is perfect. If you can get RO, then ask the LFS for the waste water - it contains all the trace elements but without the baddies.

my 2cents
 

Shaun

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I have a freshwater aquarium with discus so I use a water filter which gives 99.9% pure water (tested no phosphates, ammonia, nitrates or chlorine) but I am worried about the trace elements that the freshwater fish may need which is removed by the filter. What additives can you recommend so I put back the essential trace elements without compromising the water quality?
Will try find the info again. Epsom salts is 1 cant remember the others.
 

Singularity

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for my discus tank, u use a mix of 50% RO and 50% tap water. Many internet articles suggests 60% tap and 40% RO, but 50/50 has been working for me... To the mix u add your dechlorinator... I prefer the tetra products...

aswell as blackwater extract... in the link u can see exactly what it does...
Product Catalog

and ...
Product Catalog

but from your post, i think the blackwater extract is what u are looking for...
 

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