Thursday, December 26, 2019

Lowering the GH for my Boraras

My primary water source has TDS around 1000 and is extremely hard. I do not have a reading yet on the general (GH) and Carbonate hardness (KH) yet on my raw water.

I have a Kent RO system at home which gives me a TDS of around 230-240. This is composed of GH of around 11 dH and KH of about 4 dKH. This is still not good enough for my Boraras which need softer water. My target for this species is water that is about 7 dH of GH and 3 dKH on KH.

What this means is that my KH is fine but my GH needs to be further reduced. They also need acidic water in the 5-6 range. I am not going to control the pH much. My target is to achieve the right GH and KH and they the pH be a stable value. What ever that means. There are 2 viable methods for achieving this.

  1. Using a peat moss filtering method to condition the water. Peat moss supposedly absorbs the heavier ions namely Ca+ and Mg+ which are the primary sources of GH. 
  2. Mixing my RO water with packaged drinking water e.g. Bisleri that has about 2 GH and almost  nil KH. 
Recently I tried both methods. I took about 15 litres of RO water. Added a peat moss pillow with about 150-200 grams of peat moss and added an air stone for about 4 days. The GH dropped from 11 to 8 dH. I further mixed about 1.5 L required amount of Bisleri drinking water to further reduce the GH and KH. 

I have done a 50% water change to my cube tank with this conditioned water. Once I am back in Bangalore in another 4 days I will take a reading to observe the GH and KH. The impact on buffering from substrate should be clear in that time. 

The peat moss filtered water had a slightly higher TDS at 300 primarily I believe due to tons of tannins and humic substances in the water conditioned by the moss. Both of these are good for the fish and plants and should drive down the pH but this depends on the buffering capability of water. Which this means is how much the KH can be influenced by the substrate to keep the pH at a stable level.

I have a mix of both Platinum planted substrate and Fluval stratum on this tank. The peat moss conditioned water had a slight brownish tinge going into the tank which should reduce in the coming days with active filtration.

No fishes on this tank yet but looking at moving my Boraras from the Rasbora nano to the cube tank that my boys have named as Drift Horn

Drift Horn is a planted 30 cm cube tank

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