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Re: DI water

-John said:
i have an EHIEM profesional canister filter with 100lbs of
flourite substrate 
in my 95 gallon corner tank. this clouding is very different
from the 
flourite clouding though (which is more like a brownish mud) and
can be seen 
when i add plants and stir up the gravel. it settles out within
12 hours or 

i am quite concerned that my local aquarium set me up with a DI
purifier. It was only $40, so i can't imagine its a profit
motive that caused 
him to sell it to me. He believed that our tap water would
result in algae 
growth (perhpas our tap water is high in dissolved
nitrogen/phosphorus? i 
live in Brooklyn, NYC), yet two different people here on the
lists have 
recommended against it - even saying the exact opposite; that DI
water would 
actually encorage algae growth!
Well plants do need some P and N(check the fertilizers). If you
give them pure water and don't add anything to it the plants
have nothing to "eat" even if you have all the other piece done
well(CO2 & Light) and if one of these pieces of the big 3, as I
like to call them, is missing ....you get
algae..........bacteria need some "food" as well. You mean well
and are trying. Good for you!
The LFS guy is just trying to do what he thinks is right. He's
wrong, but well meaning. Most don't know beans about plant
Owner's included.

You need to have some P and some N, not completely absent. I add
this stuff to my water BTW. My water is rock hard and I can grow
plants super. Playing with softening and RO units is a waste of
money and time and is quite counter productive. Think about it.
Why would you remove something only to have to add it back to
your water again? That is why I say what I say about DI/RO. What
if you have to learn all this stuff and test for everytime you
add your make up water? I would not have done this hobby if I
had to do that each time I needed to do a water change. What
will your CO2 do in super soft waters? Plant will not grow well
if at all, and you'll have dead fish if you use the super soft
water. If plants don't grow well, you get algae. You need to
have about 3-4 KH for your tank water. Higher is no big deal.
Lower, your asking for trouble. You should test your tap and see
what it's KH is. If your KH is about 4 then you should add
enough CO2 gas to drop your pH to about 6.8 or so. That's all
there is to it.
Check the pH/KH/CO2 table(*please look this up on the Krib) to
match up your tap's KH to the good range of CO2 levels. Adjust
this pH level to get the good CO2 range with the CO2 gas bubble
rate. Your KH might /will change alittle through out the year
but the main thing is to keep an eye on the pH as it is the main
variable in the dssolved CO2 amount in your tank. Forget playing
with DI/RO, learn this, you'll be glad you did. 
John says:   

The tank has been running for ten days now - 7 of them with
plants, and the 
last 2 with four honey gouramis i just added. Hope this helps,
becasue i can 
barely see the fish or plants through the milky water!!
Do you have CO2 gas being added?
I'd do a water change, with tap water this time.
Add more plants and some algae eaters.
John says:
one last thought - how does DI water hurt plants and fish?
something about 
proper gill function? but then i added the back the trace
nutrientsand pH 
buffer via the chemicals that came with the DI purifier. 
DI won't hurt the fish or the plants. Why would you take the
stuff out of the water and then add the stuff(buffers etc) back
into the water? Your plants will use the P and any N. The key is
to get the plants to grow. Light CO2 and nutrients(*reading the
back of fertilizer box will help! P and N and K are all on
there.). You can over do it with N and P. I'd try to keep the
NO3 at 10ppm or less and the P at 1.0ppm or less but neither
should be absent. Many salt/reef folks want this but it doesn't
apply here.
John says:    

If i begin using straight up tap water, what about the chlorine,
etc thats in 
it? do i add it straight to the tank? if not, how do i get it
into the tank? 
by pouring from a bucket (seems VERY disruptive)?
I use Amquel per directions. Lot cheaper than 40$ a water change
and much easier. Never had an issue with it for planted tanks.
You can add the water by way of a hose or have a dinner plate
that hits the flow and disperses it or anything that spreads the
flow out.
You have a fair amount to learn in the coming months. Take it
easy and remember the big 3, CO2, lights and nutrients. CO2 will
be the first thing to worry about. Learn as much about that as
you can. Plant tanks do require maintenance so you will have to
prune and remove algae etc. Check that first before going after
a nutrient(s)if you have a problem. Sounds like a nice tank in
the works. We are here to help if you can't find your answer on
the archive or Krib.
Tom Barr

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