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Reconstituting R/O water, substrate cables, substrate maintenance, GH & KH builders

> From: Michael D Nielsen <mnielsen at U_Arizona.EDU>
> Subject: Re: RO water
<< Snip >>
> I use the Kent RO Right,
> but others have claimed that regualar saltwater salt can be used and is
> even cheaper.

I don't think that the ratio of salts in salt mixes designed to reproduce
seawater would be very appropriate for freshwater tanks.


> From: IDMiamiBob at aol_com
> Subject: Re: Slow UGF
<< Snip >>
> But I'm told by all, or at least most, of the experts on this
> list that to get
> the nutrients to the substrate exchnge sites I need substrate
> current such as
> provided by those very spendy, and IMHO, very risky heating cables.

I think that you must be receiving a different list from the one that I get.
There are a few people here who recommend heating cables but I don't ever
recall anybody saying that they were a necessitiy. Even George Booth, in
articles on his tanks, has said that there are things which are far more
important (like adequate CO2) than substrate heating. And for what its
worth, the risky cables are the ones you'd put together yourself, not
generally the ones your would buy from a company like Dupla.

> One
> thing I have
> decided for sure is I don't want to get this really great looking tank
> running, and then just as it is perfect, rip it down and replace
> the expended
> substrate, or start sticking little clay balls in it everywhere to keep it
> going.

Just a second here - this list is for aquatic GARDENERS, emphasis mine and
intended. No aquarium, I don't care how it is set up initially and how much
money you throw at it in the way of technology, is going to last
indefinately without doing a little bit of fertilizing, both of the water
AND of the substrate. Putting "little clay balls" in the substrate a year or
two after a tank is set up is not much of a hardship. You wouldn't expect a
rose bush in your back yard to thrive and bloom year after year without
amending the soil every year. If a tank looks good and everything is growing
well, you obviously are doing something right but if after a long period of
good growth there is a general decline in plant growth, using something like
jobe's sticks or home-made clay balls is a lot easier than a complete tear
down and re-set. The only setup I can think of which would not require
periodic attention like this would be one with plastic plants and plastic


> From: Geek Bait <Itchy.Scratchy at worldnet_att.net>
> Subject: Cheap kH and GH builders
> What is a cheap way to increase the kH and GH of aquarium water prior to
> adding it to the tank. I've been using the Dupla kH builder but man that
> stuff is expensive. Since the water from my tap is soft and slightly
> acidic, I was thinking about adding Recon to my RO water and then
> running it through a bag of calcium carbonate or aragonite afterwards
> and then mixing it w/ dechlorinated tap water. How does this sound? I've
> heard someone talk about putting Baking Soda in the tank but I'm
> apprehensive in doing so. Any information based on your direct
> experience would be appreciated.

Baking soda works perfectly to increase the Alkalinity of water. I use it
with every water change (I use R/O water + Kent Marine R/O Right. Recon is a
similar product to R/O Right, from another company. I don't worry about
trying to increase the GH of my water, the R/O Right allows me to tailor the
GH to my needs perfectly.

James Purchase
Toronto, Ontario