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RE: water conditioning

> The tap water coming into my house is ringing in at a pH of 10 or a
> little under and a KH that varies between 3 and 4.  What do you think
> would be the best way of going about  conditioning this water for the
> purpose of getting a planted tank with some Angel fish going?
> (Preferably 6.5- 7.0 pH, little change in KH if at all possible, yes?)
> I'm working on getting a CO2 rig together, but won't have it complete
> for some time. I have had some recommendations on the Seachem Acid
> Buffer, but I'm concerned about the low KH being a liability there.


I also live in Austin, and, except for CO2 injection and PMDD, I do not
use any other additives to treat our tap water.  The pH is high because
the city softens our water by precipitating out Ca and Mg.  This process
also uses up any CO2 in the water, so the high pH is simply due to zero
CO2.  When I do my water changes I use straight tap water via a python.
I keep my tank at about 25 ppm CO2, so a 10% water change with 0 CO2
yields (25*.90) + (0*0.1)=22.5 ppm CO2, which results in a negligible pH
shift.  I used to aerate my changing water for 36-48 hours before use,
but I realized it was unecessary.  Aeration brings the pH back to about

The city publishes a detailed water analysis every quarter, and you can
see the latest at http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/water/watersummary.htm

Notice the difference in Ca and Mg between raw and tap water.  The
effects of softening are evident.  Ditto for pH.

Our water is naturally low in Fe and K, so some supplementation there is
usually warrantd for a planted tank.  Otherwise, no conditioning is
necessary.  We are lucky to have such good water.

If you've bought plants from Aquatek or the Aqua-Dome, you've probably
bought some of my plants!