Confused About Ro Water- German Rams

tracyree

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Hello. I have a 15 gallon with 2 german rams and a betta. Before getting the rams I used tap water and conditioner and betta was happy. Since getting the rams I've only used RO water when changing water. It's been a few months now, so the water is all RO at this point.

Rams seem happy, but betta doesn't. He has gotten really lethargic.

Considering separating them, any other ideas?
 

Sel

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Are you remineralizing the water? Straight R/O water has no beneficial minerals in it. No buffers to keep pH steady.
 

OnTheFly

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Mix tap with your RO. I have four ram tanks and it works well. You either need an API hardness kit or a TDS meter to have some wild idea what water you are feeding the rams. Pure RO is a real bad idea. Not good for the betta either.
 
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tracyree

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Our tap water is softened. Is that ok to mix with the RO? I was concerened about the salt used to soften
 

OnTheFly

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Our tap water is softened. Is that ok to mix with the RO? I was concerened about the salt used to soften
Should be a bypass on your water softener, or the outside hose perhaps. The fact you have a softener tells my your local water has plenty of calcium and probably magnesium. I am going to pull the following out of my rear end, but if you do 50% WCs in a 15G and mix 1 to 1 1/2 gallons of hard water from somebody nearby you will very likely be in the ballpark for decent ram water. A TDS meter is $10 on Amazon. that would be a good investment. A hardness test kit would be nice too but one or the other would be very helpful.
 
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tracyree

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Just tested. pH is 8.0
gH was 3drops to change
kH was 4 drops to change

we don't have any faucets that bypass the softener aside from the RO
 

OnTheFly

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Just tested. pH is 8.0
gH was 3drops to change
kH was 4 drops to change

we don't have any faucets that bypass the softener aside from the RO
You have good ram water right now. Mine will spawn with KH 6-8 drops. I would add some hard water if you want to try to have a community aquarium. I know very little about bettas but your water is probably a little soft for them right now.
 

Sel

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Just tested. pH is 8.0
gH was 3drops to change
kH was 4 drops to change

we don't have any faucets that bypass the softener aside from the RO
You might have to find a different water source like I did and lug buckets home.
 

SPiNoVA

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Two rams and a Betta in a 15G isn't going to work out too well, either. But yeah, at least get a GH/KH kit, so you know what's in the water.
 
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tracyree

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Two rams and a Betta in a 15G isn't going to work out too well, either. But yeah, at least get a GH/KH kit, so you know what's in the water.
Why isn't it going to work?

alos, I posted the gh/kh above
 

SPiNoVA

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Unless you have a pair (male/female) of Rams, chances are good they will fight, upon maturity. Ditto Betta. Especially in such a small tank.
 

junebug

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Your water is 8.0 pH with pure RO? That can't be right.... RO is neutral or close to it.

If you're worried about your softened tap water (I would be too) I would remineralize the RO with seachem buffering products, which I've found work well with RO water.

But first, move your betta to his own tank and let the GBRs have the 15 to themselves.

Bettas like soft water, so I doubt the water is causing his issues. I'm sure that being stressed in a small tank with two other *very* colorful fish is causing some of his issues though.
 

OnTheFly

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Rams are touted as great community fish. Probably so right up until they pair off. Then they act like cichlids because that is what they are. I have four ram tanks and and when they pair off nobody else is welcome in the tank, including other rams not part of the pair. I had a male GBR kill a female a few days ago. You need a LOT of footprint and about zero other bottom dwellers for the community thing to work all the time.
 
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