Getting somewhere… remineralization help?

Cue

I am deeply sorry if this is a stupid question. I bugged my LFS about what their water perimeters are and they dropped some, possibly very wrong, possibly very helpful information on me. Apparently my water functions nearly as RO water out of the tap… which means remineralization might help if I ever keep fish again. Now I’m curious, was this casual LFS stupidity, and if not, how does one remineralize water?

KH 0-1
GH 0-1
PH 6.3-7.6, very unstable and prone to swings

even if this isn’t the issue, I’m still scrutinizing everything I can to figure out why my tanks were all completely unstable and failed, besides they were smaller tanks or “uncycled” because I had lower nitrates, or because I didn’t test TDS….
 

brhau

It really depends on what kinds of fish you’re keeping and whether they require hard water or soft water. There can also be other reasons your tanks are failing that have nothing to do with your tap water.
 

DrPleconstein

Hey no water expert here but this is my thoughts. Im very surprised you are getting that low of both KH and GH straight from the tap! If that is actually the case it is like using RO water as you are not having any of the minerals and this explains your pH swings because KH acts as your buffer in the solution. This can definitely cause stress on your fish. I have heard of a lot of different ways of trying to increase the carbonate hardness in a tank, but have never tried any myself. Maybe experiment with your water some and see what adding different rock mixtures would do to your parameters and where you want them depending on the fish you plan to keep.
 

LizStreithorst

Charlyc11 is a member here dealing with the same situation. I believe he's on the right track to the solution. I'm sure he will chime in when he reads what you're going through.
 

Cue

It really depends on what kinds of fish you’re keeping and whether they require hard water or soft water. There can also be other reasons your tanks are failing that have nothing to do with your tap water.
I’m sure it was a mixture of things, I’m just trying to pinpoint what things it was. I kept a betta, some amanos, and pygmy cories for a while before the tank became so overrun with Cyanobacteria I had to take it down. Then I kept some peacock gudgeons. They refused to eat anything and most of them starved. My last attempt was cherry shrimp which obviously didn’t work out at all, I tried to up my KH+GH with crushed coral but it was just too unstable. Fortunately we found some guy we call Jimmy Shrimp who took the survivors of that one in.

what fish do thrive in softer water? I usually only ever see PH when I’m researching.
Hey no water expert here but this is my thoughts. Im very surprised you are getting that low of both KH and GH straight from the tap! If that is actually the case it is like using RO water as you are not having any of the minerals and this explains your pH swings because KH acts as your buffer in the solution. This can definitely cause stress on your fish. I have heard of a lot of different ways of trying to increase the carbonate hardness in a tank, but have never tried any myself. Maybe experiment with your water some and see what adding different rock mixtures would do to your parameters and where you want them depending on the fish you plan to keep.
Thanks for the information! Just the validation that that might have something to do with it is very helpful, thank you.
 

brhau

what fish do thrive in softer water? I usually only ever see PH when I’m researching.
There are many, like most South American fish, including the common ones like tetra, cory, and everything that lives with them in those rivers (apistos, pencils…). Many people use RODI water to soften their tap to breed these fish. Also, the fish from Asian peat swamps like betta, gourami, rasbora… Most killifish like soft water. I would start with what kinds of fish you like and then research their natural habitats.

Seriously Fish is a reliable source of information for water parameters. If the fish comes from low pH water, the water is soft. You can’t have a low pH In hard water without using buffers that don’t exist naturally.

The fish that prefer hard water include most livebearers and the rift lake cichlids.
 

LizStreithorst

The problem with such a low kH is that you would have to do a flopping on the bottom WC twice daily to avoid a pH crash. That's what the Discus breeders do. Their water cost nothing, labor is cheap and they are set up to do it quickly and efficiently In this video the fish aren't flopping on the bottom. There was one amazing one I saw where they were. I just can't find the darned thing.
.
 

Cue

Twice a day water changes is (I hope obviously) not sustainable, especially because I’m a student. Is there a way to bump KH in a way that won’t swing water parameters or should I just give in and attempt a blackwater tank if I try again?
 

LizStreithorst

As I mentioned Charlyc11 has is on his way to figuring it out. His Kh from the tap is 0. Last I heard he has gotten it up to 2 and it's stable. 3 kH is good enough as long as you are testing your water until you find out how often you need to do WC. You might want to send him a PM if he doesn't see this thread.
 

Cue

Alright, Thank you!
 

brhau

The pH doesn’t crash in low KH tanks. I have 5 blackwater tanks with KH zero, and the pH won’t go below 5.5 unless I add acid. And then it always goes back up. The carbonate-carbonic acid equilibrium naturally buffers the water.
 

LizStreithorst

I read over the rules to see if posting a link to a thread in another forum is permitted and it is unless I'm twisting your arm into joining it which I am not.

The part you will interested in starts at post 30 but if you read through the entire thread you will see how this man has struggled to find a solution,

Need some help with my KH
 

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