RO/DI Water

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by poeticinjustices, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. poeticinjustices

    poeticinjusticesWell Known MemberMember

    Hello everyone.

    So, many of you know, I am fighting a losing battle with fin rot in my betta. Just typing out that sentence has me in tears haha. I've tried several treatments with breaks in between. He heals and gets worse. Now not even my most aggressive treatment is working which is telling me that, once this course is finished, it's time to stop medication.

    I'm leaving tomorrow for four days for unexpected vacation. I have someone coming in to look after the fish. I am already not enjoying this vacation because I am so worried about V.

    When I return, if he is still alive and not so ill that euthanasia is imminent, I plan to break down his tank. I was going to do it sooner but I wanted to finish the meds first and the last dose will be administered while I am away (I already have it prepared).

    With the break down, I am thinking about using RO/DI water for V to see if that helps. My tap water is actually not very hard (GH = 6 drops, KH = 3 drops, pH 7.6 ages to about 7.4) and its buffering capacity is pretty poor as you can see.

    It's actually reached a point where I started researching radical intervention surgically. Hah. I won't get into that, it's insane.

    What I need to know about is RO/DI water.

    V is a betta, I know they like softer water. Assuming the RO/DI water is neutral pH - do I still need to add buffers and such? I'm guessing yes but I'm not sure how to do this without elevating the pH. Every KH buffer I've read about (not pH modifiers, I'm talking about the actual mineral salts) raises pH at least somewhat, right? I'd like to keep the pH as close to ideal as possible.

    Could I use the water as it is? I'm really unfamiliar with this stuff. I'd appreciate any insight.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
  2. mg13

    mg13Well Known MemberMember

    oh.... oh... I am going to cry...

    why must they get sick...


    what kind of unexpected vacation?
  3. OP

    poeticinjusticesWell Known MemberMember

    Tell me about it, I've be bawling on and off since the meds stopped working. But I have to be honest with myself for his sake as much as mine. I cannot keep putting him through medications. If Kanaplex isn't working, I have to really ask myself if something is wrong with his immune system. Remember, I had a feeling he wasn't going to be very healthy. He needs a break from the meds at this point. I can't keep putting him through that.

    It's a trip to the beach in NJ and also to see my grandpa. Leave tomorrow, back Sunday night. Normally, I'd be over the moon about it. The beach is my happy place. But I'm really uncomfortable leaving the tanks. But my grandpas old and I do not get to see him as much as I should, he's the only family I have left on my father's side.

  4. Rivieraneo

    RivieraneoModeratorModerator Member

    PI, keep him in clean water and wait to see what happens, I wouldn't move towards surgical procedures or euthanasia until absolutely necessary.

  5. OP

    poeticinjusticesWell Known MemberMember

    Haha yeah I know, it was just something I was wondering about and got interested in. But wouldn't it be great if we could just lop off the infected area and be done with it? We're not at euthanasia yet, either. I know.

    After being gone a few days, I can see it's progressed just as it has been. It's somewhat worse, but not yet catastrophic. It's following it's usual pattern. I've started pulling out the final dose of medication with water changes and carbon. Back to baseline, and we see what happens.

    I'm still toying with the RO/DI water. I've had a couple people mention the possibility that he could be reacting to that. Also considered he possibility he could be tail-biting, but wouldn't explain the pectoral or dorsal fins affected.

    So I'm going back to the beginning. Fresh clean water, good diet. And I will see what becomes of it.
  6. fishingdeepValued MemberMember

    Can I share a link:  . What do you think ?
  7. OP

    poeticinjusticesWell Known MemberMember

    Thank you for the link, I have read it before. At this point, it's time to give him a break from medical interventions and see how he does without it. I have kept his water clean and he does have a bit of salt in there and I always feed boosted diets regardless of health. I've pushed his tolerance level quite a bit with medications and although he's been a real trooper through it all, I'm getting the feeling he's tired. I'll decide my next step once I see how he does without me meddling in his tank all the time haha. Thanks again :)
  8. fishingdeepValued MemberMember

    Can you join any fish club in your area? They are a wealth of knowledge and the members cross raise many species but we all have dealt with the issue. Just want you to meet some great people in your area that can help
  9. OP

    poeticinjusticesWell Known MemberMember

    You know, I've looked around a little but haven't found much, just a few individual people, but few have suggested anything other than different medications and I can't do that for awhile. I shutter to think what his poor little liver and kidneys must be experiencing right now :( I'm going to hunt around a little more though as I haven't done much looking locally and as school approaches it's going to become much more difficult. There are still a lot of options in terms of medication but I really can't put him through more meds. I did order some IALs so, who knows, maybe that will make the difference.
  10. virusmk

    virusmkWell Known MemberMember


    I will suggest as a last resort deep or bath with Potasium permanganate.
    I did 5 seconds deep in concentrated solution.

    I feel your pain as i was there not long ago with my discuses as well.
    After this you have nothing to loose if it doesnt work
  11. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

  12. matsungit

    matsungitWell Known MemberMember

    I think you should stop thinking about pH value and start thinking about pH stability. You have GH=6, KH=3, and pH=7.6. I have GH=46, KH=14, and pH=7.6. Raising KH does not necessarily raise pH although it usually does. It has something to do with hydrogen ratio or something (per Hydrogen). RO-DI has zero GH and zero KH. It is almost pure H2O. A KH of 3 or less will usually have unstable pH. If you are worried about pathogens from tap then go ahead and use RO-DI or even any bottled water you trust. If it's not pathogens you can still use the tap water and buffer it to raise KH just enough for pH stability. KH will lower and deplete due to acids from waste and may crash pH. This usually happens when the KH is 3 or lower. Have you measured the KH and pH of the tank water right before a water change?

    If you are sure that the pH is stable you can also try Kent Freshwater Essential. It contains most of the essential trace elements for freshwater. Please note that this is different from Kent Betta Bowl Essential which is a water conditioner. Your betta could be just suffering from a vitamin or mineral deficiency which is absent from your tap water.
  13. OP

    poeticinjusticesWell Known MemberMember

    matsungit - I have tested my pH and hardness values before a water changes. Despite the low readings, my numbers are rather stable. The only time I had an issue was in my 29g during cycling with Amquel Plus. It depleted my KH and caused a minor pH swing. At least that's what I believe the culprit was after testing it on my tap water. Since I stopped using it, I haven't had any issues with pH stability.

    Thank you, aquarist48 - these links are great!

    For whatever reason, he looks not bad today. I'm not getting my hopes up but, aside from the huge chunk of dorsal fin he ripped out this morning (that was horrifying to watch), I could swear the red tips on his tail look a little less. I ordered some IALs for him too, looking forward to trying them.
  14. matsungit

    matsungitWell Known MemberMember

    Good to know you're on top of it. Fins grow back even in the worst case scenario. I have a figure eight puffer who almost died from columnaris. All is fins were eaten away and a small section of bone was starting to show where his tail used to be. Years later he's now twice as big, healthy and active. His new tail fin is a little bent downward but it's complete and fully functional.
  15. OP

    poeticinjusticesWell Known MemberMember

    I think my frequency of water change helps a lot with maintaining stability in poorly buffered water. Since I stopped using the Amquel Plus, my pH has been pretty rock solid. It ages in a bucket where it falls from 7.6 to about 7.4. In the tanks, during the day it remains at 7.4 and at night falls by .1 or .2. Pretty predictable, thankfully, though it does get rather affected during spikes. I'm also not sure I'm reading the KH test kit correctly. It says the result should turn a bright yellow. At 3 drops, it turns a sort of pale, watery yellow.

    That's a great story about the figure 8 :) I love them, by the way, there are several gorgeous ones in varying sizes at my LFS. A bit of bone terrifying. Yeesh. I'm glad you brought him back from the brink, restores my faith a little :) Today I'm just choosing to be grateful that he does not look any worse (except for the "snack" he made of his dorsal fin, that looks terrible and was really disturbing to witness).
  16. matsungit

    matsungitWell Known MemberMember

    Yes, you are reading it correctly. Although API says bright yellow you should be reading it at pale yellow. I forgot where I read it but someone compared the API reading with a lab grade test.

    Although I bought Puppy and Fluffy for $5 each I spent about $150 in antibiotic treatments trying to save them from the columnaris. Puppy was the one who lost his tail and Fluffy was bigger. The sad thing is that I lost Fluffy last year due to a strange illness I couldn't figure out. He was bloated and had sunken eyes. Until one day she couldn't see anymore and couldn't swim straight. None of the other fish seem affected, even later after Fluffy passed. They were a very close pair. Puppy stared hiding from then on. So I later bought 2 young ones to keep Puppy company but he doesn't seem to be as close to them than Fluffy. But at least they got Puppy to come out. Puppy used to always follow Fluffy around wherever she went.

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