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Thread: new to discus, I need help with adjusting(or not) my tap water

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    Default new to discus, I need help with adjusting(or not) my tap water

    Hi guys, Im new to discus , but not new with aquarium hobby. I recently purchased two 3 inch discus and one week later another four very small 1in discus . I have 56 gallon, BB column tank. Besides the discus there are 2 Bolivian rams, and one albino pleco in it. Im doing 40% WC daily, and everything looks fine. Im using tap water, and since I believe my tap water is not adequate Im adjusting the parameters. And when you do daily water changes its starting to be more difficult. So I want to ask you if you think I can get away without adjusting the water. And this is my concern. My tap water is very soft, GH and KH are about 1dGH and 1dKH, too low. And the PH is 8.4, not bad but little bit high. The TDS are 60ppm. Since the KH is very low the water is unstable. The PH can crash from 8.4 to 6 over nigh. So far I would add this ingredient when I do the WC. I would add Seachem Equilibrium, to rise the GH to about 4dGH, then I would add Seachem Alkaline buffer to rise the KH to about 4dKH. But now the alkaline buffer will rise the PH too, so to drop the PH I would add Seachem Acid Buffer. And in the tank the water will settle down to PH 6.8, and its stable. Also when I check the TDS its 240ppm now. So can you tell me if Im doing it right? And am I overdosing the buffers? Is 240ppm to high for discus? And can I just use alkaline buffer and acid buffer(or none), and stop using the equilibrium, since that's very hard to dissolve, and always makes the water cloudy. Or can I use epsom salt instead of Seachem Equilibrium? If I dont use the equilibrium, just the acid and alkaline buffer, the TDS will be about 180ppm(im not 100% sure about this). Thank you

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    Default Re: new to discus, I need help with adjusting(or not) my tap water

    When you say your water ph is 8.4, is this straight from tap or aged? If it is tap and drops to 6 overnight, then your tap water is fine, especially with daily water changes. However, with that much of a swing, you would want to age your water overnight to avoid shocking your fish. Consistent ph is better than high or low ph. Discus breeders would love to have tap water like yours!

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    Default Re: new to discus, I need help with adjusting(or not) my tap water

    Agree with Brian / Jeep . If you age your water with an airstone 24 hours prior WCs it will propably stabilize at 6. something and that would be perfect for your discus .
    The only thing you'll need to consider is adding KH buffer (Crushed coral , baking soda , seachem etc. ) to raise KH to 4-5 Degrees to make your pH stable until the next waterchange. Other than that your water is perfect for breeding discus.
    Good luck .

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    Default Re: new to discus, I need help with adjusting(or not) my tap water

    Thank you for the response. PH 8.4 is straight from the tap, I will age the water overnight in the 20 gallon plastic container that I use for WC. I will put a large water pump in it to circulate the water and speed up the process. I will test it again tomorrow, and let you know the results.

    Edit*
    in a meantime I filled a small bottle with water and connect it to the air pump, about 30 min later the PH dropped from 8.4 to 7.0.
    Last edited by DP2018; 01-14-2019 at 09:33 PM.

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    Moderator Team Filip's Avatar
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    Default Re: new to discus, I need help with adjusting(or not) my tap water

    Quote Originally Posted by DP2018 View Post
    Thank you for the response. PH 8.4 is straight from the tap, I will age the water overnight in the 20 gallon plastic container that I use for WC. I will put a large water pump in it to circulate the water and speed up the process. I will test it again tomorrow, and let you know the results.

    Edit*
    in a meantime I filled a small bottle with water and connect it to the air pump, about 30 min later the PH dropped from 8.4 to 7.0.
    Your water source provides very soft and acidic water and your water company propably puts NaOh or some other pH+ substance in it to prevent the pipe corosion from acidic water . Once NaOh evaporates the water is back to it's original acidic state.
    So the only thing you need to do is age your water prior WCs and add crushed coral in the filter to raise the KH for a degree or two .

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    Default Re: new to discus, I need help with adjusting(or not) my tap water

    Filip is spot on, however the NaOH doesn't evaporate, CO2 from the air reacts with the NaOH to drop your pH. You'll need to age your water, with an air stone and either add crushed coral to the filter or the same amount of baking soda each time you do a WC.

    Your water is lovely compared to the municipal well water we get in Madison.

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    Default Re: new to discus, I need help with adjusting(or not) my tap water

    After I let it age overnight the water reached equilibrium at PH 7.0. So now my water parameters are
    KH - 2dKH
    TDS - 60ppm
    PH - 7.0
    Is that going to work?
    If I try to raise the KH to 4dKH I'm also effecting the PH. The PH is going UP. Maybe I should leave it as it is. With daily WC it wont be a problem, imo
    I like the idea of a crushed corral, but I have no space in my canister filter.

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    Default Re: new to discus, I need help with adjusting(or not) my tap water

    Leave it as it is. Just be sure to do daily wc.
    Mama Bear

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    Default Re: new to discus, I need help with adjusting(or not) my tap water

    Quote Originally Posted by LizStreithorst View Post
    Leave it as it is. Just be sure to do daily wc.
    Agree.

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