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.Until now I've been using rainwater to top off my pico marine

I did notice that the pH would drop over time and just assumed that high nitrates were the main contributing factor,

I have started using deionised water which has a pH of 6.0 which bothers me more than the rainwater I was using before registered at about 6.8

i did try using coral bone to alter the rainwaters pH prior to top off but stopped because I knew I was only adding to my 6gallon/pico's General Hardness

since I'm adding more deionised water over the hotter Queensland climate, the only thought that comes to mind is acid rain..

should I be using pH balanced RO water or is altering the pH with calcium carbonate sufficient..?

keeping in mind that I rarely do marine water changes maybe once every 6 months or so lol

Edited by MDAMAZING

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Couldn't find my KH so I ordered a new one.

I think you've got a good point.. So I'm adding coral bone to my deionised water, should only take a day or so to adjust.

It's a complicated parameter yet becomes somewhat simple once understood correctly, I should take closer attention to my little aquariums water quality, it's been going for over two years, at first I was doing 100% weekly wc and over time I've been getting away with months apart before wc, this is only possible because this aquarium happens to contains tough soft coral and highly resilient wild caught clownfish.

I've been trying to design a reactor and sump, wet/dry filter & protein skimmer but before I know it I'll be drilling holes.. Installing Cree LEDs ect. But I just seems so much easier to buy a new rimless tank with built in refugium, protein skimmer.. eliminating external sumps and other options.

It all makes my little aquarium look very outdated lol considering mine only has an overhead filter box which I've converted into a wet/dry filter and 50micron polishing station. Placing a great amount of pressure on my liverock which is only about 1kg in 6gallons.

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Just something to keep in mind with deionised and RO water is that they both contain no buffering compounds. Which makes the pH value meaningless. The low reading of 6 you get is from co2 from the air dissolving in the water. When you add it to water containing buffers like tank water ( even if you haven't added buffers) it will have very little if any effect on the pH in the tank.

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Nitrates off the chart

KH 6*

pH 7.8

Thinking I should perform the all important wc before I try to ajust chemistry..

I got my hands and compressed C02 thinking about calcium reactor and increasing lighting from 10w T8 to 400w high pressure sodium bulb for 1 hour at midday mixed with 12 hours 90w grow LEDs. All I need is some more coral bone yet I found a bag of oyster shells, would that be ok media for my calcium reactor. Intense lighting / algae growth will give me a good indication of excess nutrients.. And with all that lighting I could run some small type of algae scrubber to help out in between wc.

Had more than my fair share of set backs recently, the reefs chemistry has been severely neglected but I pay very close attention to top off and signs of stress, which I'm still surprisingly yet to see in pico.

"Can't help but feel I'm a bit in over my head"

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Just something to keep in mind with deionised and RO water is that they both contain no buffering compounds. Which makes the pH value meaningless. The low reading of 6 you get is from co2 from the air dissolving in the water. When you add it to water containing buffers like tank water ( even if you haven't added buffers) it will have very little if any effect on the pH in the tank.

That's very true, I happen to have very hard tap water atm, I decided too hard for top off but since it's mostly hardened with lime I wonder if I can find away to use it in combination with pre-treated deionised water..

I don't have hard corals or many softies so I assume the extra calcium I plan on dosing will only end up losing its buffering capability and continue contributing to TDS. I don't think I would have much luck scrubbing calcium from the water column. Might have to stock up on saltwater.

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That's very true, I happen to have very hard tap water atm, I decided too hard for top off but since it's mostly hardened with lime I wonder if I can find away to use it in combination with pre-treated deionised water..

I don't have hard corals or many softies so I assume the extra calcium I plan on dosing will only end up losing its buffering capability and continue contributing to TDS. I don't think I would have much luck scrubbing calcium from the water column. Might have to stock up on saltwater.

I don't understand why you think your tap water is too hard for top ups? Brisbane tap water is great as long as obviously it is treated with Prime or similar first..

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Just used deionised water after days of dissolving coral bone,

pH 7.6

KH 5

GH undetectable

I dropped my TDS meter so no luck there

I'm quite happy with the results.

Decided against the 400w bulb

Might not need a calcium reactor if I'm carbonate dosing with every top off

Just need to improve my wc schedule.

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Just used deionised water after days of dissolving coral bone,

pH 7.6

KH 5

GH undetectable

I dropped my TDS meter so no luck there

I'm quite happy with the results.

Decided against the 400w bulb

Might not need a calcium reactor if I'm carbonate dosing with every top off

Just need to improve my wc schedule.

If GH is undetectable, then its a super fail as a calcium reactor.

GH after all is a measurement of calcium and magnesium in the water.

And a calcium reactors job is to put calcium in the water......... of which you cant measure any.

Water changes?

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What do you think of my LED specs

120 degree

Red 660nm x60

620-630nm x10

Blue x10

Orange x10

Unusual led combo you have there, are they 3watt diodes!

Are you growing more so non-symbiotic algae cause that’s a lot of red?

With a 120 spread-optics, the depth penetration of your waters would be a little weak, unless the fitting is very close to the surface.

But then you would still need shallow waters to get any useful light towards the tanks floor for long term health of anything reliant on symbiotic algae with in like corals or even basic algae on its own.

Anything other then standard blue and cool white should be in moderation and diverse, like a few cyan, a few violet, a few royal blue, a few true green, etc,etc, that sort of thing, depending on what you want to achieve, oh and you are better off with 80 degree optics, the smaller the number the more powerful and narrower the beam of light as it heads to the floor of your tank.

The spread at 120 will defuse the leds light intensity real fast.

Remember in white is all colours, with blue its the most power full of all colours in depth penetration and lighting colours inspire photosynthetic excitation and in no way does Uvradition achieve anything!

That’s why standard leds are so good, virtually no UVR is emitted!

Edited by liquidg

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