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RO Planted Tank - Equilibrium

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  • RO Planted Tank - Equilibrium


    I am planning on making a 20 Gallon (UNS 60U) heavily Planted Tank with medium to high light using RO water only. This is my first real planted tank so I have a lot of questions. I will be using CO2, paintball canister with an atomizer and the first thing I’m worried about is getting the GH, KH and PH balanced so there are no harmful swings from C02. The second is balancing the same parameters for a Betta, Nerite Snail and possibly a shrimp or two. Does anyone know the dosage of Equilibrium and the two buffers needed to get an established balance between hard enough for a snail and soft enough for a Betta while maintaining KH for C02 swings with around a 7.4 PH? This will be RO water and from water I know TDS is more or less an estimate, and I do not have a meter to test it (yet). I won’t be setting up for a few weeks but I’m looking to get everything in order so if I’m missing anything please let me know and thank you in advance!

  • #2
    I do exactly as you describe above -- RO water + Equilibrium + both the Acid and Alkaline Buffers from Seachem for planted tanks. I target a different hardness than you, but I have found if you use the Seachem online dosage calculators for each product, you can't go wrong. Just look at each product description and its usage instructions on the seachem site and there should be a link to the calculators. I've never had issue with following what they prescribe in terms of dosage amounts.

    Hmmm . . . on second thought, I'm a tad confused by this --. Does anyone know the dosage of Equilibrium and the two buffers needed to get an established balance between hard enough for a snail and soft enough for a Betta

    Unless I'm not understanding the question correctly, hardness is hardness. It's a measure of GH. It can't be both 'soft' and 'hard'. It's a single measurable degree. I believe Equilibrium will determine the ultimate degree of hardness depending on the amount dosed. This will affect both the GH of the water and its initial TDS.

    KH/Ph will be determined/influenced by the buffering products. I say influenced, because my experience is that the buffering agents let you determine an initial Ph of your RO water, and then this is driven lower and higher to a degree by your Co2 injection cycle and other factors (presence of tannins and other things with buffering properties like crushed coral, etc. -- if you have those)
    Last edited by tolstoy21; 09-18-2019, 12:50.


    • #3
      Thank you!! I did just find the Dose2 Seachem App and am very happy. To clarify, I was asking about the GH because I will have a snail and shrimp and a betta, to my knowledge snails like harder water but bettas prefer softer so I was wondering if there is a balance between for both. From what I found a 8 dGH would be good for both. Do you know of anything different or am I not understanding the GH (totally possible) but thank you again!


      • #4
        Snails do require a bit harder water in order to maintain their calcium carbonate shells. I think if you can find a middle ground for GH and KH, you can absolutely keep both betta fish and snails in the same tank. Betta fish are pretty adaptable fish, so keeping the parameters on the low end of what is required for snails should be fine.