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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
kv1
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Brita filter?

Hiya, I live in a very hard water area, resulting in a high pH of about 8.2. I have added driftwood to try to lower the pH but it hasn't really affected it, I don't really want to use chemicals as this can give unstable water conditions.

Does anyone know if it would be ok to use Brita filtered water to reduce hardness and therefore reduce the pH? Also, if this is ok, would I still need to treat the water with a water conditioner whilst doing water changes?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 12:27 PM
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I'm not too familiar with tap water filters but most filters like that remove too much. It's doing a lot more than lowering the pH.

I would just try to stick to species that do ok in harder water and species that are adaptable. So no neon tetras but mollies are fine! Just as a couple of examples .

What kind of substrate do you have?




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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 02:17 AM
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I'm curious what you mean when you say that they "remove too much".


I use a Pur, tap water filter for my animals, and I still worry about what it DOESN'T filter out.


Bob



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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 11:58 AM
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I'm curious what you mean when you say that they "remove too much".


I use a Pur, tap water filter for my animals, and I still worry about what it DOESN'T filter out.


Bob
I don't know anything about the Pur filters but the idea is that some of these filters may be removing trace elements and minerals that the animals need. The Brita, for example, removes calcium (and so I'd never use it at all when snails or stony coral are concerned). I also feel that by removing so much, you're lowering the buffering capability of the water--which could result in more drastic pH swings (which would of course be very stressful to the fish). A steady pH is usually more important than getting the "right" numbers.

Usually the argument for using these filters for aquariums is "they don't remove that much, they use carbon like an aquarium filter". If that's the case, I think it'd be a lot more effective to buy some aquarium-grade activated carbon and stick it in the aquarium filter!

I definitely understand why they're used for humans, dogs, cats, birds, etc. But for aquatic animals, I'm not too convinced. At best, they don't seem to do much at all for aquariums (nothing that can't be accomplished using a $4 bottle of Prime). At worst, they could cause a fluctuating pH (especially since they become less effective as they age and the pH might start rising) or remove something that the animals need (calcium being a definite one).

If you've had good experiences, though, please share. I don't know a lot about using them for aquariums--always seemed risky and a waste of money (for me I guess it is anyways since our tap water is awesome). I don't think I'd ever use a Brita to begin with, though, since the majority of my aquariums are marine and calcium is an important element for marine set-ups.




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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Hiya, I have a sandy substrate. Do you think African dwarf frogs would be ok at a pH of 8.2 if I'm unable to lower it? Apparently adding a peat layer to the substrate may help.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 11:56 AM
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Hiya, I have a sandy substrate. Do you think African dwarf frogs would be ok at a pH of 8.2 if I'm unable to lower it? Apparently adding a peat layer to the substrate may help.
That's high for the frogs but they should adapt if you can keep it stable. The peat would help, yeah, but I would first mess with that before adding the frogs in case it rapidly drops.




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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2010, 03:41 PM
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Try using different woods and, if you need to, peat. I'd try to stay away from peat though. I heard it can stain the water.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2010, 07:25 PM
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Try using different woods and, if you need to, peat. I'd try to stay away from peat though. I heard it can stain the water.
So will many woods, even some "treated" ones . The animals won't mind but some people do. I personally went as far as to set up a "blackwater" tank for one of my bettas. I can barely see through the water at times but the fish is super healthy and my water parameters are great! Plants grow well, too (but I selected my plants carefully and based on water parameters).

In summary, driftwood in general can discolor water. If it's excessive, frequent water changes will help remove the tannins . But the fish won't care either way (in this case).




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