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New betta owner

PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:29 am
by Suki
Hi, I'm new to freshwater aquariums and betta fish. I bought my fish on a whim for my cat as she loves my aquarium screen saver.
Well, my blue betta Kenji, is now MY fish and I am obsessed with giving him the best home and care possible!
The pet store employee told me the half gallon tank I initially purchased was TOO big for Kenji. I now know better and I am cycling a 5 gallon tank for him while he waits in his small bowl :cry: .
So far, he is healthy, active and eating well but I know that he needs a bigger tank to live a long and healthy life. I test his water daily, do slow 25% water changes daily and his bowl temp is stable at 76 degrees. His new tank has a power filter with adjustable flow and a heater. I can't move him in yet as his new tank is still cycling and going through nitrite spikes.
This is my question:
My tap water is RO! With chloramine added in. This is the water purification process my small community uses as our main water source is a near by river which is brackish. This complicates everything. GH and KH near zero and pH is 6.3.
My house also has an RO system (redundant, I know). So I use this water for my aquarium as it has no chloramine. I add Prime to detox any ammonia in his tank that accumulates during day and Kent RO Right to raise the GH and remineralize the water, which raises the GH to 2 (about 25ppm) and the KH to about 3 (it's between 2 & 3). So not much buffering capacity. It was suggested adding wonder shell fragments to add calcium. The pH of his tank is 6.8.
I'm considering slowly switching to spring water and mixing in my treated RO water to raise the KH. Any suggestions? My local store's spring water (their brand) processes the water with carbon dioxide which from what I understand can cause pH bounce as the water off gasses? Any suggestions as to brand of spring water? My local Wal-Mart carries Crystal Geyser.
Is it possible to raise KH to an acceptable level without raising GH too high for my betta, or should I slowly acclimate him to slightly harder water for the sake of a more stable buffer.
Also, at what pH level does ammonium convert back to ammonia?