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Setting up salt water aquarium

My husband wanted to set up salt water aquarium for Christmas. We already had the aquarium but what we didn't know was the ph in our water was high. He proceeded to mix and put the proper amount of salt in the water and then waited for ten days before he put the fish in. He had the proper amount of salt and the proper temperature of the tank when he put the fish in they seem to act really stressed and within days they died.
So back to the beginning. He bought a 50 dollar test kit for the water. As he tested it he found out that our well water isn't as good as we thought. So we ended up buying jags of spring water at the store for the aquarium and for us to drink. Now the set up is working fine but the first error cost around 300 dollars. What an expensive mistake.

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