|08-24-2012 07:22 PM|
GH/KH Test Results are In:
Current Tank Water (Was all Post-Softener):
So - does this assist in determining if I should use well water, softened water?
Any additional steps to take with the water pre-water change?
Any help would be appreciated.
|08-23-2012 11:04 PM|
Dry Ferts came (bought the spread for good measure - once test comes will see what to use for GH Booster if at all)
(Anything I should add immediately? Only doing Flourish (1 cap every other day) and Flourish Iron (1 cap per week now), Excel 1 cap day)
|08-23-2012 06:49 PM|
Running the line to the back of the tank would involve some very complicated plumbing and 3-4 walls to go through. 15' is across the room as the crow flies, but I will keep this in mind when designing the future house.
I'm OK with adding the tap and just unrolling the hose. My wife is going to think I'm crazy for adding a garden reel inside our basement closet.
Understood with the WC for C02 and higher ferts. I must have read your dosage wrong as I thought it was very similar to the regimen from Tom Barr.
I'll get the torch out tonight, make the modification, try not to burn down the house, and test the well and soft water (for kicks).
Might as well add a storage shelf in the same closet for all the aquarium supplies while I am at it (nothing pretty, as I keep the door closed).
Next step - since this is all softened water now, should i replace the current setup with the new water over the course of a few weeks with 25-50% water changes?
|08-23-2012 05:55 PM|
Water softeners are added to eliminate the problems caused by calcium and magnesium in water - soaps don't work well, shampoos don't work well, etc. Softeners don't remove the iron found in lots of well water. Not every builder of houses knows the best ways to do water plumbing, and not all inspectors are competent. I believe it has been established that water softened using KCl instead of NaCl is still very bad for plants, so just switching to the different salt isn't going to solve the problem.
If I had to do some replumbing to get the water before the softener "ruins" it, and the point where I could do the replumbing was only 15 feet from the location of the tank,I think I would try very hard to run the new water line over to right behind the tank, so I could semi-automate water changes - just open a valve to add water. During cold months I would think about doing smaller water changes more often, to avoid having to heat the change water at all. Adding 20 gallons of 40F water to 40 gallons of 80F water gives you 67F water - not great but probably no problem for most fish.
Tom Barr's non-CO2, no water change method, is for very small amounts of fertilizers being added, so there is no chance of building up too much of any fertilizer in the water. Since I'm using CO2, my plant growth rate is much higher, so the plants need a lot more fertilizer to support that growth, which makes me dose enough to have to do water changes to avoid build-up of fertilizer in the water.
|08-23-2012 05:49 PM|
|08-23-2012 05:24 PM|
|BruceF||I am not implying anything. I have no experience with water softeners. I have no idea what the added salts might do.|
|08-23-2012 05:15 PM|
Are you implying that it is "danged if I do, danged if I don't" since either I am using softened water which has bad qualities or hard water with "calcium, magnesium or other metal cations" impurities?
If YES, then is the only remaining solution a ~$150 RO/DI system? This would also need to be stored into large containers because of the amount needed and the slow production time.
If YES to the RO/DI, then would I still need to use the well for RO/DI or would the softened water be OK to use?
|08-23-2012 05:12 PM|
From your bulb list, it sounds like you have a T5NO bulb in a T5HO fixture? Hoppy et al, does this generally work?
|08-23-2012 05:03 PM|
|BruceF||One has to assume that the water is softened for a reason. We can only conjecture that the reason has to do with high levels of calcium, magnesium or other metal cations and therefore that the water must be hard. We don’t know what the levels in the well water are and we don’t know what the levels in the softened water are. Answering those questions is simply impossible.|
|08-23-2012 04:50 PM|
But luckily it's not just Na, it would be Sodium bicarbonate.
|08-23-2012 04:42 PM|
My GH/KH test kit should come soon.
Would the results from that have any bearing on using the existing softened water VS straight well water?
Or is the Na addition going to be a issue (or potential issue) regardless of the results?
[No issue at all in pulling the torch out. Maybe $20-30 in materials (copper T and valve) and an hour of my time.] Would still likely need to get some 5-10 gallon jugs and let it is sit for a day or two to get the temperature up to ambient. But it would be MUCH easier getting it straight from the tap considering easy of temperature control.
|08-23-2012 04:41 PM|
|mistergreen||Can you swap out the NaCl with KCl for your water softener? Your plants would enjoy the K.|
|08-23-2012 04:21 PM|
|Complexity||Do some more checking on the water softener issue. I did some cursory checking and found some references that water softeners do not actually add NaCL (salt), just Na (sodium) which was said to not be harmful for fish or plants (not sure about shrimp). I didn't do enough checking to confirm this for certain, but enough to know that it's something that should be looked into further before getting a torch out.|
|08-23-2012 02:03 PM|
Thanks for the information.
Did some double checking on the piping layout of my house, shame on the home builders - even outside bibs are hooked up after the softener. (Now it makes sense why I'm running out of salt so fast when pool season comes around.)
I'll have to bust out the old torch and add a faucet before the softener. Luckily the softener is in a closet ~15 feet from the tank.
Thanks for the detailed information. When reading how Barr does the low-light setup, he doesn't do any water changes at all.
Are you primarily doing water changes due to the added C02 and extra fert's?
(Even though he does add fert's.)
I'm just looking to establish a healthy and growing tank.
Don't mind doing the work of water changes.
Seems like the soft water may be the big problem ATM. (In addition to rectifying the lighting situation.)
|08-23-2012 06:17 AM|
I started by taking half the dosages that are in the EI schedules. I multiplied the doses by 3 to get the total weekly dosages. Then I divided by 7 to change that to daily dosages. Since then I have tweaked it a couple of times, mostly as my plants grew greater in mass. Now I dose every day one ounce of premixed macro nutrients - KNO3, KH2PO4, and one ounce of micro nutrients - Millers microplex and chelated iron. My mixes are:
16 ounces of water, 1.5 tsp KNO3 and 1 tsp KH2PO4, in one bottle. In another bottle I use .75 tsp Millers Microplex, and .5 tsp chelated iron, in 16 ounces of water.
Once a week +/- a couple of days, I do a 50-70% water change, using tap water from a hose bib outdoors, and adding about 5 ml of Seachem Prime to the tank as the new water starts to flow in. My fish, which are all Platys right now, never mind the cold water, seeming to be invigorated by it. But, when winter comes I may switch to using warm/cold water mixed to get closer to the tank water temperature.
I don't think you can succeed using water from a water softener unless you also use a RO/DI system too. But, you could store the change water, from a hose bib, which should not be softened water, indoors for a couple of days so it warms up before you use it. I think I would try that with about 20 gallons of water per change.
|This thread has more than 15 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.|