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Old 06-01-2008, 12:17 AM   #1
buddhabackpacker
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Sarasota Tap Water


I live in the Sarasota, FL area and I'm very concerned about our tap water. Out of the tap is has 2.0ppm ammonia, and a PH of 7.6 (maybe even a little higher), a GH of 14, and a KH of 3.

I'm just cycling a 65G now and will be setting up my 30G when the first is done. But it took a lot of work to get the ammonia down so I'm worried about how I'm going to do water changes. The first treatment with Amquel only brought the ammonia down to 1.0. So I treated it again on the 2nd day, but it still took until about day 4 to drop to 0.

I've already got 6 zebra danios in there to start the cycle and I used eco-complete and some Turbostart to try to jumpstart the cycle.

My question is: should I get an RO unit and mix half with the tap water when I'm doing water changes? I'll still treat with Amquel, but that should bring the ammonia down to what Amquel can manage. The bottle says it can treat up to 1.2ppm ammonia.

From what I'm learning about water chemistry, since the KH is low, doesn't that make my water more susceptible to ph swings? I'm hoping once I start the CO2 injection it will lower the ph just a bit, but I'm only wanting it to get stable around 6.0.

I would love to talk to someone who already has planted tanks in the area. . . someone with experience with the water. Or anyone out there who has some experience with this.

I am wiling to buy an RO unit but not quite ready to have to get a plumber to install, figure out where to put it, etc. . . LOL

Thanks for any help!
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:39 AM   #2
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I doubt your water is any harder than ours over here on the other side of the bay, and there are many of us who successfully use tap water in our planted aquaria. My advice is to try buying fish from local stores or hobbyists, because they would presumably be using the same water you will be using. At least that's how it is around here. And even then, there's no reason why you wouldn't be able to drip-acclimate anyway.

The only thing I've had problems with for some reason is corkscrew vals. I've read that they prefer softer water, and I've never been able to keep them from melting, but it could just be that they don't like me...
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Old 06-01-2008, 02:57 AM   #3
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I use RO. They are easy to hook up, you don't need a plumber.
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Old 06-01-2008, 04:09 PM   #4
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where did you get your RO unit from? was it a bit pricey?
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Old 06-01-2008, 04:10 PM   #5
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where did you get your RO unit from? was it a bit pricey?
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:09 AM   #6
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If you have gallon jugs or some other way to transport the water, you can buy RO water from Seascape Aquarium on Gulfgate Drive. They are in that strip mall across from Panera's and the other shops. They have some mega system to create water which will produce a whole lot more than most systems. Basically, if the water is that bad - you can get some from them. I know what you mean though. We have a water softener and I know they say that's bad for the fish but the water coming straight from the city is so awful (between chloramines and stuff in it) that I decided to stick with it. The one time I tried to use city water my fish freaked out. You'll need either giant trash cans to preprep water (I do that too) and then you can buy a power filter like pump and pump it into the tank from your trashcan after you drain the tank of whatever water you need. I wish I could use straight water but ours is so high in chloramines and nitrites that it's a nightmare. City water here is awful!
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:11 AM   #7
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FYI - The water around here is so bad I ran into someone who basically had issues with fish not surviving and was talking to someone about what to do because of it. I don't know what they are doing but you really, really have to test the water coming out of the city as they over chloramine it.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:04 AM   #8
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I use purified water -- Clearwater tap is high in chlorine and other junk.

Edit : it may not seem practical to purchase 55 gallons of purified water -- invest in Reverse Osmosis.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:07 AM   #9
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They don't use ammonia here. They use Chloramines (new chemical that's ammonia and chlorine mix) and you have to treat as the water is super, super bad. Basically, I use Seachem products to kill the chloramines. Our softener takes a lot of the chemicals out of it but straight from the faucet would be difficult to treat. I wish...but there doesn't seem to be an easy solution and I can't afford RO water.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:12 AM   #10
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http://www.freedrinkingwater.com/wat...ine-safety.htm This is a mini-article about chloramines. I despise them. I think that's why all the big stores and now setting up special water systems to maintain fish here. It's harder to remove from water. http://ezinearticles.com/?Chloramine...ing&id=1795868 Just to give you an idea of the threat of this type of chemical.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:13 AM   #11
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FYI - Those Brita filters don't remove Chloramine. The stuff does not go away. Basically, you'll find out that you're poisoning yourself because Brita won't take it out.
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Old 07-15-2012, 04:45 AM   #12
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Glad I have had well water for the last 25 years. I remember when Tampa first started using it we use to put something in to break the bond then use carbon to remove the chlorine and zeolite to remove the ammonia. Guess it worked. Didn't lose fish because of it anyhow.
Here's a little more info on chloramine.
http://www.chloramine.org/chloraminefacts.htm

And it's not a new "disinfectant" Cities have been using it since the 1940s
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:46 AM   #13
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Hi I live in Manatee County, they sell drinking water to Sarasota. I have several very bad experiences using tap water and Prime for chlorine/chloramine removal. I was doing water changes on several tanks, had just filled two up and started on the third. Looking at the other tanks I was sickened to fish suddenly stop swimming and die within minutes. The second time this happened to me, I did have water tested. It contained 5 ppm ammonia, that is what killed the fish. Complaining to the county water utility will not work, those levels are safe according to EPA. You will end up buying bottled water, I did that for a few months and ended up getting a RODI. A local company in Fort Pierce FL helped me out with selecting a model and tech support called Air, Water, and Ice. They are very good to work with and thousands of dollars cheaper than systems from Kinetico or Culligan.
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:51 PM   #14
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Hello bud...

Acidic water is a good environment for plants, so you could research the plants that fit your particular lighting and use them to help with the ammonia problem.

For most aquarium fish, a pH of 6 to 8.5 is very tolerable. Driftwood, especially the local pieces you find, are a good way to lower the pH a bit and they give the tank a natural look. Fish and plants are very adaptable to most public water supplies.

I'm not a fan of using chemicals or distilled water, etc. in the tank, you don't know how they'll affect the water chemistry and ultimately, your fish and plants.

The natural means of tank stability are most times, the best.

Good luck!

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Old 07-23-2012, 03:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddhabackpacker View Post
I live in the Sarasota, FL area and I'm very concerned about our tap water. Out of the tap is has 2.0ppm ammonia, and a PH of 7.6 (maybe even a little higher), a GH of 14, and a KH of 3.

I'm just cycling a 65G now and will be setting up my 30G when the first is done. But it took a lot of work to get the ammonia down so I'm worried about how I'm going to do water changes. The first treatment with Amquel only brought the ammonia down to 1.0. So I treated it again on the 2nd day, but it still took until about day 4 to drop to 0.

I've already got 6 zebra danios in there to start the cycle and I used eco-complete and some Turbostart to try to jumpstart the cycle.

My question is: should I get an RO unit and mix half with the tap water when I'm doing water changes? I'll still treat with Amquel, but that should bring the ammonia down to what Amquel can manage. The bottle says it can treat up to 1.2ppm ammonia.

From what I'm learning about water chemistry, since the KH is low, doesn't that make my water more susceptible to ph swings? I'm hoping once I start the CO2 injection it will lower the ph just a bit, but I'm only wanting it to get stable around 6.0.

I would love to talk to someone who already has planted tanks in the area. . . someone with experience with the water. Or anyone out there who has some experience with this.

I am wiling to buy an RO unit but not quite ready to have to get a plumber to install, figure out where to put it, etc. . . LOL

Thanks for any help!
Connsider using the water machines that are inside or outside of places like Publix or Winn Dixie for water changes. If you have a blue ribbon water jug you can have it filled up at those machines, I know a couple people that do it and it is the only water they use.
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