Problem Tap Water/Other Chemistry Questions. - The Planted Tank Forum
 5Likes
  • 2 Post By withTEETH
  • 6 Post By KevinC
  • 2 Post By withTEETH
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
Newbie
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 2
Problem Tap Water/Other Chemistry Questions.

First I'll start with a little background:
I have pretty good knowledge of water quality, 16 years of lfs experience, and 4 years of aquaculture schooling studying the Long Island sound. I however have no knowledge on dosing for planted aquariums and beginning with CO2.

My goal is to:
A. Adjust my tank to ideal plant conditions to be able to use CO2 in the near future.
B. Figure out the best way to do water changes with my poor well water.

I've been in my current house with well water for 8 years, and its taken 8 years to finally care enough to figure out why we can not keep fish.

Well water basic parameters:
pH: 6.0
KH: 0
GH: 4
pO4: 0
Nitrite/Nitrate/Ammonia:0

As you can tell I'm working with some very acidic, soft water with basically no buffering capacity.

I've found that gassing off well water for a day brings the pH up to 7, so, doing water changes requires having water ready.

In my profile I uploaded the current parameters for my now cycled tank along with the cycle. I will return to my question regarding the current state of my tank......

The Tank is 56 gallons with 40# of eco complete, 10# black gravel, 5# black sand, about 10# of lace rock, one piece of Malaysian drift wood, one piece of grape wood, fluval 305, and a Current LED Plus light, 3 boesemani rainbows, and 2 flying fox.

In tank parameters:
pH: 7.2
GH: 6
KH:3
PO4: 5
Nitrate: 0
Nitrite:0
Ammonia:0

(Nitrates have held strong at 5ppm up until yesterday after I did an 8 gallon wc.)

First question(s).
I understand there is a correlation between Nitrates and PO4. Can someone explain their relationship.
Is it safe to assume my phosphates jumped because the Nitrates went down? OR is it the addition of the following:

I also started dosing (yesterday) with
A. Seachem Neutral Regulator (to the 8 gallons of wc water)
B. Seachem Flourish, Flourish Excel, and Flourish Potassium (to try to raise my KH)
I've read that ph buffers can also raise PO4.

I understand that its going to take some time to figure out a balance, see what plants require what, etc.

As stated earlier, it is my goal to add CO2, but first, I need to get my KH under control.

Thank you.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Parameters.jpg
Views:	25
Size:	240.7 KB
ID:	646178  

Attached Images
 
MCSLABS and MCSLABS like this.
withTEETH is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 08:22 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
KevinC's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Oshkosh, WI
Posts: 738
Quote:
Originally Posted by withTEETH View Post

Well water basic parameters:
pH: 6.0
KH: 0
GH: 4
pO4: 0
Nitrite/Nitrate/Ammonia:0

As you can tell I'm working with some very acidic, soft water with basically no buffering capacity.

In tank parameters:
pH: 7.2
GH: 6
KH:3
PO4: 5
Nitrate: 0
Nitrite:0
Ammonia:0

(Nitrates have held strong at 5ppm up until yesterday after I did an 8 gallon wc.)

First question(s).
I understand there is a correlation between Nitrates and PO4. Can someone explain their relationship.
Is it safe to assume my phosphates jumped because the Nitrates went down? OR is it the addition of the following:

I also started dosing (yesterday) with
A. Seachem Neutral Regulator (to the 8 gallons of wc water)
B. Seachem Flourish, Flourish Excel, and Flourish Potassium (to try to raise my KH)
I've read that ph buffers can also raise PO4.

I understand that its going to take some time to figure out a balance, see what plants require what, etc.

As stated earlier, it is my goal to add CO2, but first, I need to get my KH under control.

Thank you.
Big differences between your well and tank water. First the phosphate reading is from the Seachem Neutral Regulator. Stop using that.

Use baking soda to raise your kH. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate - an online calculator will tell you how much to use. Shoot for 3-4 dkH.

You will need to dose nitrates - potassium nitrate is preferred. You will need to add phosphate (correctly, not using the Neutral Regulator) using a potassium phosphate salt (there are several options - any of them will work).

To your first question, phosphates and nitrates are independent - one does not become the other. But both are required for plant growth (N-P-K are the macronutrients).

Kevin

72g bowfront planted, CO2, 4x - T5HO, Eheim 2213 and 2217, 2 angels, pristella tetras, blue tetras, betta, albino bristlenose pleco, albino cories. Sword, vals, hygros, ludwigias, java moss and fern, anubias

2g Mac-quarium. Clown gravel, fluorescent plastic plants, and 2 guppies.
KevinC is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 08:33 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 61
I know that the driftwood releases tannins that reduce your pH; depends on how long you had it in the tank. Phosphates are also a byproduct of fish waste. I think you need some nitrate for your plants to do well. I would add CO2 and then have the system reach a balance.
Waterski is offline  
 
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
Newbie
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 2
the tank is newly cycled, and has a very light fish load, I'm sure Ill get my trates back up once I get more fish in there.

I'll have to find the article about trates and phosphates to see if I can find my confusion about them being related somehow.

Ill switch to the Baking Soda method to get my KH up. Am I right to assume I should figure that out before I add CO2? I fear that over the last 8 years and inability to keep fish alive had to do with pH swings.
MCSLABS and MCSLABS like this.
withTEETH is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 01:49 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 61
I am not sure if pH is the issue looking at the data, it seems pretty stable. If you can keep checking over a longer period we'd have a better idea. I know that ammonia is toxic to fish, especially a new setup. I would add fish gradually overtime till bacteria colonies are established and can remove ammonia better.
Waterski is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome