Moving to a new house, question about water parameters. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Moving to a new house, question about water parameters.

Hi there. We're moving to a new house, and the water isn't ideal in the town. The average hardness is 8 grains/gallon (if we had well, it would be 13-28). It is fluoridated and chlorinated. I live in the general area, and the hardness is basically all calcium (lots of limestone).

Other interesting stats from the water quality report:

Copper (1.3 ppm, if I'm reading it correctly)
Chlorine (0.8 ppm)

Not sure what else might be important.

I plan on installing a potassium water softener if only to have soft water in the house and for the water to be less harsh on our appliances. However, I also plan on keeping planted tanks with invertebrates. I've been reading that high levels of potassium as would come from the softener are bad for plants and for inverts, but I'm wary of a direct bypass as I'm wary of extremely hard water in a tank. I'm not sure I want the expense of a large RO unit.

Does anyone have any possible input? Trying to get my ducks in a row before we move in and especially before I start setting up any tanks.

ED: Should also point out that last time I tested the water in the area (all my testkits are in storage) the test came back with pH around 8-9. It was unreadable for the lower test.

Last edited by Ameisen; 09-06-2016 at 11:17 AM. Reason: Extra Info
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 11:05 AM
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Lots of folks have success with hard water. You'll be fine.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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I should point out that last time I tested the tap water around here, our pH was also somewhere around 8-9.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 12:24 PM
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Since you didn't say you didn't want to use RO at all, how about a counter top system? It makes water changes more work as you can't hook up a python to the sink to drain and fill, but they do take nasty stuff out of the water for fish tanks.

The alternative is to treat the water for copper with products such as CupriSorb. Chlorine can be wiped out with Prime.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 12:34 PM
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You can't have it all, I'm afraid. We have hard water here and run planted tanks with no issue, and I also maintain a separate 110 gal soft system on RO.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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A countertop RO system seems incredibly slow if you are running very large tanks.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 06:17 PM
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Water pressure makes RO systems slow regardless of whether it is counter top or not. Anything under 60 psi is going to make the process miserable not to mention less effective.

Buying the cheap systems that produce more brine than actual RO water also doesn't help either.

What size tank or tanks are you looking to treat?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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The main one would be in the basement would be 140G+ (less than 200G. Haven't decided on a final size). Elsewhere there would be tanks <100G.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 06:23 PM
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In that type of situation, a counter top unit would not cover what you'd need. I have small tanks, so it works.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Is water out of a potassium-based water softener not good for aquaria? Maybe 10 years ago, I remember people writing that it was fine (since plants need potassium anyways, though replacing 8 grains of hardness would give you... ~120ppm of potassium which is high), but in more recent years I've been reading that the high potassium levels kill invertebrates and plants.
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