Hard water quality questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Hard water quality questions

I'm on a well without a softener. I did a test with my water today and filled a 5 gallon tank with straight water and let it sit. It turns yellow after about a half hour. I read this is ferrous iron. I'm starting a new tank with fluval stratum and some plants I ordered and I'm wondering if I should use this water at all. I'm tempted to just use city water from my girlfriends house in which her fish are fine, plants ok too.

What do you guys think? The kh is 200ppm. Could the water actually be beneficial with a mix of RO? I don't want kill these plants that are coming but in the long run hauling water would become annoying when I need to do changes. I'm getting an aquaclear 20 filter for this tank and I'm wondering if that'll clear the water. Thanks.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 06:22 PM
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Hi Pluke,

Welcome to TPT!

Did you happen to check your dGH (General Hardness) along with the dKH (Carbonate Hardness)? How about the PH?

If it where me at this point I would likely use my girlfriend's water (maybe trade for dinner); I don't think I would invest in an RO unit for a 5 gallon tank. Until we have a more clear understanding of the rest of your water characteristics I couldn't say if using part well would would be good or bad. The reason you water turned 'rusty' after a short while is the dissolved iron changed into iron oxide. I like and use Aquaclear filters, no they cannot remove the iron oxide from your water.
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75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1XFluval F&P 2.0; 45 Gallon Tall, 96Watt AH Supply CF 6700K; 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 and (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi Pluke,

Welcome to TPT!

Did you happen to check your dGH (General Hardness) along with the dKH (Carbonate Hardness)? How about the PH?

If it where me at this point I would likely use my girlfriend's water (maybe trade for dinner); I don't think I would invest in an RO unit for a 5 gallon tank. Until we have a more clear understanding of the rest of your water characteristics I couldn't say if using part well would would be good or bad. The reason you water turned 'rusty' after a short while is the dissolved iron changed into iron oxide. I like and use Aquaclear filters, no they cannot remove the iron oxide from your water.
Thanks!

I don't have a general hardness test unfortunately and the pH test I did last week on my other tank was around 8.4 if I remember right, so it's pretty high. I was cutting the well water with RO water from a friend's house but that didn't help with the cloudy rusty water. Wish the master freshwater test kits came with the gh/kh test. I just happened to have an old kh test lying around.

I'm thinking I won't use my water for now. I planned on doing a 20-30 gallon long tank in the future and the tank I have now was a trial run and so is this 5 gallon. Would've been nice to have good water at my house. I'll get a gh test here soon.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi Pluke,

Welcome to TPT!

Did you happen to check your dGH (General Hardness) along with the dKH (Carbonate Hardness)? How about the PH?

If it where me at this point I would likely use my girlfriend's water (maybe trade for dinner); I don't think I would invest in an RO unit for a 5 gallon tank. Until we have a more clear understanding of the rest of your water characteristics I couldn't say if using part well would would be good or bad. The reason you water turned 'rusty' after a short while is the dissolved iron changed into iron oxide. I like and use Aquaclear filters, no they cannot remove the iron oxide from your water.
Forgot I made this thread and solved my water problem but I'm still curious about my well water. I did some water tests, the kh is 11, gh is 13 and the tds ranges from 150 to 170 for some reason. I'm wondering if I were to use this water cut with RO and if it'd be alright. Would using something like seachem purigen in my filter get rid of the dissolved iron and make my water clear? I bought a portable RO system so that has helped me a lot, using my well water would make things easier though if I wanted something more than 10g.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 02:42 AM
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Hi Pluke,

Glad you were able to solve your problem. You may be able to cut the well water with RO water; maybe 1/3 well and 2/3 RO and see if the cloudiness is an issue. Purigen will not remove dissolved iron, it removes organics and iron )Fe) is of course a metal. Regrettably the iron in your well water is likely not the type that your plants will be able to utilize since it is probably Fe3+ and will precipitate into unusable compounds; plants best utilize Fe2+.
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75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1XFluval F&P 2.0; 45 Gallon Tall, 96Watt AH Supply CF 6700K; 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 and (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay
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