Water analysis - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Water analysis

Can someone please help me understand my water analysis. This is all I could find, not sure if this is the right one.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 08:28 PM
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GH is 18ppm
NH3 free ammonia 2ppm
Total ammonia (probably ammonia chloride, ammonia sulfate or ammonia nitrate. Common farm fertilizers) 18ppm
phosphate 18ppm
Bromide 52ppm
Chloramine pressent You must us a dechlorinator.
Calcium 18ppm
chlorides (such as sodium chloride or potassium chloride) 18ppm
Nitrate 18pppm
Magnesium 18ppm
PH they try and keep it between 6.5 and 8.5 but do not list a number.
Sodium 18ppm
Sulfate 18ppm

Do you live near farms? The ammonia levels listed are crazy. Everything listed in bold is of concern to me. Phosphate by itself is not harmful at these levels but most aquarium only need about 1 ppm. I have heard of tanks using 5ppm. Bromide is a salt similar to sodium chloride (table salt) but instead of chlorine it has bromine. Bromide salts are generally OK. However I have heard of farm using bromine containing gases or chemicals to sterilize the soil before planting. If those chemicals are in your water I would be concerned. Chloramine is in your water so you do need to use a dechlorinator.

Due to the ammonia levels I would recommend a RO system for your own drinking water and your aquarium. Since RO water has no nutrients you will need to use a GH booster such as sachem Equilibrium and a plant fertilizer EI fertilizers with Equilibrium would probably work well, iF you use 100% RO water in your tank a dechlorinator would not be needed.

Last edited by Surf; 08-26-2017 at 08:30 PM. Reason: Removed unwanted quote
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Eek that sounds pretty bad. I don't really leave near and farms. I have 2 smaller tanks already set up and seem to be doing ok. Now you have me worried
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 08:32 PM
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The good new is that you don't have to buy ammonia to cycle an aquarium before buying fish. Just use your tap water. It has enough ammonia.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surf View Post
The good new is that you don't have to buy ammonia to cycle an aquarium before buying fish. Just use your tap water. It has enough ammonia.


Well I already have filter media running in a 90 at my old house still lol

Seeing that I rent the main level of a house I don't have space for a ro system.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 08:38 PM
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Wait a minute.. I misread the report. They don't actually tell you what the levels are they just list the number of sample s taken and and how many exceeded the limits and then at the far right they list the range measured in the tests. A strange way of reporting this. Let me look at it again.

Sorry about that your water is fine. Sorry to scare you. But I would still use a dechlorinator. And you should have a ammonia test kit because they list 2 sample with detectable Ammonia.

GH is 125 to 190ppm
NH3 free ammonia 7 to 8ppm from only 2 samples
Total ammonia (probably ammonia chloride, ammonia sulfate or ammonia nitrate. Common farm fertilizers) 0.04 to 0.44 ppm 18 samples.
phosphate 0.004 to 0.005 ppm
Bromide 0.008 to 0.02 ppm
Chloramine 0.04 to 2.94
Calcium 35 to 47ppm
chlorides (such as sodium chloride or potassium chloride) 10 to 41 ppm
Nitrate 0.01 to 0.5 ppm
Magnesium 9 to 18 ppm
PH 6 to 9.17
Potassium 1.2 to 1.7ppm
Sodium 12 to 24 ppm
Sulfate 3 to 29 ppm
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Last edited by Darkblade48; 08-27-2017 at 12:36 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 09:45 PM
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Generally agree with the other post except for what might concern me more. Yes, treat for chloramine but then the wild card to me seems to be the wide PH swings. How and why for the swings would be of interest but I might wonder when setting up a tank using PH 6.0 and then at times finding PH 9.17? Yowser! Talk about chasing your tail! Not used to dealing with that sort of swing but I might expect trouble.
One example? Setting up CO2 to have a full point drop when starting at either end of that range is not going to be the same at the other end?
They do state that they are fighting a problem with water quality going down but there are far more points where they exceed the desired.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Anything dosing wise I should do or not do ?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 01:03 AM
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This is not a situation that I've dealt with before so no real idea on how to handle the wide swings. I'm up on the reports from US water supplies so the requirements may be different but does your report give any info on the water sources used?
Perhaps a situation where they use surface water at times and then use underground water during other periods? That would be one explanation of the wide swings in PH. I normally think of companies trying to avoid large swings due to the way differing PH effects the equipment. They may be struggling to work out how to deal with a supply that changes. No major drought situation that would have forced them to change supply?
Perhaps some info on what brought you around to looking at the report? Any real problems or simply looking for more info and education? Never hurts to know lots of things even though we may not need it currently.
For dosing suggestions, I would be too far from understanding the water to make even a guess on changing dosing. Sorry, no help here.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Anything dosing wise I should do or not do ?
Well your water doesn't has insignificant levels on Nitrogen and phosphorous and potassium levels appear low. No information is available in the report regarding plant micro nutrients except chlorine (which is sufficient) As for the rest of the macro nutrients calcium, magnesium, and sulfur you water has a decent amount.

Make sure you have a decent test kit for the water (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, PH ) and I would consider getting a phosphate test kit. and a GH tests kit. API sells kits for these. I personally don't like color charts and I found the API phosphate test kit difficult to match colors at low phosphate levels. Other manufactures do make phosphate test kits and you might want to consider trying one of those. Personally I purchased a Hanna iInstruments HI713 Phosphate checker. It costs more than a typical test kit ($50) but there is no color chart and it is highly accurate. If they sold a nitrate Checker I would get that to, but they don't.

Other than that for a low tech setup Brightwell Aquatic Florinmulti is a fertilizer I would consider using. It doesn't have nitrogen or phosphorous. in many tanks nitrogen and phosphate from fish food is enough. Good levels to aim for for are between 5 to 20 ppm for nitrate. and about 1 ppm for phosphate. If your nitrate or phosphate are too low get potassium nitrate and or potassium phosphate fertilizers to supplement for your plants.

If you wish to use estimative indexing with CO2 and bright lights for more rapid plant growth, I would use the standard EI fertilizers CSM+B for trace and potassium nitrate, and potassium phosphate but I would also supplement that with with sachem Equilibrium. Your water may not have enough sulfates for rapid plant growth and all EI fertilizers I have seen don't have calcium. Boosting your water hardness by 1 to 2 degrees with Sachem Equilibrium would be enough to insure you don't run out of calcium and sulfates.

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the wild card to me seems to be the wide PH swings. How and why for the swings would be of interest but I might wonder when setting up a tank using PH 6.0 and then at times finding PH 9.17?
Most water utility districts have multiple sources of water with multiple water treatment facilities and they check the levels at multiple places in the district. One side of the district may have a different PH than a place on the other side of the district that uses a different water source from a different water treatment facility. This is entirely normal. The report doesn't say that the PH is swinging a lot. It is just saying that among all the places they sampled they got a range of 6 to 9.7. Most other water districts typically just list the average instead of the range. Their operational guidelines state they try to keep the water between 6.5 and 8.5. I suspect that after a couple of months of monitoring the PH with an aquarium test kit you would see a stable reading with no big swings.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Well your water doesn't has insignificant levels on Nitrogen and phosphorous and potassium levels appear low. No information is available in the report regarding plant micro nutrients except chlorine (which is sufficient) As for the rest of the macro nutrients calcium, magnesium, and sulfur you water has a decent amount.



Make sure you have a decent test kit for the water (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, PH ) and I would consider getting a phosphate test kit. and a GH tests kit. API sells kits for these. I personally don't like color charts and I found the API phosphate test kit difficult to match colors at low phosphate levels. Other manufactures do make phosphate test kits and you might want to consider trying one of those. Personally I purchased a Hanna iInstruments HI713 Phosphate checker. It costs more than a typical test kit ($50) but there is no color chart and it is highly accurate. If they sold a nitrate Checker I would get that to, but they don't.



Other than that for a low tech setup Brightwell Aquatic Florinmulti is a fertilizer I would consider using. It doesn't have nitrogen or phosphorous. in many tanks nitrogen and phosphate from fish food is enough. Good levels to aim for for are between 5 to 20 ppm for nitrate. and about 1 ppm for phosphate. If your nitrate or phosphate are too low get potassium nitrate and or potassium phosphate fertilizers to supplement for your plants.



If you wish to use estimative indexing with CO2 and bright lights for more rapid plant growth, I would use the standard EI fertilizers CSM+B for trace and potassium nitrate, and potassium phosphate but I would also supplement that with with sachem Equilibrium. Your water may not have enough sulfates for rapid plant growth and all EI fertilizers I have seen don't have calcium. Boosting your water hardness by 1 to 2 degrees with Sachem Equilibrium would be enough to insure you don't run out of calcium and sulfates.







Most water utility districts have multiple sources of water with multiple water treatment facilities and they check the levels at multiple places in the district. One side of the district may have a different PH than a place on the other side of the district that uses a different water source from a different water treatment facility. This is entirely normal. The report doesn't say that the PH is swinging a lot. It is just saying that among all the places they sampled they got a range of 6 to 9.7. Most other water districts typically just list the average instead of the range. Their operational guidelines state they try to keep the water between 6.5 and 8.5. I suspect that after a couple of months of monitoring the PH with an aquarium test kit you would see a stable reading with no big swings.


Thank you for such an in depth review for me. As I'm starting a new 80g high tech, I just wanted to start off on the right foot with as much education as I can. I have a 90g running but it's in a different town so I know the water will be different. That you again for all the help
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 02:55 PM
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okay, I see how a group could do that all still be in line with different regs in another country. But then if the report is just a general report that covers multiple sources of water, it really means very little to the user. Knowing the "average" or what happens in the whole area is of little use to the person wanting to know what his water has. If I am concerned about a particular item in my water, reading that it is really high or really low in the whole area gives little useful info, does it?
The OP now only knows that his water may be from very acidic to very alkaline. Likely to meet regulations but not much help for planning. I think most of us could guess at the PH being between 6.0 and 9?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
But then if the report is just a general report that covers multiple sources of water, it really means very little to the user. Knowing the "average" or what happens in the whole area is of little use to the person wanting to know what his water has.
True but it is all we have. Additionally water test kits for potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur for fresh water are hard to find. So for right now we just have to make due with what we have.

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Quote:
But then if the report is just a general report that covers multiple sources of water, it really means very little to the user. Knowing the "average" or what happens in the whole area is of little use to the person wanting to know what his water has.
True but it is all we have. Additionally water test kits for potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur for fresh water are hard to find. So for right now we just have to work with what we have.
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