Tap water too hard? - The Planted Tank Forum
 1Likes
  • 1 Post By somewhatshocked
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
ostadsiah's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 6
Tap water too hard?

Hey all! Welcome me to this forum! 😊 Thanks.

OK so I have a concern. My tap water is too hard. About 38 dGH and 15 dKH and pH is 7.6.
We don't even drink this water, we drink RO water.
But the fish stores (as far as I know) use tap water in their tanks for fish.

I want to have a planted tank with low light plants and some tropical fish, mostly hardy.

Should I mix my tap water with RO (like a 1:2 ratio) for healthy fish and plants? Or are the fish and plants already used to this hard water and there's no need for making it softer?

THANKS
ostadsiah is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 02:33 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 1,208
Iwould recommend trying 4 part RO to 1 part tap. If my math is correct that should get you close to a GH of 10. Tap water hardness can very from place to place and it is possible the water at the fish store is not as hard as yours. Also somme fish do well in hard tap water while others do not. so with a GH of 38 there might be very few fish available that can handle your high GH. With a GH of 10 you would have a lot more choices. I would also recommend you look on line for a water quality report for your area. That might have more information on what is in your water. Then post a link to the report.

You can mix 4 part ro and 1 part tap in a small container and then verify the GH and KH with a test kit. Also I would recommend using thrive fertilizer with the mixed water to insure it has all the nutrients plants need.

Last edited by somewhatshocked; 08-07-2019 at 01:58 PM. Reason: Not a need to promote products in a thread like this
Surf is online now  
post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
ostadsiah's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surf View Post
I would recommend trying 4 part RO to 1 part tap. If my math is correct that should get you close to a GH of 10. Tap water hardness can very from place to place and it is possible the water at the fish store is not as hard as yours. Also somme fish do well in hard tap water while others do not. so with a GH of 38 there might be very few fish available that can handle your high GH. With a GH of 10 you would have a lot more choices. I would also recommend you look on line for a water quality report for your area. That might have more information on what is in your water. Then post a link to the report.

You can mix 4 part ro and 1 part tap in a small container and then verify the GH and KH with a test kit. Also I would recommend using thrive fertilizer with the mixed water to insure it has all the nutrients plants need.
Thank you for your help!
So are you saying that the lfs are using softer water? I have read that if fish are born and raised in tap water, however hard it is, they get used to it. Isn't it possible that the fish and plants in lfs are already used to 38 dGH water?

Also I mixed 1 tap with 2 ro and it has about 12 dGH and 10 dKH, kinda sounds ideal. (Wouldn't 1:4 ratio give me a GH of 385=7.6?)

Last edited by somewhatshocked; 08-07-2019 at 01:59 PM. Reason: removed promo link
ostadsiah is offline  
 
post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 11:31 AM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Illinois
Posts: 224
I would say mixing the tap and ro together, and testing it as you have done is the way to go.
I had some hard water 28 degrees general hardness.
With a pH of 8.7 I I set up CO2 to pull the pH down. I picked up a ro filter but making enough ro for a 135 gallon tank I deemed it be a hassel so I just lived with the hardness. I just went with higher hardness fish.
The plants did just fine.
But your hardness is sort of off the charts.
Jbubba001 is offline  
post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
ostadsiah's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbubba001 View Post
I would say mixing the tap and ro together, and testing it as you have done is the way to go.
I had some hard water 28 degrees general hardness.
With a pH of 8.7 I I set up CO2 to pull the pH down. I picked up a ro filter but making enough ro for a 135 gallon tank I deemed it be a hassel so I just lived with the hardness. I just went with higher hardness fish.
The plants did just fine.
But your hardness is sort of off the charts.
Wow that's a high ph, I don't think that's very healthy for drinking!
Do you know if your local fish stores use tap water as well? If so, then couldn't you choose any fish, instead of only fish with higher hardness? (Because all fish are used to your tap water)
Also, 28 is also very high right? I mean, if you could make it work then maybe I could too?? Aren't 28 and 38 both off the charts?! 😅
ostadsiah is offline  
post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 01:58 PM
Obsessed? Maybe
 
somewhatshocked's Avatar
 
PTrader: (492/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Middle America
Posts: 14,527
CO2 doesn't actually lower pH in the way some people believe - it creates carbonic acid when it hits the tank. It doesn't impact carbonate hardness or osmotic pressure. So if you have hard water? CO2 is not going to help you decrease that hardness or truly lower pH.

That said, OP, are you absolutely certain about your gH & kH readings? What kind of test kit are you using? Those readings seem quite high - even for the region and country I believe you're in. Do you have any idea what makes up the dissolved solids in your water there?

As for fertilizer... there's never a need to add ferts unless you know they're needed. So don't just add something to be adding it.
Greggz likes this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

somewhatshocked is online now  
post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
ostadsiah's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
That said, OP, are you absolutely certain about your gH & kH readings? What kind of test kit are you using? Those readings seem quite high - even for the region and country I believe you're in. Do you have any idea what makes up the dissolved solids in your water there?
Hi there 👋 yes, I'm not sure it's exactly 38 to the point, but I'm sure it's about 38. I did a web search and found that info (from my city's water industry website), and then used JBL test and it was confirmed. Especially after I mixed it with RO and the result was what I had calculated.
I know it's too high, it's so hard we don't drink this water like I said! And I don't know exactly what's in the water, other than calcium and magnesium and other regular stuff.

If the readings are correct, what should I do about it? (Keeping in mind that lfs use the same tap water too!)
ostadsiah is offline  
post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 03:44 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Palm Springs, CA
Posts: 400
Hi there, and welcome to the forum!

If you're new to the hobby and are wanting a low tech tank with some hardy fish, I'm gonna be the naysayer here and suggest that you make it easy on yourself and just go with plants & fish that will thrive in (not just tolerate) your hard tap water. If your LFS uses 100% tap water, then they should be your go-to source for both plants & fish. But I would question your LFS to make sure they actually use 100% tap water, and aren't using a combination of tap & RO. I live in the desert with very hard water, and my LFS and some of the local breeders they buy from do 50/50 tap/RO, but they do acclimate some of their tanks to 100% tap water. Lots of beautiful plants & fish prefer hard water, so unless you've got your heart set on certain plants or fish that will only do well in softer water, you'll do fine with straight tap water--and save yourself a lot of work & money.
Desert Pupfish is offline  
post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
ostadsiah's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Pupfish View Post
Hi there, and welcome to the forum!

If you're new to the hobby and are wanting a low tech tank with some hardy fish, I'm gonna be the naysayer here and suggest that you make it easy on yourself and just go with plants & fish that will thrive in (not just tolerate) your hard tap water. If your LFS uses 100% tap water, then they should be your go-to source for both plants & fish. But I would question your LFS to make sure they actually use 100% tap water, and aren't using a combination of tap & RO. I live in the desert with very hard water, and my LFS and some of the local breeders they buy from do 50/50 tap/RO, but they do acclimate some of their tanks to 100% tap water. Lots of beautiful plants & fish prefer hard water, so unless you've got your heart set on certain plants or fish that will only do well in softer water, you'll do fine with straight tap water--and save yourself a lot of work & money.
Hey! Thanks for replying.
I'll definitely go ask some lfs to make sure if they all use tap water or a mix.
And a question, if all the fish are acclimated to 100% tap water in stores and are bred and raised in it, do they all thrive in hard water now or just tolerate?
ostadsiah is offline  
post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 08:33 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Palm Springs, CA
Posts: 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by ostadsiah View Post
And a question, if all the fish are acclimated to 100% tap water in stores and are bred and raised in it, do they all thrive in hard water now or just tolerate?
If they're able to breed in hard water, and not just acclimated to it then they'll likely thrive in hard water.

Seriouslyfish.com is a great resource that lists nearly all known aquarium fish, and provide the ideal water parameters. And of course you can ask on here as many have (or have had before switching to RO so they could grow a broader range of plants) lots of experience with fish & plants in hard water. For plants, I find flowgrow.de has the most detailed info on water parameters including pH & kH--which many sites don't cover.

One commonly cited example is neon tetras. They come from a softwater part of the Amazon, but aquarium fish can acclimate to much harder water. But they say the minerals are hard on their kidneys, so they don't live as long as they would in neutral or soft water. Bottomline, if you have a question about a particular fish or plant in hard water--just ask here. Lots of folks with decades of experience can weigh in with what worked, and what didn't, for them.
Desert Pupfish is offline  
post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
ostadsiah's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Pupfish View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ostadsiah View Post
And a question, if all the fish are acclimated to 100% tap water in stores and are bred and raised in it, do they all thrive in hard water now or just tolerate?
If they're able to breed in hard water, and not just acclimated to it then they'll likely thrive in hard water.

Seriouslyfish.com is a great resource that lists nearly all known aquarium fish, and provide the ideal water parameters. And of course you can ask on here as many have (or have had before switching to RO so they could grow a broader range of plants) lots of experience with fish & plants in hard water. For plants, I find flowgrow.de has the most detailed info on water parameters including pH & kH--which many sites don't cover.

One commonly cited example is neon tetras. They come from a softwater part of the Amazon, but aquarium fish can acclimate to much harder water. But they say the minerals are hard on their kidneys, so they don't live as long as they would in neutral or soft water. Bottomline, if you have a question about a particular fish or plant in hard water--just ask here. Lots of folks with decades of experience can weigh in with what worked, and what didn't, for them.
Thank you so much for your help! 😊
ostadsiah 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