High kh (12-13), low gh (<1), neutral pH: what does it mean??? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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High kh (12-13), low gh (<1), neutral pH: what does it mean???

I tested my water with two brands of aquarium test strips and got similar results. I'm using water treated with a NA-based water softener. Our untreated well water is dark orange liquid rust and cannot be used.

Soooo. What does this mean? Is this something I should be worried about?

I have trouble keeping snails. They get erroroded shells and then die. Should I raise the GH for them?

Also, I feel like my plants never grow as fast as they should considering I've got a pretty spiffy high tech set-up. Could the water parameters play a role?

Any insight would be great!


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 01:52 AM
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You shouldn't use water from a water softener for a planted tank, or any freshwater tank, for that matter. You should have cold water from your house plumbing that doesn't go through the water softener.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 02:28 AM
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You shouldn't use water from a water softener for a planted tank, or any freshwater tank, for that matter. You should have cold water from your house plumbing that doesn't go through the water softener.
They said their untreated comes out like rust and orange, so surely you don't suggest they use that for their tank instead?

I would just get something to raise gH. Lots of products out there.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 03:59 AM
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The reason for not using water from a softener is that it is loaded with sodium in place of the calcium and magnesium that were in the water. If your tap water is that bad, you almost have to use RO/DI water, which requires that you install a RO/DI system with enough capacity to make enough water for the size tank you have. You can run the softened water through the RO/DI system if you like - it should make the filters last longer. Then you need to add a GH booster or Seachem Equilibrium to build the GH back up.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 05:23 AM
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The reason for not using water from a softener is that it is loaded with sodium in place of the calcium and magnesium that were in the water. If your tap water is that bad, you almost have to use RO/DI water, which requires that you install a RO/DI system with enough capacity to make enough water for the size tank you have. You can run the softened water through the RO/DI system if you like - it should make the filters last longer. Then you need to add a GH booster or Seachem Equilibrium to build the GH back up.

Talking about water, do you think Glacier vending machine water (25c/ gallon) safe?


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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I've been thinking about RO/DI systems but finding a place to store the water would be tricky.

Instead, I'm thinking about getting a greensand-based iron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide filter for the whole house and ditching the water softener all together. The greensand filter would remove the above by oxidation and wouldn't add anything to the water. Our untreated water is very soft < 1 dKH so the only purpose of the current system is to reduce the iron content, which it doesn't do very well in the first place. Additionally, all the salt from the water softener is also quite bad for our septic drain field. The only problem with this plan is that it's gonna be spendy. But it seems like a better idea to put the money I would have spent on the RO/DI system into fixing the whole house's water system.

In the mean time, I'm adding GLA Ultimate GH booster. 1 Tbs per day until I reach a gh of around 3-4. Does that sound like a good target?

Has anyone here ever heard of or used a greensand iron filter? Does anyone have any recommendations for water treatment system sellers?

Thanks a bunch!


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 08:06 PM
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Talking about water, do you think Glacier vending machine water (25c/ gallon) safe?
Reading the description of their process, http://www.glacierwater.com/pdfs/Ven...ct%20Sheet.pdf it looks good to me, for an aquarium. I think you would want to add a GH booster to be sure it has enough calcium and magnesium in it.

All I know about greensand filters is what I just finished reading on the internet http://www.waterprofessionals.com/pr...iltration.html

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the link Hoppy.

I was looking at systems that don't use chlorine as an adjunct. To demonstrate how crazy full of iron my water is: normal is <0.03 ppm and the water from my well is 6.0 ppm! 25x too much. Yuck.

I may need RO no matter what... Unfortunately, The only place I could keep a storage tank is the garage, which on occasion falls below freezing... If I continue to dose EI, which I like, I would need 30gal per week now and once we get our big tank set up we will need 80 gallons. That would require 2 barrels of water storage if I were to continue doing all my water changes on the same day. That would be crazy. I'd need heaters, and pumps, and hoses... Oh my.

Too bad we can't move!


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