new tank, well water and first water test... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2008, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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new tank, well water and first water test...

I am setting up a new 90g show tank. Trying to research everything and do it right, auto co2, AH lighting, eheim etc. With my co2 system came some basic test kits. So last night I gave them a whirl, I have planned to drive inot the big city and have the water tested correctly, but this is the first shot. Living in the country we have well water.

PH - dark blue 7.6 (it could be higher because this is the darkest blue shade on the test kit, is this correct assumption?)

KH - fifteen drops immediately changed color, so its way off my charts,

GH - 10 drops changed color, 179

I am new to fresh water so any suggestions would help, we do have iron staining on our shower, sink and toilet, is this bad? Thanks Debby

Last edited by debbykyle; 04-01-2008 at 12:23 AM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2008, 05:03 AM
 
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KH - one drop immediately changed color, so I'm guessing less than one or 17.9
I think KH that low with co2 on a controller will be trouble,
you will need to add something.

Do a search on KH buffering, you will be reading for hours

GH is ok & Ph is ok
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2008, 05:11 AM
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Degass your water for at least 24 hours before testing pH, you may get different results. If your KH is that low, you should definitely have a lower pH than that.
It sounds like your water is great. You will need a drop checker with a calibrated 4dKH solution in it to test your CO2, or you will have to learn to listen to your fish and plants, which is more difficult at first


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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I went into town over the weekend and had the water tested. The PH came out at 8. Petsmart could only do the colored stick that tells everything with one test. I think that it might have maxed at 8.0 but not sure. They told me everything looked fine, but I dont think so. From my research all my test show that Im maxing out everything with the well water.

How much lower will the PH drop from my CO2?
Is this true?
Is RO the only option?
Im guessing discus are out for sure, what about cetain plants?

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 12:49 AM
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I am confused.... did it take 15 drops to change color on you KH test or did the color change on the first drop?

If it changed on the first drop double your test water to 10ml and test again. Take number of drops to change color divided by 2 to get the results. This is a way to test with more accuracy.

Do you have a water softener hooked up?
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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15 drops and I dont have a softener
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 02:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debbykyle View Post
I went into town over the weekend and had the water tested. The PH came out at 8. Petsmart could only do the colored stick that tells everything with one test. I think that it might have maxed at 8.0 but not sure. They told me everything looked fine, but I dont think so. From my research all my test show that Im maxing out everything with the well water.

How much lower will the PH drop from my CO2?
Is this true?
Is RO the only option?
Im guessing discus are out for sure, what about cetain plants?

It sounds like you have somewhat hard water. GH is what people tend to think of when they mean "hard water". For our purposes, it is easiest to think of Gh as the calcium and magnesium dissolved in the water. Luckily, plants need these nutrients to grow. There are some plants and fish, however, that prefer softer water.

The simplest way to think about KH is that it is a buffer that neutralizes acid. CO2 will tend to acidify water. Thus, the more KH, the less ph will acidify the water. With a KH of 15, the co2 will not change ph very much.

The only real ways to soften the water (both gh and kh) are to use peat or RO water. However, peat's softening qualities are limited, and peat will tend to stain the water with tannins. Lots of folks use RO systems or buy RO water from the LFS, but in most cases, softening the water isn't necessary. In your case, if you wanted to raise discus or some softer water plants (ie toninas or erios), you would likely need to soften the water. Otherwise, most plants and fish are pretty adaptable and could probably live fine in your water.

With more info about your particular plans for fish and plants, we can probably help you come up with a plan. HTH

Mike


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 02:21 AM
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Oh, take a look at these sites for more info about water chemistry
http://www.drhelm.com/aquarium/chemistry.html
http://faq.thekrib.com/begin-chem.html

Mike


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 02:24 AM
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I'm on well water too. If you let the water sample from your tap sit for 24 hours before testing it, you might be amazed at the difference... it will probably still be alkaline, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's down in the 7s.

Discus aren't out of the question; you'll just need to look for a local breeder who's breeding discus acclimated to your local water! www.simplydiscus.com is a great place to research discus and look for a local breeder.

Having hard alkaline water is not the end of the world; most fish and plants are able to adapt as long as the parameters are mostly stable with only very slow changes. Breeding fish is another story... but you didn't say that was necessarily one of your goals ATM?





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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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I did let the water sit 24 and checked it again without any changes. Im not necessarily set on discus. Mainly I want a nice planted tank, the fish would be a bonus. Im taking my time figuring things out one at a time. From what I have read constants are very important as opposed to the ups and downs of manipulating the parameters. I will try to design my planting and fish populations to the water I have. I will see how things go and maybe later try a mix of RO. The main thing that worried me was all my test were showing up on the outer fringes of every test I did. Thanks and I will post again with more results.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 04:50 AM
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Sounds like an excellent plan and like you've been doing your HW!





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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 05:07 AM
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You could always setup a small 10g plant tank for a test
run, that would be the ultimate test kit before starting
the 90g.

It is best not to fight the water, if you do, invest in an
RO unit.

Craig

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 04:05 PM
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Ditto what the Wolf said! Don't fight the water!!!

Over the years I've built some nice planted tanks in L.A water by by growing what will grow in it. Jump in and experiment. You'll be surprised what you can get to grow.
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