Well water parameters/interpretations - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-29-2014, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Well water parameters/interpretations

I am in the very early researching phases- contemplating a planted 75 g aquarium. However, my well water seems to kill fish. WCs woth distilled or spring water store bought are fine, one time using well water and disaster strikes. I had my water tested via national testing laboratories, and I'm wondering if someone can hel me interpret the results to see if my hunch is in fact truth, and whether this is fixable or do I just need to go with a RO Filter. Water conditioner doesn't seem to pass muster and I'd rather not kill anything else.

Best guess is at copper, 1,240 mg/L

Also trace amounts of potassium, magnesium, silica, calcium, sodium and zinc.

Zinc could be a problem as we'll maybe? .024 mg/L

Also above copper should have read 1.024 mg/L

Alkalinity as CaCO3 - 20 mg/L
Hardness - 11
pH - 6
TDS - 30

Am thinking possibly acidity of water is leaching Cu & zinc from pipes? Thoughts?

Or maybe a pH swing?

Last edited by Darkblade48; 10-30-2014 at 12:11 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-29-2014, 07:02 PM
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First we may need to know what "disaster strikes" means to you. Did fish or animals die, plants not grow or more details? Fish vary a lot so we need to look at what fish? It could be as simple as too big a temperature change? Posssible that it is just a timing issue with the water change? Can you tell us more about how they died like overnight and suddenly dead, struggle with breathing, etc.?
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-30-2014, 01:15 AM
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pH swing does not in itself kill fish.
The changing levels of minerals that often cause a pH change can kill fish.
Yes, low pH can corrode pipes.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-30-2014, 01:54 AM
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If you feel it is copper pipes corroding, there are ways to work around that but before too much worry on that line, think about the history of the pipes. Copper pipes are the "gold standard" for plumbing in much of the country and look at how long the pipes have been in use. Is this a well with lines that set for a long time between times when you run water? Unless you really have a severe problem so that your plumbing is falling apart and needs to be changed out or really sensitive fish, there are lots of things that can cause fish to die. And it can happen when you do a water change so the two may or may not be connected without more info to indicate that is the cause.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-30-2014, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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This has happened twice. Kept a Betta and an aquatic frog for months on store bought water. Changes to well water and bam - dead within a couple of days.

Perhaps it's not the water, but I am leaving more toward a pH swing than copper or zinc. Copper pipes are ten yeas old and in good shape, although the copper leaching is pretty verifiable. Going to pick up a pH test kit and see what it says after a couple of hours of aeration.

Would be so nice to be able to use my well water with confidence.

All water was aged to room temperature, and treated with stress coat, which I am learning should have chelated out the heavy metals.

I am an ex- reef keeper, so I'm not totally clueless when it comes to fish. But it's been a very long time since I've had anything FW.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 10-31-2014 at 08:13 AM. Reason: Back to back posts
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 09:19 AM
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Could there be runoff from agriculture in the well ? Farmers use all kinds of insecticides and pesticides, which may not have been tested for by your lab.

Humans may rule the world...but bacteria run it..
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flynmnky View Post
This has happened twice. Kept a Betta and an aquatic frog for months on store bought water. Changes to well water and bam - dead within a couple of days.

Perhaps it's not the water, but I am leaving more toward a pH swing than copper or zinc. Copper pipes are ten yeas old and in good shape, although the copper leaching is pretty verifiable. Going to pick up a pH test kit and see what it says after a couple of hours of aeration.

Would be so nice to be able to use my well water with confidence.

All water was aged to room temperature, and treated with stress coat, which I am learning should have chelated out the heavy metals.

I am an ex- reef keeper, so I'm not totally clueless when it comes to fish. But it's been a very long time since I've had anything FW.

Suddenly switching from store bought water to well water is not as well received as slowly adapting the fish to the new source water a little at a time over a week or two by gradually increasing the amount of well water to store bought during water changes.

If you just suddenly switched all at once,then this could have contributed to the fishes demise.
Osmoregulatory stress.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 12:05 PM
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How do you get the water from the well?
I'm fairly sure my garden hose kills fish - presumably some toxic compound leaching from the liner? Killed a full tank of 4, then was down 3 out of 7 of the replacements, with the surviving 4 looking poor.... changed hose to a drinking water hose, and not a loss, the survivors perked up in hours.
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