Tap water opinion - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Tap water opinion

I wanted to get opinions on my town's tap water from other people. Is it safe enough to use for with water changes along with API Stress coat for dechlorination? I would rather not buy an RO unit to install in my apartment, but will if necessary. Would a 50/50 mix with distilled water be better? Do they sell smaller somewhat portable RO units?

Tank is a 6 gallon edge with daily ferts, purigen & co2 injection. Plants include HC carpeting & small variety of others. Fauna includes 2 dwarf puffers, 1 oto, 2 amano. According to aqadvisor I need 59% water change weekly, or 35% bi-weekly.

Water Report PDF (starts at page 3) http://www.montclairnjusa.org/dmdocu...ality-2013.pdf

Some highlights:
Nitrate (ppm) 2.27
Copper (ppm) 0.1032
Lead (ppb) <2
Chloride (ppm) 156
Hardness [as CaCO3] (ppm) 331

pH (units) 7.75
Sodium (ppm) 18.9
Sulfate (ppm) 29.3
Total Dissolved Solids (ppm) 488

Last edited by sl3xx; 03-17-2015 at 04:32 PM. Reason: added water change amounts
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 04:48 PM
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Using Tap Water

Hello sl...

"Treated" (I use Seachem's "Safe") tap water is fine for the vast majority of fish you get at the pet store, they'll adapt. They have for decades. pH, hardness and all the other chemicals that make up the tap water aren't important to a healthy tank. Changing out a lot of tank water and doing it often is important. Small tanks need large water changes every few days to keep the dissolved fish wastes out of the tank. The longer the old water stays in the tank, the worse the environment for the fish and plants.

Work up to the point you're changing half the water a couple of times a week and your fish and plants will be healthy. Consider a much larger tank. They're more forgiving of mistakes in tank management.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, BBradbury. I think I'll do another large water change tonight. (50%)

Even though I want a larger tank, for now this nano will suffice!

Is there anything I should know about my tapwater? Do any of the parameters concern you specifically?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 05:50 PM
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If you want RO, for that size of tank, I'd just get a few gallon jugs and buy it for 25cents a gallon. That's less than $1 a week. Somewhat of a hassle but that's what I'm doing with my big 40g tank. I do the 5gl containers tho.

I didn't want an RO system b/c I heard it takes a lot of water to get a little RO - we pay for water (and I don't like wasting water) so I thought that would be very wasteful and expensive. Of course, I feel like I'm being very wasteful dumping my tank water out. I'll use it outside when it warms up enough.

just a thought


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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It's definitely an option!

I just wanted to get some more knowledge peoples' opinions on my water quality before I even considered it. I live in a pretty densely populated area and have heard that Northern NJ's tap water is on-point, although I haven't verified the sources. My landlord pays for water (and it's stupid cheap) so that cost wouldn't be an issue... I'd just like to know what I'm working with first.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 06:16 PM
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Tap Water Chemistry

Quote:
Originally Posted by sl3xx View Post
Thank you, BBradbury. I think I'll do another large water change tonight. (50%)

Even though I want a larger tank, for now this nano will suffice!

Is there anything I should know about my tapwater? Do any of the parameters concern you specifically?
Hello again sl...

You don't need to know anything about the tap water. You just need to use a treatment that removes chlorine and chloramine. Large, frequent water changes will remove the ammonia and nitrite that are toxic to fish. Nitrate is at the end of the nitrogen cycle, so at a low level, roughly 20 to 30 ppm, it isn't harmful to fish. It's a good idea to add a floating plant like Hornwort to the tank. Just drop in some individual stems and this natural water filter will help maintain a bit healthier water chemistry between water changes.

B

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, BBradbury! You've put me at ease.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 06:32 PM
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How about simple test from your own tap?
PH,KH,GH,ammonia,nitrite and nitrate.
The TDS measurement is helpful but tell what the solids are.
Then set water fro tap aside for 24 hours to out gas and test PH again.This is your actual PH.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 06:49 PM
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I tend to agree, none of those parameters are at all alarming for general fish keeping..

Yeah, the water is a little bit hard at 331ppm/18.5 dGH, but fish adapt over time to all kinds of conditions.

Also, if the fish you have are already adapted to those parameters, suddenly changing to "better" parameters could actually kill them. Take any changes that you make slowly and give your fish a chance to adapt.

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