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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-05-2009, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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Tap Water Question

So after reading tons of threads in regards to using or not using RO water, I have decided that I would prefer to not to use RO, but I do have a general question about the quality of my water. After doing some research about the water in my area I found that we have ground water with these parameters:

Hardness as CaCO3 (mg/l) (ppm) 110 - 372
Hardness as CaCO3 (grains/gal.) 6.4 - 21.7 1
pH 7.3 - 8.7
Sodium (mg/l) 15 - 170

Do these numbers show anything that I should be concerned about? I understand that it is considered hard water, but should I be concerned about anything.

Also, is there any way besides using an RO unit or buffers to make the water softer?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-05-2009, 03:05 AM
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Do these numbers show anything that I should be concerned about? I understand that it is considered hard water, but should I be concerned about anything.

Also, is there any way besides using an RO unit or buffers to make the water softer?
Not really. I have extremely hard water and I have had success with just about every fish that I have tried, but would never try fish that require soft water. My tap numbers are very similar to yours. Shouldn't be a problem with most plants either.

Yes and no. You can use driftwood, a bag of peat, or different substrates to soften your water. I would absolutely not recommend chemicals to try to manipulate your water params. The reason I also said no, is because the above methods are not permanent, and will lose their effects over time with WCs, so the best and most permanent method is using RO water.

I use a 75/25 mix of tap/RO for WCs.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 03:44 AM Thread Starter
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So I did my first official KH test on my tank water that I set up a couple of days ago. The KH was at 9. My tap water tested at 13. I am somewhat confused as to why the change in number. I did put a large amount of driftwood in the tank. Could this change the KH value?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by brasstetra View Post
So I did my first official KH test on my tank water that I set up a couple of days ago. The KH was at 9. My tap water tested at 13. I am somewhat confused as to why the change in number. I did put a large amount of driftwood in the tank. Could this change the KH value?
Yes. Driftwood can release tannins which lower the KH.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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That would explain it... I am surprised to see how drastic it is.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 05:45 PM
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I believe plants can also use KH, which would cause it to lower. Don't quote me on that though.

13 dKH is on the high side. Do you know your GH? My water was fairly compareable (ie. liquid rock)

Your level of concern should be determined by what you want to grow/raise in your water. There's some plants which people have more success with in soft water, but water hardness shouldn't be a huge problem with plants.

There's also some species of fish/inverts which prefer soft water. For example, I never had very good luck with german blue rams in my hard water, nor have I had any luck with CRS. I invested in an RODI system so I could try out some of the soft water species of shrimp and fish. (CRS, Apistos etc.).

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-15-2009, 05:47 AM Thread Starter
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My Gh was off the charts. I am going to give this a shot without RO or RODI. I used to have a reef tank running on RODI, I thought it was a huge pain in the neck. I want to avoid it if I can.
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