TDS Readings Confusion. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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TDS Readings Confusion.

So I just picked up a TDS meter, with the goal to in a couple of weeks start a soft water tank for crystal shrimp.

I decided to test the water in my house (I already know its hard water, so i'll be using Glacial water at first, then eventually buying a portable R/O unit).

When I was testing with the meter (first time using one) I'm confused with the resulting numbers.


Here are the measurements:

Fluval Spec water... TDS @ 398.
Fluval Edge water... TDS @ 254.
AGA 5.5g water... TDS @ 305.

Tap Water... TDS @ 133.


So, my questions...

1) Why the is my sink water only 133, but tanks water are much higher?
2) Why is the TDS higher as the amount of water in the tanks gets smaller?
3) If the TDS is higher because the water is smaller in volume, then why did I read 133 when testing tap water in a cup.
4) ... If my tap is 133, it should be considered soft water should it not? but yet when its in a tank its hard to very hard... howwwwww...
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 08:15 PM
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because. u add food. it turns into TDS, poop, fertilizer, decaying plants.. all increase TDS

133 is decent. its not SOFT but its not hard either in terms of TDS. u may have no KH or GH and it be super soft

i change my water weekly but its usually around the 200- 250 range by that time. m tap is around 98-104

fish can handle much more tan 300 tds depending on what it is

shrimp don't like above 300 no matter what it is

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 08:21 PM
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THANKS!! finally.. i get some TDS info i can chew on..
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 08:30 PM
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ph/gh are important for crystals. What are those readings.

Adding ferts, water evap, food, poop as stated all increase TDS as well.

Do these tanks have anything in the them yet? You should do a very large WC on them to get the TDS back down. Your tap water may be perfect and a RO unit not needed depending on pH/gH/kH readings.

20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 08:31 PM
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TDS stands for total dissolved solids...what those solids are is what maters not really how much of it. I would much rather have a higher tds in my tank from my sand vs copper, radioactive particles, chlorine (is it concidered?) ect ect ect.

My filtered water is 0 tds, by the time it is in my plastic trashcan its around 30 depending when the last time I scrubbed it out was (been over a year) My ebi sits around 80 if I don't add anything to remineralize the water. I bring it up to around 130 though with brightwell remineralize. My 75 gal has a TDS of around 200 but has a sand substrate and lots of wood and ect leaving decaying matter and lots of fish poop.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 09:15 PM
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THANKS!! finally.. i get some TDS info i can chew on..
don't be afraid to ask

its why many of us stay here after all our questions have been answered
sometimes we even ask questions to things we already know the answer to but are just not willing to concede to the fact
c02 causes this in a lot of us. its beaten me many times

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 09:38 PM
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Your TDS meter isn't actually recording TDS. Its actually recording conductivity of the water. So anything that dissolves in the water that doesn't conduct electricity won't be read. On the other hand, there's stuff that does increase conductivity, but won't affect PH/GH/KH.

TDS meters are great for checking your RO filter to make sure its filtering stuff out of the water.
TDS meters are great for approximating GH/KH, providing you are starting from low TDS water, and know what you've added to the water and how it will affect TDS.

So they're great for a shrimp keeper when mixing water before putting it in the tank. You can check your RO filter is working. Once you've figured out how your mineralizing supplement affect the TDS meter, you can use it to tell when you've added enough, instead of messing with test kits and drops.

However once the water hits the tank, TDS starts becoming less useful for the reasons mentioned above.

So for my tanks.
RODI Water = 0-3 on my TDS Meter
Once I add Seachem Replenish to the water I shoot for a TDS of 100-125 which gets me a GH of 4~5.
After adding it to my tank, the TDS usually rises to ~150-170.

A quickly rising TDS may be a sign there's something in the water that is negatively affecting water quality, but you won't know until you break out the test kit and actually measure GH/KH/PH and see if what is raising conductivity is also raising GH/KH.

Also, do you have rocks in your tank? If so, those are the likely cause. But again, you can't know exactly how they are affecting the water without testing. It may be they are leeching Iron into the water, which raises conductivity (What your TDS meter reports), but won't do much to GH/KH.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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ah.

This makes sense.

My water always shows high gH and kH... so i do know it is hard. all tanks have Some Neos in them... but not crystals. Im going to buy an r/o meter for the crystals so i can get some soft water. The neos dont seem to mind, however they dont seem to breed really quickly either. Once i get the r/o unit / glacial water then i'll switch the neos to it as well.

Thanks for clearing this info up.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HD Blazingwolf View Post
don't be afraid to ask

its why many of us stay here after all our questions have been answered
sometimes we even ask questions to things we already know the answer to but are just not willing to concede to the fact
c02 causes this in a lot of us. its beaten me many times

i did..

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/fe...-question.html
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