Well Water / City Water and Algae - The Planted Tank Forum
View Poll Results: What is your water source and overall feeling's about your algae ?
I use Well water and have NO algae problems. 4 9.30%
I use Well water and do have occasional algae problems. 6 13.95%
I use City Water and have NO algae problems. 10 23.26%
I use City water and still have occasional algae. 23 53.49%
Voters: 43. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-18-2005, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Well Water / City Water and Algae

I have been in my house 2 years now and I have well water. It has been an algae battle in my tank ever since living here. The slightest change or upset in my tank brings on nuisance algae at the least, but I have had some unexplainable bouts at times that have been worst. I always cure them but cant explain them.
I have very good water in my well , it is pretty much the same parameters in hardness as the city water at my old house. The only difference is a slightly higher level of nitrates in my well water. Everything else is dang near the same.
The only thing missing in my well is the addition of chlorine, Im wondering if it actually aided in keeping algae at bay in my tanks at the old house ? I never had algae problems in any of my tanks with my city water.

Just for kicks, I am wondering how everyone else compares with water sources and algae problems.
Is the chlorine actually good for a tank in small amounts ? I used dechlorinator's in my tank to remove it but who knows for sure how well it worked, I never tested for chlorine in them days...
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-19-2005, 01:36 AM
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I'm not an expert on well watter, but I think that your water parimiters can fluctuate depending upon how much, and how long, it's been raining.

If you can safly drink your well watter I don't believe that it's nessasery to add chlorine. The microscopic organisms in water can be harmfull when injested, but they deffinitly don't cause algy. Most people that I know with well water don't chlorinate it. I think in most cases that well water is much cleaner that city watter, so it's not nessasery to kill the small amount of micro organisms. I don't know yopur watter parimiters, but I'd say your algy could be comming from the fluctuations in your well watter.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-19-2005, 02:00 AM
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That's an interesting question... I wouldn't completely exclude the possibility that chlorine traces in water have an algaecide effect...

Our water comes from several wells throughout the area, I always thought of it as "City water" - after chlorination? What's the definition of City water?

In any case, even with Chlorine added it grows some awesome algae... So I wouldn't blame the missing Chlorine for algae outbreaks.


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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-19-2005, 03:34 AM
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Buck, when you say well water, do you mean literally from a well?

My city maintains 7 wells that are drawn upon during the summer and in emergencies, but we also "buy" water from San Francisco, Yosemite, the deltas, etc.

So would that constitue as city water?
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-19-2005, 04:05 AM
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I use city water and have no problem growing algae. For all of you that are having trouble growing algae, just PM me and I will send you some of my finest tap. KH ranges from 90ppm in the summer to 200pm in the winter.



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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-19-2005, 02:31 PM
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Just to help clarify:

"City Water" I take to mean municipal water - you pay someone for the water you use in your house. This water is treated (chlorinated/chloraminated). It may have come from wells or rivers or reservoirs. The utility that provides it must also meet certain criteria for the water quality (set by the EPA) and conduct regular testing.

"Well Water" is from your own personal well in your yard. Since it is yours, the government leaves you alone - no treatment needed. Also, no monitoring/testing.

I'm on city water and still have algae problems.

Kevin

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-19-2005, 04:57 PM
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I was watching a local cable network here the other day and this lady was talking about municipal water this time of year. She was specifically talking about the change in smell and taste of the tap water. She said the change was attributed to algae blooms in the lakes the water is taken from.

I have since wondered if this algae bloom in the lakes has any adverse effect in the tanks, or does chlorinating the water kill the algae.


Buck, maybe the algae that is present in your well water has a better chance of survival in your tank because it hasn't been treated with chlorine.

I don't really know the answers but I found this thread curious because I have recently been wondering the same thing about algae fluctuations in water supplies affecting the algae in planted tanks.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-19-2005, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dss2004
I was watching a local cable network here the other day and this lady was talking about municipal water this time of year. She was specifically talking about the change in smell and taste of the tap water. She said the change was attributed to algae blooms in the lakes the water is taken from.

I have since wondered if this algae bloom in the lakes has any adverse effect in the tanks, or does chlorinating the water kill the algae.
Reminds me of a very bad week at college - the local lake (water supply) had an algae bloom. The dead algae made the water smell horrible! You didn't want to shower, much less drink it! The bathroom was unbearable (more than usual for a dorm at least). Milk was very popular in the cafeteria that week - since fountain soda uses tap water. The water was "safe" to drink, just very unpleasant. Human noses are quite sensitive to certain chemicals!

Any algae from the water source is killed/removed in the treatment/chlorination process - it is the remnants (decomposing proteins) that you smell. Well water should not have algae since it is from underground.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-19-2005, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinC
Just to help clarify:

"City Water" I take to mean municipal water - you pay someone for the water you use in your house. This water is treated (chlorinated/chloraminated).
Exactly Kevin , thanks for pointing that out. I should have been more specific. Iam talking of treated water...many cities draw from Reservoirs, wells euc. but it the presence of chlorine that I am wondering is the difference.

Its just weird to me that my tank habits, filtration , CO2 levels and fertilizing routines have not changed and neither has the water parameters , other then the treatment by the city with chlorine.
The house I bought is only maybe 10 miles from my old one but I have never worked so hard and scratched my head so many times as I have since moving here.

I see the trend going to "still" having algae concerns with city water. I believe that ANY community water source has to be treated before distribution...I could be wrong though.

I thought I was on to something here...it just seems that there is a lot of algae woes these days and Im trying to understand why.

I myself have been getting it sporadically for NO dang reason and I have never had this problem till I moved here.



Lets see if more chime in...its amazing how many visitors do not vote, it takes two seconds...LOL
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-19-2005, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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131 visitors to this thread and 15 votes... dont be scared, VOTE ! ... LMAO !
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-19-2005, 11:22 PM
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Ok, I voted but I would be hard pressed to blame my water source for my woes.

If you are having problems, have you though about tempering your water by letting it sit a day or two? If you bring it up to temp you can do fairly large WC too. A long time ago there was an article with a guy using terestrial plants to pre condition his aquarium water as an alternative to DI.

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-20-2005, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
If you are having problems, have you though about tempering your water by letting it sit a day or two?
BlueRam I think I confused you with that last post... my water is right out of a well now... I used to have city treated water at the old house where I never had problems unless it was a major screw up on my part.

I wouldnt consider my algae tiffs bad... just very inconsistant with everything I have ever done. The only thing I can come up with that makes sense is the water source. And it was then I thought to myself...hmmm, chlorine ?

It could be something else in my well that I cannot measure maybe that triggers a minor outbreak ? I dunno... I just thought I would feel out what the majority of folks here use for a water source.

All I know is the water here is awesome... its crystal clear out of the tap , soft and as good to drink as bottled water.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-20-2005, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck
131 visitors to this thread and 15 votes... dont be scared, VOTE ! ... LMAO !
Buck, it could be more people aren't voting because you left out the two "I use xxxxx water, and have algae like nobody's business!" options.

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-20-2005, 09:27 AM
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I have a shallow dug well and really no algae problems I can attribute to the water. Little green spot on the glass. Just a little. Little BBA but I know thats because I really need to spring for something a bit better than my hagen ladder.
Water is very acid, very soft. I can't measure anything with the test kits I have as it comes out of the well. I rarely test anything anyway. Just eyeball the plants and throw some stuff in. pH is around 5.5 to 5.8 from the tap.

The plants in the outside gardens will show a severe calcium and magnesium yellowing and stunting if I don't pay attention and put the lime and epsom salts to it. Now that could be because the land here has been under cultivation for over 250 years or it could be that river bottom soil just contains a lot of nothing.

On a side note that is sort of related, my husbands frugal old aunt that lived here forever had a number of white bed sheets that had been around for so long that she had actually patched patches on them. The sheets themselves were still bright white. Nothing in this water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scolley
Buck, it could be more people aren't voting because you left out the two "I use xxxxx water, and have algae like nobody's business!" options.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-20-2005, 01:00 PM
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I have well water whose parameters are very stable - it's hard. Except for a little Claudophora which seems to be trying to get a foothold on one tank, I don't have any algae issues. (Knocks on wood!)

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