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moving: trouble with water supply...

851 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Zer
Okay, so my tank is running about 7.8 pH on a high day. We are moving end of this week (the tanks are going later, so this isn't an emergency), but I have some serious issues with the params on the water.

I took a two quart jug from the new house today (just took posession), planning to start acclimating the tanks to their future water supply. However, I saw some disturbing data on the city's water analyis, and even more from my own testing, ill present both:

My Tests said:
pH: > 8.8 (not by alot, but definately off the charts); Nitrate: 5 - 10 ppm; Ammonia: .75 ppm
ill have gH and kH soon, but the test hasn't arrived yet.

City Analysis (all values ppm) said:
Chlorine (as chloramine): 1.81 - 2.64
Nitrate: 0 - 4.44
Alkalinity: 21 - 50
Ammonia: .110 - .590
Total Hardness: 69 - 152

pH: 9.2 - 10.4 (degrees, not ppm :p)
These params seem very problematic. Right now we have 2 tanks:
5 Gallon with 1 ghost shrimp, 1 male betta, 2 corydras
10 Gallon with 2 mystry snails, 3 oto, 5 male guppies

and a variety of plants that also shouldnt have water like this.

my biggest concerns are the basic water, hardness of the water, and treating that much ammonia with a conditioner.

RO/DI is an option i guess, but that leaves replacing alot of trace, plus cost (i know a place to get it fairly cheep, but still)

Can anyone suggest other solutions?
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Well, I'd say first test the water yourself, and compare it to tests of your current water, using the same kits. The city's water report values RARELY match the values of what's actually coming from the tap.
yeah SuRje, I have actually tested two samples. Both showing pH 8.8. The first showing .75ppm ammonia the second down to .50ppm ammonia (I suspect some excess had built up in the line that was run out before collecting second sample. I was also able to measure the hardness of the water. Only 2DkH, and around 150ppm gH (going from memory). This is much softer than mu current water, but also much more basic. (is this even hard enough for DIY CO2 to be safe, or would pH fluctuate too much?)

I am thinking that a heavy dose of prime would successfully neutralize all of the ammonia. I would think of mixing half and half with RO to lower the PH and ammonia concentration. I don't want to get rid of the nitrates or trace elements completely though :/.

Also, I initially expected the water to be very hard and thus highly buffered, but since the water is rather soft, how feesable would say, overdosing prime and adding some sort of pH lowering and buffering chemical be? I might talk to my LFS as I believe they are on the same municipal supply as the new house. I know they use a lot of pH down :/.

Any other tips would be very helpful right now.
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okay, so I am going to bump this an hopefully get some hlep.

I decided to try a product called Seachem Neutral Regulator. I know its phosphate based, but I was willing to combat algae for a 1 hit solution. Even a double dose does not get the pH to neutral or do much at all about the ammonia.

I talked to a salt water friend who told me where to get RO/DI for cheep. I am no thinking it would be better to go with 50-100 % RO/DI water, but I am not sure about a few things. IIRC, there are lots of elements in tap water that are good (maybe necessary) for a planted tank. How would one go about adding them. I know how to adjust hardness (thanks to but the tank that has to stay here is a low tech setup and dosing much would be problematic (my mom isn't a chemist).
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