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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Received my water results from our local water test lab. University of Wisconsin
Wisconsin well water Has high hardness.

Can you guys help me consider the steps forward to use the well water. Are there a certain group of plants and fish I should use? Will I have to adjust the levels with RO water or do you have any other suggestions?
Any help is appreciated for a beginner...
Thanks in advance.

Hardness-Total 481 mg/l CaCO3
Alkalinity 371 mg/l CaCO3
Conductivity 1478 umhos/cm
pH 8.19 std units
Saturation Index. 1.0
Nitrogen-Nitrate/Nitrite 9.5 mg/l N
Chloride 222.0 mg/l
Arsenic 0.006 mg/l
Calcium 58.0 mg/l
Copper 0.1308 mg/l
Iron 0.010 mg/l
Lead 0.005 mg/l
Magnesium 30.7 mg/l
Manganese 0.001 mg/l
Potassium 1.4 mg/l
Sodium 221.2 mg/l
Sulfate 33.79 mg/l
Zinc 0.100 mg/l

22 Posts
The primary thing that stands out to me is the pH: ammonium quickly becomes toxic at higher pH (as ammonia):

You have several options:

You could go with RO water, which would benefit both plants and animals in your tanks, and keep you from having to "batch" prepare water for water changes.

You could go with tap water, and use it straight from the tap (dechlorinated), and keep fish and plants that tolerate relatively high pH, TDS, and will make do with all that calcium from the water.

The other option would be to set up your tank as above, adjust the pH down to some level, and then batch prepare water for water changes- ideally dropping the pH before you add it.

RO would probably yield the best results. 222 mg/L chloride is pretty high, I wonder where that's coming from. There's also a fair amount if nitrate/nitrite in that water, probably agricultural sources. If this is your drinking water, you should probably have a test for E. coli done.

667 Posts
Your mineral content is quite high, especially sodium and chloride. Plants with a known tolerance for high mineral content include Anubias, Cryptocoryne wendtii, Java fern, Java moss, Anacharis, Vallisneria, Sagittaria and Bacopa. You can have a nice planted tank with these species and they are commonly available at most aquarium shops.

Fish species that would do well include platys, swordtails and mollies. These are very common in the aquarium trade and easy for beginners.

Otherwise, you could use RO and mix with your well water to reduce the mineral content if you wish to grow other species.
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