Help reading my water report - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-05-2012, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Help reading my water report

Hi, I'm new to the hobby and I am trying to do all my research before adding fish to my tank. I've been trying to determine my GH & KH, but my areas water report seems a little vague to me. I was hoping someone would be able to tell me if the report gives me anything I need. Here is the link:

http://water.cobbcountyga.gov/PDFile...12_Website.pdf

The information is located at the very bottom. The same website has an FAQ where they mention water hardness, this is the answer they give: "CCMWA water typically only has 21 mg of calcium carbonate per liter making it soft water". Not sure if I can go by this or not.

I live in Atlanta and we get most of our water from Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River. I have yet to test my tap water, but from what I can tell most of the tap water around here is around 7. Hopefully I can get these numbers down so I can start planning what is going to go in my tank.
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-05-2012, 06:48 PM
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You should probably just buy a liquid water test test kit at your local pet store to test your tap water. You will need it for your tank, anyway. Dont buy the cheaper test strips as they are very unreliable and hard to read.

Consider the needs of your fish before acting on your desires.
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-06-2012, 03:15 AM
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Hi. The hardness you referred to is carbonate hardness and refers to how much pH buffer you have. Otherwise, the report doesn't have the information that you want.

I would look for a better report, maybe monthly or yearly. The addresses are in the lower right corner of the report.

I think Marshallsea's thought is also a good one.

When measuring the pH of tap water, you need to de-gas it by letting it sit for at least 24 hours, preferably with an air bubbler or tube in it.

Steven

Last edited by equatics; 07-06-2012 at 03:17 AM.
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post #4 of 9 Old 07-06-2012, 09:46 AM
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I couldn't get the websites to open. But i would contact them directly and ask for the GH (general hardness) and Alkalinity or carbonate hardness (KH) of the water. There is no point in spending money for a GH/KH test kit and then only using it once. This kit is useful if you need to adjust the water somehow, but until you know the initial GH and KH this is unknown. Alternatively, a reliable local fish store could do a test for GH and KH.

In either case, make sure they give you numbers. Vague phrases like "hard" mean nothing to us without the number.

I agree with getting a pH kit, the API liquid test kit is reliable. This test performed periodically is advisable, so you will use it. The normal range test kit is the one if your pH is around neutral (7), not the high range test.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-06-2012, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help. I figured it didn't include what I needed. Hopefully Monday I can give them a call and see if I can get some actual numbers out of them. The test kit is on my list of things to get.
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-06-2012, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Did some "googling" to see if anyone had some type of numbers regarding hardness, and I stumbled upon a local beer forum of all places . One member had their water tested (this year) who lives in the same county as me and gets his water from the same water company as well. Here are his results (I bolded what I thought was most important):

ppm
Sodium, Na 12
Potassium, K 2
Calcium, Ca 13
Magnesium, Mg 2
Total Hardness, CaCO3 41
Nitrate, NO3-N 1.1 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 6
Chloride, Cl 12
Carbonate, CO3 3
Bicarbonate, HCO3 22

Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 23
Total Phosphorus, P 0.56
Total Iron, Fe < 0.01

I noticed total hardness, but I'm not sure if that's GH & KH combined or not. From my research it seems KH is caused by the presence of carbonate and bicarbonate ions. Are these numbers a better starting place?
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-07-2012, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by cubrian28 View Post
Did some "googling" to see if anyone had some type of numbers regarding hardness, and I stumbled upon a local beer forum of all places . One member had their water tested (this year) who lives in the same county as me and gets his water from the same water company as well. Here are his results (I bolded what I thought was most important):

ppm
Sodium, Na 12
Potassium, K 2
Calcium, Ca 13
Magnesium, Mg 2
Total Hardness, CaCO3 41
Nitrate, NO3-N 1.1 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 6
Chloride, Cl 12
Carbonate, CO3 3
Bicarbonate, HCO3 22
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 23
Total Phosphorus, P 0.56
Total Iron, Fe < 0.01

I noticed total hardness, but I'm not sure if that's GH & KH combined or not. From my research it seems KH is caused by the presence of carbonate and bicarbonate ions. Are these numbers a better starting place?
If those numbers are accurate for your water, then it is very soft. Total hardness (GH) of 41ppm equates to 2 dGH. Assuming this is correct, and with a KH (carbonate/bicarbonate hardness/Akalanity) of around 22ppm which is just over 1 dKH, the pH should naturally lower in the tank once it is biologically established and be acidic. So you're all set for soft water fish. Avoid livebearers, rift lake cichlids, and the other hard-water fish. Info on water parameters is included for each species in our profiles.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-07-2012, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
If those numbers are accurate for your water, then it is very soft. Total hardness (GH) of 41ppm equates to 2 dGH. Assuming this is correct, and with a KH (carbonate/bicarbonate hardness/Akalanity) of around 22ppm which is just over 1 dKH, the pH should naturally lower in the tank once it is biologically established and be acidic. So you're all set for soft water fish. Avoid livebearers, rift lake cichlids, and the other hard-water fish. Info on water parameters is included for each species in our profiles.

Byron.
Thanks Byron. I do believe those are accurate because there are other test results on their forums with roughly the same numbers, give or take 1-2 ppm. From what I've read our water is very soft, just didn't have any numbers to back that up until now.

Any recommendations on which species will do well in my water parameters? I'm still trying to decide and will take any advice.
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-07-2012, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by cubrian28 View Post
Thanks Byron. I do believe those are accurate because there are other test results on their forums with roughly the same numbers, give or take 1-2 ppm. From what I've read our water is very soft, just didn't have any numbers to back that up until now.

Any recommendations on which species will do well in my water parameters? I'm still trying to decide and will take any advice.
The options are almost endless. Most of the species in the categories characins, anabantids, badids, catfish, cyprinids, cichlids (not the African rift lake ones obviously) in the profiles. Some are more compatible than others, there are varying issues involving activity that have to be considered, water movement, decor... just browse the profiles.

One can aim for a geographic tank, in which all fish and plants will be native to a certain area, say Amazonia, or SE Asia. Or one can use a type of habitat, such as fish from flowing streams, or fish from ponds and swamps, or fish from flooded forests. Any of these will ensure more compatible fish. It is when we put in one aquarium fish that have different requirements in terms of temperature, water flow, decor that we encounter trouble because someone will lose and this means stress and health problems.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

Last edited by Byron; 07-07-2012 at 12:08 PM.
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