Lots of iron in water. Safe to use with fish?
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Lots of iron in water. Safe to use with fish?

This is a discussion on Lots of iron in water. Safe to use with fish? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Hi, I live in the mountains, so I get my water from a well. The water in my well is extremely alkaline, with very ...

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Lots of iron in water. Safe to use with fish?
Old 01-19-2013, 12:28 PM   #1
 
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Lots of iron in water. Safe to use with fish?

Hi, I live in the mountains, so I get my water from a well. The water in my well is extremely alkaline, with very high carbonate hardness, but with a general hardness of 0. It's very strange water, and since the ph is 10, and difficult to lower , I have started using my neighbors water. They also get their water from a well, but the parameters are much more sturdy. The only problem with their water is that it has a very high amount of iron. The water turns rust colored when I put it in a white 5 gallon bucket.
I was wondering if this is a concern to my fish. I use water conditioner, but is the high amount of iron a problem?
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:26 PM   #2
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Probably, that's a lot of iron if you can see it that well in a 5 gallon cross section.

Do you have testing numbers?

I don't understand how the KH can be high and the GH be zero. The KH is based on CaCO3 and the GH is based on that PLUS other ingredients.

Oh, and what conditioner are you using, others might know what use it may be with your iron issue... I don't use any so I don't know.

Jeff.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:45 PM   #3
 
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So we had our water tested and the ph was 10, and on my little testing strips, it looks as if the kh is 240 and the gh is 0. Very odd I know.
I use stress coat+ usually, but I also have plain water conditioners
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:52 PM   #4
 
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does the water pass through a water softener?
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:52 PM   #5
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If your KH is 240, then your GH is at least that. The strips are notorious for being inaccurate but for it to show zero... don't know. Odd indeed.

Jeff.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:22 PM   #6
 
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No it does not pass through a softener. I have been an using RO water filter, but there isn't enough water to fill any of my larger tanks.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
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No it does not pass through a softener. I have been an using RO water filter, but there isn't enough water to fill any of my larger tanks.
If you cut with RO water you can manage the hardness and reduce the iron. Just do water changes with the RO until the parameters are in a better range then cut the change water to keep the ratios correct. I was going to do this but my tank seems to autocorrect the hardness for me, something to do with plants and wood or something... not 100% sure what it is but if it is plants, I expect the hardness to settle a little lower as they grow and fill the tank more. It is down to 17-18 from 23 dGH, that took about a week.

Too much iron can adversely affect plants though, that is only something that I saw mentioned here a couple of times.

Jeff.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:35 PM   #8
 
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Thanks :)

The thing is, I'm only using my neighbor's water, and their ph is neutral and the other parameters are also quite neutral, the only thing is the iron, and I was wondering if lots of iron will cause problems.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:05 PM   #9
 
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Thanks :)

The thing is, I'm only using my neighbor's water, and their ph is neutral and the other parameters are also quite neutral, the only thing is the iron, and I was wondering if lots of iron will cause problems.
Yes, depending upon the actual level. Iron is a heavy metal, and all heavy metals can kill life, be it bacteria, plant, animal, fish. However, iron is also an essential mineral to all life. So it is the level of iron that matters, and I've no idea what that might be. Public water systems obviuosly test for iron and other heavy metals, and take steps to ensure the levels are safe for humans. Is your neighbour treating his water, or perhaps not drinking it? What is safe for humans may not be safe for fish living in it.

Water conditioners that detoxify heavy metals (and most, but not all, do) will usually only be effective with trace levels of the metals, such as might be found in municipal water. This takes water safe for humans but not for fish, and detoxifies the metals so it is safe for fish. Live plants also take up these metals, but this is obviusly limited too.

Byron.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:01 PM   #10
 
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I'm not sure on the actual level, I don't have any equipment to test it. I will ask though, I know that he drinks it and uses it on his plants, but I do not know much else.
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