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Water testing

This is a discussion on Water testing within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Eldamo Jeff - the platy's were born in my old tank, I couldn't believe it with my lack of care at ...

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Old 05-01-2013, 05:34 PM   #21
JDM
 
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Originally Posted by Eldamo View Post
Jeff - the platy's were born in my old tank, I couldn't believe it with my lack of care at the time, but they survived! I take your point about the water hardness, but I know the platy's are happy at the moment.

Here is the link to the water quality report for my area
Basic
http://www.amwater.com/files/NJ_2004..._Brook_TWQ.pdf
Detailed
http://www.amwater.com/ccr/raritan.pdf
They only give a range, quite a wide range as well, without saying what it actually is. The minimum is something like 70ppm which is around 4dGH... but they list it as CaCO3 equivalent which is usually used for KH. Don't know here.

Happy platys? While I'm being a little facetious here, how can you tell a happy platy from a not so happy platy... other than just being alive?

Jeff.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:04 PM   #22
 
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That is a huge GH range, from 70 to 582 or something. I suggest you test your tap water for GH. Rather than buying a kit, if you have a good local fish store they may do this for you. It is GH, general hardness, we want, and make sure they give you the number from the test, whatever format it may be. "Hard" or "OK" is of no value, but the number we can understand.

Second, I suspect your Vallisneria is melting due to the Excel (liquid carbon) you were using. Vallisneria is one plant genus that often melts with these chemicals. You've decided to stop using this, that is a wise decision. The Vall may recover.

The Flourish Comprehensive Supplement once a week, and the root tabs for larger plants are fine.

Byron.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:21 PM   #23
 
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Thanks for taking a look at the reports, I thought I was going crazy looking at those ranges - but hey it's New Jersey water!

The local store has been helpful in the past so I'll take a sample there for testing. I did look at the kits previously but didn't want to spend the money just yet.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:18 PM   #24
 
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Originally Posted by JDM View Post
They only give a range, quite a wide range as well, without saying what it actually is. The minimum is something like 70ppm which is around 4dGH... but they list it as CaCO3 equivalent which is usually used for KH
general hardness is usually expressed as CaCO3, what it means basically is that the water contains the same hardness as would be present in water with a concentration of X number of mg/L of CaCO3

Ca2+ makes up 40% of the molecular weight of CaCO3 so if 100% of the hardness is due to calcium, then 70 ppm hardness as CaCO3 is equal to 28 mg/L Ca2+

same idea when applied to carbonate hardness, but applied to the anion instead of the cation
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:10 AM   #25
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general hardness is usually expressed as CaCO3, what it means basically is that the water contains the same hardness as would be present in water with a concentration of X number of mg/L of CaCO3

Ca2+ makes up 40% of the molecular weight of CaCO3 so if 100% of the hardness is due to calcium, then 70 ppm hardness as CaCO3 is equal to 28 mg/L Ca2+

same idea when applied to carbonate hardness, but applied to the anion instead of the cation
Makes sense, I figured it was something like that but hadn't seen it represented that way before... seeing as I don't read tons of these reports I've not had to go looking for it. Our town doesn't have the hardness listed in any reports and the most recent I can get, without calling, is 2011.

Jeff.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:01 AM   #26
 
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you can calculate it if you know the concentration of Ca and Mg (other hardness cations like Fe, Mn, Sr are generally in such low amounts that they are irrelevant and can be ignored)

one degree of hardness is equivalent to what would be present in a solution containing 17.8 mg/L CaCO3
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:33 PM   #27
 
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I bought the test kit for GH and KH so I can test whenever I want - so here are the numbers. I was very surprised at the GH so I tested it twice from the tank and tap and got the same results.

KH = 90 ppm
GH = 214 ppm
pH = 7.6 (this is the top of the range of the kit so may be higher?)

As I have hard water should I do anything to soften it or just buy the right fish and plants to go with the water?
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:08 PM   #28
 
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Originally Posted by Eldamo View Post
I bought the test kit for GH and KH so I can test whenever I want - so here are the numbers. I was very surprised at the GH so I tested it twice from the tank and tap and got the same results.

KH = 90 ppm
GH = 214 ppm
pH = 7.6 (this is the top of the range of the kit so may be higher?)

As I have hard water should I do anything to soften it or just buy the right fish and plants to go with the water?
Life is easier when fish suited to your water are in the tank. Adjusting the GH is possible, best by dilution with "pure" water.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:55 AM   #29
 
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I bought the test kit for GH and KH so I can test whenever I want - so here are the numbers. I was very surprised at the GH so I tested it twice from the tank and tap and got the same results.

KH = 90 ppm
GH = 214 ppm
Assuming I got the conversion correct the kh is 5 degrees and gh is 12 degrees (or drops in the api test kit). Those values seem realistic to me and were almost exactly what I had in my tanks where I had peat moss in the substrate. Fish did just fine. My tanks with no peat moss had kh rise to over 20 degrees and gh up to over 40 and neons did not do well. (that also took a couple of years or so.)
Quote:
pH = 7.6 (this is the top of the range of the kit so may be higher?)
I would try the high range test kit. My planted tanks had pH of 8.4-8.8 and I had to use the high range test kit. I know another stupid test kit to buy.
Quote:

As I have hard water should I do anything to soften it or just buy the right fish and plants to go with the water?
Your tank has normal water regardless of whatever water originally went into the tank. You're doing fine.

But still that's just my .


da ta

.02

Last edited by beaslbob; 05-03-2013 at 09:57 AM..
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:39 AM   #30
 
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Life is easier when fish suited to your water are in the tank. Adjusting the GH is possible, best by dilution with "pure" water.
I should have said more, I was in a bit of a hurry last evening, sorry. I agree with bob that this is not that bad. There are many fish that will be fine in this. Just avoid the wild caught very soft water species. Our profiles give parameters for each species.

Byron.
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