Water way too hard
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Water way too hard

This is a discussion on Water way too hard within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Hello everyone, this is my first post and I am excited to finally make the transition from troll to contributor. With that being said, ...

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Old 01-18-2012, 08:39 PM   #1
 
Exclamation Water way too hard

Hello everyone, this is my first post and I am excited to finally make the transition from troll to contributor. With that being said, I am preparing to set up my first tank and am having concerns over the hardness of my cities tap water. Due to the nature of it's storage, the tap tends to have an average hardness level of 342 ppm but can get as high as 501 ppm. The breakdown consists of calcium (up to 100 ppm), chloride (up to 90 ppm), manganese and barium (up to 50 ppb) and then magnesium, sodium and sulfate (all up to 50 ppm). This water is extremely hard. So hard that I'm getting nervous as to how I will be able to sustain a tank without severely limiting my options. I surely do not want to buy spring water every time a water change comes around. I was hoping to store a few shrimp and some sort of schooling fish in a 20 gallon. Any ideas? Thank you.
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:14 AM   #2
 
We have really hard water too, I use half regular tap and half from a water softener, I've heard you can add aquarium salt and here is a link that might help... Aquarium Water Hardness
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:03 AM   #3
 
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RO water is really the best thing that you could be using in your tank. Tap water is really not great for your tank. If you have a fish store near you they will most likely sell RO water.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:27 AM   #4
 
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WoW you water is like liquid rock! The best and safest way to lower the hardness is RO water or DI water or even rain water if you can collect it. Have a read on this http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:39 AM   #5
 
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You really only have a few options.

1. Keep Mbuna of Tang cichlids
2. Buy and RO\DI unit
3. Buy RO water from your LFS

The third option really only works with small tanks. There are a number of tricks to lower the hardness slightly but none of them will work with that water.
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:56 AM   #6
 
In the Greater Buffalo, our water gets pretty hard too. Every fish in our lfs' are kept and acclimated to that type of water, and even discus do well in it. There's a good chance that fish in your area could already be okay with those water parameters. Have you tried keeping fish in this water before and failed? Also, I've used peat to lower my hardness before. There's also "black-water" additives that will be a cheaper option than constant RO and trips to the store. Only downside is it adds a brown tint to the water...

Good luck man.
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:07 PM   #7
 
I have not yet returned to school so the best I could do was call a shop near where I live in Madison and I asked how they deal with the hard water. They told me most of the fish do fine with no sort of treatment but that some do not and for those they sell RO water for $0.55 a gallon. That was reassuring, I was starting to get nervous but I figure what I could do is each week during a water change add a gallon of RO and just deal with the hard water for the remaining few gallons.
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:12 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malakh View Post
I have not yet returned to school so the best I could do was call a shop near where I live in Madison and I asked how they deal with the hard water. They told me most of the fish do fine with no sort of treatment but that some do not and for those they sell RO water for $0.55 a gallon. That was reassuring, I was starting to get nervous but I figure what I could do is each week during a water change add a gallon of RO and just deal with the hard water for the remaining few gallons.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmlynn View Post
In the Greater Buffalo, our water gets pretty hard too. Every fish in our lfs' are kept and acclimated to that type of water, and even discus do well in it. There's a good chance that fish in your area could already be okay with those water parameters. Have you tried keeping fish in this water before and failed? Also, I've used peat to lower my hardness before. There's also "black-water" additives that will be a cheaper option than constant RO and trips to the store. Only downside is it adds a brown tint to the water...

Good luck man.

They may be able to live short term in the LFS with that kind of hard water, but long term it will cause organ failure in fish than require extremely soft water. The fish may live in those conditions but they will most likely live a miserable life.
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:24 PM   #9
 
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I agree.

Malakh, have a read of the article (which I authored) linked previously, here it is again:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

This explains the whole issue as simply as I could put it. I also suggest safe ways to reduce hardness. But first thing is to decide on the needs of the fish you intend to have. We have profiles, under the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top; water parameter ranges are given for each species.

And of course we are all here to discuss further and answer questions.

Last but not least, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Byron.
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:31 AM   #10
 
Found a great article on what fish and plant types do well in hard water.

In praise of hard water
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