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Water Chemistry

This is a discussion on Water Chemistry within the Freshwater and Tropical Fish forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Good morning all, Our family moved to a new home and I am preparing to setup an aquarium, possibly with Discus. Before I make ...

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Old 09-05-2013, 06:49 AM   #1
 
TheCaper's Avatar
 
Water Chemistry

Good morning all,

Our family moved to a new home and I am preparing to setup an aquarium, possibly with Discus. Before I make the attempt I would like to get some info on our water. We are on a well at this new location and we have no outside attachments/equipment, i.e. RO, Softener or any other kind of device connected.

pH out of the tap is 6.0 - 6.5. PH after sitting for 24 hrs in a cup is the same.

Hardness, according to a professional test is: Hardness as CaCO3 = 10.6 mg/L

I do not understand the above hardness reading? Is it good or bad? Does it mean my water will stay stable at PH 6.0

What is the reading that let's you know if your water has good buffering properties to keep it stable?


Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:25 AM   #2
 
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Originally Posted by TheCaper View Post
Good morning all,

Our family moved to a new home and I am preparing to setup an aquarium, possibly with Discus. Before I make the attempt I would like to get some info on our water. We are on a well at this new location and we have no outside attachments/equipment, i.e. RO, Softener or any other kind of device connected.

pH out of the tap is 6.0 - 6.5. PH after sitting for 24 hrs in a cup is the same.

Hardness, according to a professional test is: Hardness as CaCO3 = 10.6 mg/L

I do not understand the above hardness reading? Is it good or bad? Does it mean my water will stay stable at PH 6.0

What is the reading that let's you know if your water has good buffering properties to keep it stable?


Thanks for the help.
Sounds like pretty hard water. Possibly from a limestone aquifier.


FWIW the actual input water is not nearly as important as how the tank system is conditioning that water.

For instance the tank's pH is much more dependant on how the tank is removing co2 then whatever the pH of the input water actually is. On my tanks I have a pH of 8.4-8.8 (api high range test kit) because they are blanaced out by live plants which are removing the co2. Even with peat moss in the substrate which lowers the pH and the pH of the input water being much below 7.5 to start with.


my .02
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:05 PM   #3
 
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this is actually very soft water, less than one degree hardness, I'm assuming this is general hardness

when expressed as mg/L CaCO3, it indicates that your water's hardness is the same as it would be with that concentration of CaCO3, though the actual constituents may be Ca and Mg, no real need to differentiate as the effects of both are the same in this regard

buffering capacity relates to carbonate hardness or alkalinity, the higher this is the more stable the pH

both hardness measures generally coincide, so I would assume the alkalinity is low as well
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:52 AM   #4
 
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this is actually very soft water, less than one degree hardness, I'm assuming this is general hardness

when expressed as mg/L CaCO3, it indicates that your water's hardness is the same as it would be with that concentration of CaCO3, though the actual constituents may be Ca and Mg, no real need to differentiate as the effects of both are the same in this regard

buffering capacity relates to carbonate hardness or alkalinity, the higher this is the more stable the pH

both hardness measures generally coincide, so I would assume the alkalinity is low as well
Woopsies
you are correct.

I was thinking meg/l not mg/l.
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:22 PM   #5
 
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So is the soft water extremely bad. Is it likely my PH will not be stable and will I need to use something to prevent this?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:57 PM   #6
 
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So is the soft water extremely bad. Is it likely my PH will not be stable and will I need to use something to prevent this?

Thanks for the help.
Other than live plants---no.

I would add live plants and get them thriving.

then check pH (just before lights out) and KH.

But that's just me and my .02
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:46 PM   #7
 
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if the alkalinity is low, the pH will likely drop some, but neither this or low general hardness will be a problem for discus as they are soft water fish, the only problem may be, as beaslbob mentioned, with live plants, which may require some mineral supplementation above and beyond general fertilization
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Old 09-06-2013, 04:53 PM   #8
 
I was thinking if you didn't do water changes the KH would rise up to 4 degrees or so all on it's own.

Hence the add plants and then check advice.

No need to make it all complicated.

still just my .02

Last edited by beaslbob; 09-06-2013 at 05:00 PM..
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:32 PM   #9
 
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yes, no need to do anything for KH, but GH may need to be increased if live plants are planned
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:45 PM   #10
 
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but GH isn't as important as the KH ..right?
Just making sure I understand water chemistry correctly as well. KH is what will more so impact the PH and cause unstable PH if messed with..correct?
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