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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :-D. 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):
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?
Any recommendations on which species will do well in my water parameters? I'm still trying to decide and will take any advice.
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.
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