Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/)
-   Beginner Freshwater Aquarium (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/)
-   -   Hard Water/Soft water? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/hard-water-soft-water-28983/)

Calmwaters 09-14-2009 12:39 PM

Hard Water/Soft water?
 
How can you tell what kind you have? At work I use city water while at home I have well water which seems alot easier to stabalize(sp). I have almost always lived were I had well water and never had a problem with Ph, Nitrate, Nitrite or Ammonum levels. Has anyone else experianced the difference in city/well water?

Byron 09-14-2009 01:39 PM

Amanda, you need to test your water to determine hardness. API makes a test kit for hardness (actually three). There are two types of hardness, general hardness (expressed as dGH [means degrees general hardness] and dKH [degrees carbonate hardness]. It is useful knowing both figures; the second (carbonate) is a pH stabilizer, depending upon the amount of KH in the water. For the city water, the water board might be able to tell you the hardness and pH, but they probably won't know this for the well water unless it comes from the same source.

City water varies from city to city; the hardness and pH depends upon where the water comes from and what (if anything) the city water board adds or does to change it. Well water also varies depending upon where you live as the water will be a certain hardness and acidity depending upon what it passes over/through in the ground, things like minerals in rocks, organics, etc.

What exactly do you mean by it being easier to stabilize your well water from your city water at work? Are you doing something to alter the water? I ask because this can be dangerous.

Lastly, re your never having had problems with pH, nitrates, nitrite, ammonium: these are very different things and some are not in the least related to the water source. pH of course is, as it is the degree of acidity or alkalinity of the water, and it is usually (but not always) connectd to the hardness. Ammonium, nitrite and nitrate however have nothing basically to do with the water but more with what happens in the aquarium. Although, some city water can be high in ammonia, nitrite or nitrate; but I would not suspect well water to be. But once the water is in the aquarium, the biological processes initiate the nitrification cycle and ammonia results from fish respiration and decaying material including fish waste, bacteria convert ammonia to nitrite, and another bacteria converts nitrite to nitrate. Ammonia and nitrite are very toxic, nitrate is not except at high levels. Ammonia changes to ammonium in acidic water, and amonium is harmless to fish. In a planted aquarim, the plants grab most of the ammonium/ammonia and nitrite, and the bacteria the remainder.

Byron.

Calmwaters 09-14-2009 01:45 PM

Hi Byron I just meant that my tanks were I have had well water seemed to cycle eaiser and faster than the city water but it may be the different type of fish I had or then again it may just be that I feel like it went smoother with well water. LOL The only thing I put in the tank water is the conditoner to remove chlorine and the bacteria supplements. I never use any of the other stuff like Ph down Up ect. I will look at the LFS to see if they have the hardness tester I got one of the master kits but it does not have anything in it to test hardness.

Calmwaters 09-14-2009 02:12 PM

I ran down to the closest LFS and all they have are the strip test for water hardness. Do you think they would be close enough to be acurate? I know the drop test would probably be better but if I can't get the drop would the strips be ok?

Byron 09-14-2009 02:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Calmwaters (Post 243193)
I ran down to the closest LFS and all they have are the strip test for water hardness. Do you think they would be close enough to be acurate? I know the drop test would probably be better but if I can't get the drop would the strips be ok?

Not sure what to advise. The liquid test kits are more accurate, so I can't say how much use a strip test would be.

Going back through this thread--is there some reason for knowing this? All fish have a "preference" but there is some degree of adaptibility in many of the common species, although not to extremes.

Also, what is the pH of the well and city waters? That may give us a clue without needless expense. I have a hardness kit, but once I knew the hardness of my tap water, I rarely ever use it.

Byron.

Calmwaters 09-14-2009 02:38 PM

I puchased a 44 gallon corner tank and stand this weekend and am trying to decide what fish I want to put in it. I want to make sure they are compatable as far as ph needs, temp need, water hardness ect. Right now I just have 3 Cory cats in there to help it cycle, I also used a filter from a 10 gallon established tank as well as bacteria supplement and plan on adding more fish after a week if all goes well and I am researching fish that I have readly avaliable to me that I like. I knew thet fish needed to be compatablie as long as ph and temp but I had no idea about the water hardness. I have had different tanks with Guppys, Swordtails, Dwarf Gourami, Oto's, Neon Tetras, Danios, Goldfish and Bettas at different times and never had any problem with them they all lived long happy lives and I still live in the same house with the same well water as always. Maybe I am worring to much about setting up this tank its just it has been a dream of mine for a long time to have a big tank(at least big to me) and I just want to make sure I do it right.

Also the ph on both are right around 7.2.

Byron 09-14-2009 02:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Calmwaters (Post 243202)
I puchased a 44 gallon corner tank and stand this weekend and am trying to decide what fish I want to put in it. I want to make sure they are compatable as far as ph needs, temp need, water hardness ect. Right now I just have 3 Cory cats in there to help it cycle, I also used a filter from a 10 gallon established tank as well as bacteria supplement and plan on adding more fish after a week if all goes well and I am researching fish that I have readly avaliable to me that I like. I knew thet fish needed to be compatablie as long as ph and temp but I had no idea about the water hardness. I have had different tanks with Guppys, Swordtails, Dwarf Gourami, Oto's, Neon Tetras, Danios, Goldfish and Bettas at different times and never had any problem with them they all lived long happy lives and I still live in the same house with the same well water as always. Maybe I am worring to much about setting up this tank its just it has been a dream of mine for a long time to have a big tank(at least big to me) and I just want to make sure I do it right.

Also the ph on both are right around 7.2.

With a pH of 7.2, plus your mention of certain fish, I am going to guess that your water is probably not hard, or at least not very hard. It would be unlikely to have very hard water with such a (relatively) low pH. You have a fair scope for fish possibilities; the only fish I would not attempt are rift lake cichlids, as they require harder water with a higher pH (8 or above) to be at their best. But any of the fish you mention, or similar fish from the same geographic areas in nature, will be OK. Just avoid any very sensitive species that are wild caught, as these will prefer softer, more acidic water than what you normally can find in the stores.

I wouldn't worry about the hardness. But you could take a sample into your fish store next time and see if they will test it for hardness; some will.

Byron.

Calmwaters 09-14-2009 02:54 PM

Thanks Bryon. You have made me feel more at ease. Some of the fish I am looking at still researching are Dwarf Gourami or Honey Sunset Gourami, Harlequin, Black Skirt Tetra, Scissor Tail Rasbora(maybe), Buenos Aires Tetra, Golden Wonder Killie (the LFS warned me these like to jump) and Glass Fish. I would like to do 4-6 of each one I decide on as well as my 3 cory cats. Can you tell me anything about any of these breeds? I am googleing them to find out about them.

Byron 09-14-2009 03:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Calmwaters (Post 243209)
Thanks Bryon. You have made me feel more at ease. Some of the fish I am looking at still researching are Dwarf Gourami or Honey Sunset Gourami, Harlequin, Black Skirt Tetra, Scissor Tail Rasbora(maybe), Buenos Aires Tetra, Golden Wonder Killie (the LFS warned me these like to jump) and Glass Fish. I would like to do 4-6 of each one I decide on as well as my 3 cory cats. Can you tell me anything about any of these breeds? I am googleing them to find out about them.

Aside from the killie, these fish would be fine with respect to your water parameters. Killies are usually acidic water fish, and some can be sensitive; but it has been many years (decades actually:shock:) since I had any of these beauties, so I'll leave this for those who have more experience to comment further.

Re the other fish, remember that tetras and rasbora are shoaling fish, as are corydoras, so groups of whichever are more successful, which is what you're leaning towards. Say 6+ for whichever you want. Just keep that in mind when planning how many fish. Gouramis are nice, males can be territorial depending upon species, and here again my familiarity with those mentioned pales compared to others on here, so will leave further comment to them.

Byron.

Calmwaters 09-14-2009 03:59 PM

Thank you again Byron. I took the Killis off my list because they get bigger than I like. I have keep the Dwarf Gourami and never had a problem with aggression as long as they had plenty of plants/hidding places when they wanted to get away from the rest of the tank. I am leaning towards maybe 3 other types of fish besides my corys I love them and have always had them in my tanks.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:04 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2