Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   What type of water? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/what-type-water-48241/)

iamgray 07-29-2010 03:50 PM

What type of water?
 
I have a guppy, three harlequin rasboras, and three platys.

My aquarium is at my office, and the tap water here is well water that is not safe for human consumption. The last time someone accidentally drank it, he was vomiting within 20 minutes. So when I have done water changes, I've used Culligan water instead (demineralized reverse osmosis, blue-jug water cooler water).

A guy at work keeps telling me that my fish are going to die if I keep using the Culligan water, and that I have to use tap water (after leaving it for a day or two to let it settle). The tap water is ultra hard (I put the test strip in it and it instantly showed the highest level of hardness.... so, pretty well off the charts) and very alkaline. Not to mention the vomitting.

My question is... is he right? Will my fish do better in the tap water? my gut (and vomit-guy's gut haha) says to keep using the Culligan water, as the pH and hardness is much lower... I just want opinions because this guy is seriously driving me nuts because he comes to my desk literally EVERY DAY to tell me that I'm going to kill my fish. I mean... if he's right, then he's right, but because I am still so new to fish keeping, I want to hear it from others whose opinions I trust more so that I can know whether or not I can confidently tell him to get lost.

mjbn 07-29-2010 04:15 PM

thats interesting.. hahah(x Well what is it in the water that made him throw up? Find out if that is harmful to your fish. idk though, just a random guess.. haha

iamgray 07-29-2010 04:25 PM

Good point, fish live in a lot of different bodies of water that are unfit for human consumption. But, I don't know what's in the water that made him sick, and don't know how to find out.

mjbn 07-29-2010 09:28 PM

This may seem like torture, but maybe get one fish or buy another one, and see if the fish is able to live in the local waters. after maybe a week or 2.?

iamgray 07-29-2010 11:23 PM

That does seem like torture. But now that you mentioned the whole "see if they live" thing... My guppy has been in the culligan water for over a month and hasn't died yet, so maybe that's enough evidence for me to tell him where to go next time he lectures me? I mean, I HAVE lost other fish that were purchased at the same time as my current guppy, but I know that I did MANY things wrong when I first started, and I think she would have died as well if not for the fact that I changed what I was doing and got her in a better environment (she was on her last legs... she appeared to be dead, I got the water temperature up a little bit and she came back to life... a miracle? :D Then I got her into the aquarium I have now and she's been perfect ever since).

Byron 07-29-2010 11:32 PM

To answer the initial question, I need to know the water parameters (of the tank). Hardness and pH. Then I will explain what he's getting at==there is truth in what he says, but not necessarily so in this case...just to leave you dangling in suspense.;-)

Byron.

iamgray 07-30-2010 10:21 AM

Oh the antici..........pation is killing me!!!!

Tank water - ppm (mg/L) -- General Hardness = 120, Carbonate Hardness = between 80-120, pH = 7-7.5

The tap water GH was at least 180, KH was at least 240, who knows what it actually is because my kit doesn't measure any higher than that. pH was 8-8.5.

mjbn 07-30-2010 10:50 AM

waiting for a response:O Got me in suspense too. haha but the pH is high which is good for guppies right byron, as yo utold my in my threads. so that's in check, idk how they tolerate high hardness but you'll have to wait for the experienced member (byron) to answer that for i am just a newblet. haha

Byron 07-30-2010 04:26 PM

Hope I'm understanding this correctly. These results are from the tank which has the bottled water, not the tap water. If this is correct, then the issue your friend was alluding to is non-existant.

Most bottled water is basically so pure there is nothing in it, almost like distilled. What your friend was getting at is that fish generally need some mineral in the water. Pure distilled water with a pH of 7 does not exist in nature and couldn't support aquatic life if it did. All natural water has something in it, be it mineral (basic, alkaline, hard water) or organics and tannins (soft and acidic). Fish are naturally adapted by evolution/nature to the water they live in. Some adjustment is possible through generations of tank-raised fish, but I won't get into that complicated issue.

The numbers you give indicate medium hard water with a slightly basic pH. This is fine for livebearers [yes, mjbn], and the rasbora will probably adapt; they are acidic water fish, but as this is the common Harlequin Rasbora (I'm assuming again), Trigonostigma heteromorpha, you will note in the profile (click the shaded name to see the profile) under ideal water parameters it will survive slightly basic.

Byron.

iamgray 07-30-2010 06:30 PM

Yes Byron, the tank water is the bottled water. And yep, that's the rasbora that I've got. Thank you for the information, I can't wait to tell that guy to shut up on Tuesday. :P

I know the guy means well and everything, but the thing that drives me crazy and makes me want to tell him to shut up is that he refuses to listen to me when I tell him that I think the water is fine... he treats me like I don't know ANYTHING when I am constantly researching and asking questions here and learning as much as I can, and test my water frequently to make sure I'm not making the mistakes I made when I first started out... so having him tell me on a daily basis that I'm going to kill my fish is getting a little bit tiring.

oops... sorry... /rant

Thanks again for the help!


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