Water Hardness Areas of the U.S.
I found a website that provides water hardness by location in the U.S. while I was doing research for a breeding project I'm interested in starting. Apparently I live in an area that has harder water than I want to start my breeding project. I thought this could be helpful to you guys.
United States Water Hardness Map, What is my water hardness?
That's a pretty neat website and does appear to be accurate from what I know of my water testing. Since the area in which we live has a large range, I would try to find a more accurate reading as I know my water is on the lower end of what that chart says it should be. Who knows, maybe with a little dilution you could make your water soft enough.
The fish I want to breed prefer pH at the lower end of 6.0 than at 7.0. I have 7.6, so I'll probably end up getting a RO unit or possibly using rainwater to do it.
Depending on what your KH is, that pH could drop on its own. My tap pH is similar to yours and my mature tanks get down around a pH of 6. Also I would be careful about using rainwater due to the large amount of coal-fired power plants in the Appalachians. Our prevailing winds come from the west, so the smoke from the plants is blown our way. If you do go the dilution route, then I would use RO water.
Also, I'm curious as you aren't too far from me. What do you plan to breed?
I'd have to get a KH testing kit since I only have an API master kit that tests ammonia, nitrite, nitrates, and pH.
Really? I did not know that. Sounds like RO water would be best for my projects. To answer your questions, I'm actually interested in breeding two species, both from South America - the Apistogramma Trifasciata dwarf cichilds also known as Threestripe. I already have two males and a female. I don't know where my second female went. I'm honestly surprised the bigger male hasn't killed the younger male yet. They're in a 40 gallon community tank, which isn't really ideal for breeding, plus the pH always settles at 7.6.
The other species I'm interested in is the Starlight Bristlenose Pleco, also known as the White Seam Bristlenose Pleco. I have a young female pleco at 3 inches, not yet sexually mature so I have time to get things together before I attempt my projects. The Apistos will definitely be started first.
I had to get a KH/GH test kit, too, because my water is too soft for some of my fish. I've been hardening it for the past month and all seems well. API makes one for about $8 that I found on DrsFosterandSmith.com, but that is just because the only pet stores I have here Petsmart and Petco. I would highly recommend one if you are going to start messing with GH and KH.
I found this but it strips the water of everything, including pH levels -
Aquarium Water Quality: Tap Water Filter
But there's also this -
Aquarium Water Conditioners for RO Water: Kent R/O Right Water Conditioner
Freshwater Aquarium Water Conditioners for RO Water: Seachem Equilibrium RO Water Conditioner
Would this work to get levels at 6 or under?
Someone else is going to have to tell you about the water filter. I've never used on. You might be able to find a cheaper on at a home-improvement store.
I've never heard of the Kent's product. Seachem equilibrium is used to bring the GH (but not KH or pH) up to safe levels for plants as plants don't like a GH lower than 3. Byron uses it on his tanks. I used Seachem Replenish (again only does GH) for a little while to harden my goldfish tank as my water is too soft for them. If you're going to use RO water and harden it slightly I would use the Replenish as you can buy it in 20L containers which are much more cost effective.
Aquarium Water Testing: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals GH/KH Test Kit <-- This is the GH/KH test kit I ordered. Very easy to use and a great tool to make sure your water is just right.
I'll order that kit before spending any money on a RO/deionization filter. Thanks!
That's pretty accurate for my area too in SC. Cool map! Although I know it'll still vary city by city.. My city even has two different water sources with slightly different parameters between the two.
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