Water problems

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Fishmanskippy
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:52 am

Water problems

Post by Fishmanskippy » Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:48 pm

Hi everyone,
I had to install a water treatment unit for my whole house. The water goes through a salt ion exchange unit and now my water is soft. I have well water and had it tested and it was not fit to drink and when I did a water change on my tanks I would lose fish. The company installed a $3400 water system and the water tastes and smells great. The water coming out of the well smells like rotten eggs.
Question 1. How do I harden my water up. I was thinking of using baking soda and Magnesium sulfate (Epson Salt) to harden the water back up.
I am keeping mostly African Cichlids and three tanks of apisto's.

Question 2. Will this water hurt my apisto's if I use it straight from the sink?
When I test my water now it shows very soft water as gH, but when I do kH it reads very high 16 dH.

Any help would would be appreciated
I have been keeping and breeding fish for over 50 years so I know a little about fish.

Skippy

dtoth
Posts: 250
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:51 am

Re: Water problems

Post by dtoth » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:04 am

As far as hardness for question one I would do the baking soda and epson salt which if what I use. For the baking soda use 1 tsp per 5g and for epson salt use 1tbs per 5g.

As for question two I believe the gh is what you should be more concerned with as Kh is more of your buffering capability on the tank in purge words keeping your ph stable.
Fishy Dave

Fishmanskippy
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:52 am

Re: Water problems

Post by Fishmanskippy » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:14 am

Thanks Fishy Dave,
I'll try your measurements and see just what I need to change for my type of water. This gives me a good head start as to how much of either Baking Soda and Magnesium Sulfate (Epson Salt) that I need to add to my water.

Thanks Again
Fishmanskippy

Tim Craig
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 3:55 pm
Location: Northern Ohio, USA

Re: Water problems

Post by Tim Craig » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:04 am

If I were in your situation, I'd look at a separate filtration unit coming off of the source water that strictly dealt with the contaminants without softening the water and use it for the fish, but that's more money. Some claim it's not a good idea to keep fish in water softened as yours is now, but others have no problems with it. Probabably best to just try it first. The softener system softens the water by exchanging a calcium ion with sodium ions. That's what drops your GH. The question is how that added sodium will affect the fish you keep. Probably depends a lot on the species. I think the Africans will do fine with it, but can't say about the apisto's.

If your KH is already at 16, then there's no reason to raise it more with baking soda unless you wanted to raise the pH. KH (carbonate hardness) is sometimes referred to as alkalinity or 'buffers'. It's primary role is to stabilize pH. But, it will also raise it to 8.3 or so.

If you want to raise the GH, use the Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate). GH or general hardness is what determines if a water is consider hard or soft or somewhere in between. I've used Epsom salt at times and at other times not when keeping African cichlids and can't say that it mattered to them. But, if your GH is low, then I'd play it safe and bump it up for the Africans. It's cheap and easy enough. Some claim they get better color from their fish when the GH is up, but I've not experienced that myself.

I'd use the water as is with the apisto's for now. If they thrive and breed, then all is good. If they struggle, then you may need to consider that additional filtering unit. The good news is that it shouldn't cost anywhere near the $3400 already spent.
Tim Craig

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