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Old 10-23-2011, 10:29 AM   #1
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Adding unsoftened well water

Have not even filled my tank yet but I have lots of questions, lol. I know that it's important to match the temp when doing water changes. I have softened well water. As I understand it, I should use my water before it goes thru the softener. Unfortunately that is some very cold water. In a 45 gallon tank, could I just add buckets that have come to room temp, very slowly? Say 2 gallons at a time? Or do I need to buy another heater to put in my buckets? Also, what are the really necessary chemicals to keep on hand for fishy emergencies?

Thanks for any replies!
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Old 10-23-2011, 12:48 PM   #2
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Hi! I'm not 100% sure about well water and softeners, but I think it should be OK if you let it come up to room temp as long as it isn't a major difference in the tank temp. You could get a heater for the bucket if you don't want to wait. You could also consider getting a large food grade plastic container, like a Rubbermaid bucket and put all the water in at once and let it come up to room temp then just use buckets to slowly pour it into the tank.

Are there fish in the tank yet? Are you doing a fishless cycle or trying a fish-in?

As for chemicals I'm not sure. There are a myriad of meds for various diseases. Aquarium salt might be good to have on-hand in case of a sudden ich outbreak or certain illnesses. Pimafix and Melafix are fairly popular for bacterial and fungal diseases, but it would really depend on the fish and what disease they come down with.
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Old 10-23-2011, 02:06 PM   #3
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No, fish in yet just filling it up today to start cycle. Thanks.
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Old 10-23-2011, 03:08 PM   #4
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Try using your regular tap water. See how the pH and KH change over a few days. If they don't change by much you don't have to worry about it. If so let us know how much and we can see how much we have to worry about it.
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishguy2727
Try using your regular tap water. See how the pH and KH change over a few days. If they don't change by much you don't have to worry about it. If so let us know how much and we can see how much we have to worry about it.
I just saw this after already filling the tank with the unsoftened water. I tested the water after filling the tank and parameters were: pH- 7.8 (way high?); ammonia- 0 or .25; nitrites- 0; nitrates- 5.

I'm getting ready to add the ammonia for the cycle.
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:31 PM   #6
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Would "Neutral Regulator" be an option for getting the pH under control?

Thanks!
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:51 PM   #7
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No. It is best in most cases to just leave it alone. Trying to fight pH (especially to get it down) is a pointless battle. Stability and high water quality is more important than exact parameters.
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:43 PM   #8
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Ok, thanks!
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:29 AM   #9
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Got everything set up and running and 10 hours later the pH was higher, 8.3. I thought it would go down. Now I'm worried. The decorations are all plastic or resin. The substrate is part regular aquarium gravel and part planted, aquarium gravel that is supposed to contain iron, but not raise pH. I'm wondering if that was a mistake. That gravel came with a packet of water clarifier that I didn't use. I wonder if I should add it?
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:04 AM   #10
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I wouldn't add clarifier if the water isn't cloudy, or ever really. Your waters pH may have gone up as a result of the CO2 or oxygen content of the water changing. As already mentioned, I wouldn't worry about the pH.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:07 AM   #11
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I wouldn't add it. Do you know the brand of gravel it is?

Even a PH of 8.3 would be fine if it's stable. Not sure how it raised so much though. Can you test a glass of water for the PH and then let it sit overnight and see what it reads? That way we can either pinpoint or eliminate anything in the tank causing an issue. For example, my tap PH is about 8.3 but then it falls and settles to about 7.2-7.6 after it gasses out. Fish like stability; they'll adapt to your tank's PH as long as it stays stable. It's best not to mess with it unless you really have to.
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:09 PM   #12
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The same water in a bucket overnight still read at 7.8 this morning. When I get home I'll find the brand on the substrate for you all. I don't have any bubbles going on in the tank. So I guess I will have to get that going. Thanks again!
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Old 10-24-2011, 03:55 PM   #13
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Ok, it's Carib Sea Flora Max planted aquarium substrate. I rinsed and rinsed it and a lot of dark muddy looking stuff came out of it, before I put it in the tank. This afternoon, it's at 8.2.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:58 PM   #14
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I'm also starting to get some deposits of white stuff on the tank glass. Is it calcium deposits? Do I need to start over? Any advice appreciated.
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Old 10-27-2011, 03:19 PM   #15
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Here's my tank so far. I added bubbles and the pH stays steady at 8.3. Is that going to be too high for gouramis, plectos, and danios?
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:07 PM   #16
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Hm, my first guess was its the caribsea floramax raising the PH but I just did some searching and it says it doesn't raise PH. The white stuff on the glass could be mineral deposits as the substrate does contain calcium and other minerals. Do you have live plants in the tank or plan to get them? Something in the tank must be raising the PH if your tap water still reads 7.8 overnight.

I don't think 8.3 is too high for most tropical fish though, they'll adapt to it so it should be fine as long as it stays stable.
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:48 PM   #17
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Oh cool. Thanks for the reply! It seems very stable at 8.3. I'll see if doing a PWC messes anything up. I added 4 live plants with no changes.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:44 PM   #18
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I found the culprit behind the high pH. It is the other gravel I mixed in - Top Fin. It looks like tiny river rock, very pretty. The back of the bag says "caution, may alter pH." So, should I remove all of it and start over? I just started cycling this tank. My tap water is 7.8.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:36 AM   #19
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What type of gravel was it? Most are completely inert, they may only be referring to a slight pH change, possibly only when first put in the tank.

If you only let the tap water sit out overnight it may not be long enough to see the true effects, it can take a couple days or more in some cases to get the full pH change, especially with well water.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:43 AM   #20
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It's very small, river rock looking stuff, natural color. I put some in a dish with vinegar and nothing happened. So maybe it it just the water. Does high pH and hardness make it hard for fish to breathe?
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