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Old 08-22-2013, 10:22 AM   #1
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Big (ish) oops - rain (barrel) water.

General FYI to anyone considering using rain water for your aquarium.

I've started cycling a 10 g to try out some plants. I was so proud of myself: pulled gravel from my established tank (learned the small pieces are a risk to our little red eared slider), rinsed in water from a poly rain barrel and laid down on top of the kitty litter plant base. Pulled a couple of rocks from the big tank, too. Believing my cycle will be pretty quick, topped tank with rain water, start the filter and troupe over to LFS for a pair of live-bearers to start cycling.

Test from tank this am:
NH3 - 0 - really! ?
NO2 - 5+ - wow, maybe . . .
NO3 - 60± whoa!

Test water out of the barrel:
NH3 - 0 - as expected
NO2 - 1.0
NO3 - 160 ppm or more.

Light bulb moment: enough biological activity in the rain barrel /which is a pretty closed system so probably anaerobic - to jack up the readings.

Won't be doin' that any more'
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:56 PM   #2
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Haha! Funny! Of course, not funny if you have to do a ton of wcs to get rid of those nitrates, but...
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Old 08-22-2013, 04:04 PM   #3
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I'm usually so very anal about crossing i's and dotting t's; so I'm feelin' pretty ignorant for not considering and testing for the potential issues in the stored rain water. The flip side is that our city water is about 15° for KH, so using it is it's own set of challenges.
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walklong View Post
I'm usually so very anal about crossing i's and dotting t's; so I'm feelin' pretty ignorant for not considering and testing for the potential issues in the stored rain water. The flip side is that our city water is about 15° for KH, so using it is it's own set of challenges.
You could have a great killie or a malawi tank with a kh of 15!!

My tap water is 7.8 ph and 3 KH , so it's not really good for anything.
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:11 PM   #5
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I guess if keeping fish wasn't a tad challenging we'd be bored and just play solitaire - wouldn't THAT wreck the economy!? O
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