An Attempt To Introduce Myself

Discussion in 'Welcome to FishLore' started by SharonBR, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. SharonBR

    SharonBRNew MemberMember

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    I have no idea what I'm doing, I guess trying to introduce myself. I just started keeping fish (again) about 6 months ago. I'm a freshwater fish-keeper. I have a 37 gallon tank which is almost cycled, two 20 gallon tanks - a long and an high (the long is cycled and the high is almost cycled,) two 10 gallon tanks fully cycled, a 1 gallon tank fully cycled, two 5 gallon tanks (fully cycled), and a 3.5 gallon tank that is almost cycled. The cycled tanks contain very easy fish like Tetras, Danios, Betta, White Cloud Mountain Minnows, and various nerite snails and shrimp I believe a couple of my shrimp are caridina (surprised they have lived in my water), but the rest are cherry shrimp. One is very long and dark and I have no idea what kind. Plus Cory cats in three tanks. All tanks are planted with easy plants and all the plants and fish and shrimp are doing well. I'm 73 years old and live on a hobby farm with quite a few dogs, cats, chickens and a beautiful black Thoroughbred horse. I have a question, but don't know where/how to ask it. It's about my well water which is totally unsuitable for freshwater fish in my opinion - GH 0, KH over 375.9, and pH over 8.8. I'm buying/using water that I buy at a health food store that has good parameters for my type of fish. This is getting very cumbersome, inconvenient, and expensive. I'm probably buying 40 gallons a month. I have an empty 75 gallon tank and can't imagine putting water in it in the manner I've been using. So, being new, I'm not sure what to do next. I welcome anyone critiquing this post and telling me what I've left out or how to proceed.
     
  2. watermelon46

    watermelon46Valued MemberMember

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    Welcome to FishLore!!!
    For you water situation... tough. Hard to own aquariums filled with water without any suitable water o_O Do you have any nearby running water, neighbors with suitable water, etc? Or online you can get a one gallon jug for 1-2$ I just use tap water.

    ~ BTW very good introductory post, didn't leave anyhting out
     
  3. Cherie G

    Cherie GWell Known MemberMember

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    Hi Sharon & welcome! Your farm sounds wonderful! Others here that have more knowledge than me might have some better ideas but I am wondering if a RO system would make your water suitable for use in your aquariums, does anyone have any thoughts if this would help? I do not use one for my aquarium water but we do run our drinking water through one as our well water doesn't taste great. Best of luck and hope you enjoy the site
     
  4. Momgoose56

    Momgoose56Fishlore VIPMember

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    Welcome to fishlore! You have a busy place. Having so many tanks, especially small tanks would be cumbersome, and expensive especially using bottled water. I guessing you mean your GH is 375.9 and your KH is 0? Did you test the pH of your tanks? That would be useful information for those advising you.
    Alternate plan to consider: keep only 2 or 3 tanks (the biggest would ultimately be easiest) Get the biggest tanks cycled, move all the fish from the smaller tanks into the biggest tanks then empty and store the smaller tanks.
    Doing 25-30% water changes on all of those tanks every week is going to get real old real fast, considering all your other animals that demand your attention, and might turn into a giant messy fail.
    Instead of using expensive bottled water invest in a medium/large aquarium RO system and mix your well water with that or buy distilled water and mix that with your well water or have a water softener installed and use potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride in it and use that softened water (possibly mixed with your hard well water). Then include a carbonate rock source in your tank filtration to stabilize your pH if necessary. Any one of those would most likely save you money in the long run. A water softener would also make your water drinkable.
    In any case, welcome back to the hobby! I think you've jumped back in with both feet and forgot to take your steel toed boots off first! Pare down, stabilize, regroup, get a couple of tanks working in a way that's affordable and reasonable for you then add one tank at a time after that if your resources can handle it.
    Edit: I'd enjoy seeing critter pictures! Especially your horse as I'm a lifelong 'horse person' too! I just have a grand-horse (my daughters) now (22 yo grey Arab).
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  5. Sheryl

    SherylValued MemberMember

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    Welcome Sharon! I know nothing about the water but I'm sure you will get lots of good advice here. Lots of very knowledgable people here. Your home sounds amazing! I have two 20 gallon longs ans one 20 gallon tall, a one 10 gallon, one 3.5 gal with a couple of guppies, and one of those self cleaning half gallon little things with just plants and a snail. I can't imagine doing water changes and substrate cleanings in all you have, but I would love to see pix of them all when up and running, with their inhabitants happily swimming about!!! I never knew how addictive this hobby could be, although I do seem to have an addictive personality as I also collect dolls and have always had multiple small doggies. I already want AT LEAST one more tank. LOL!
     
  6. OP
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    SharonBR

    SharonBRNew MemberMember

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  7. OP
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    SharonBR

    SharonBRNew MemberMember

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    Very good advice about combining tanks. Thank you. I had not thought of getting a medium/large aquarium RO system, but that makes sense and is also good advice. I just read about using/modifying RO water yesterday. I'll have to research way more. I think I have to cut my water more than half with RO water considering the KH > 375.9. I think I can use Seachem Equilibrium for the GH, but not sure.

    Actually, my well water GH is 1 drop or maybe 2 with API test solution. It says when it turns from orange to green, but it starts out green with the first drop - very, very pale green. 2 drops are a bit darker pale green. I wish these tests were not so subjective. With the Tetra Test Strips (6 in 1) my well GH is dark charcoal which looks like 0 on their chart. The KH took 21 or 22 drops to turn yellow. (I lost count at the last second.) With the Tetra Test Strips it was royal blue, which isn't on their chart, either. The pH was fuchsia pink on the Tetra Test Strips. When I used API pH High drops, it was also off the charts, high = > 8.8. My GH makes my water so soft that I could almost wash clothes without detergent. Yet the water KH is so Carbonate Hard.

    In my current tanks the pH is around 7.2 in most of them. 7.8 in the one with the shrimp. It's really hard to compare with those charts. The GH is 75 and the KH is 80.

    You'd think I'd have learned in 73 years not to bite off more than I can chew. I just got hooked and did not use proper restraint (lifelong problem.) I just bought a 29 gallon which is still in my van. I have a 37 gallon almost cycled. Maybe I'll consolidate the other tanks into these two. I'll have to keep the shrimp tank as is. Have to do some fish counting and calculating. If I take some of the substrate and filter media from the other tanks they ought to cycle pretty quickly. It will be a lot of work but pay off in the long run.

    I think I want to keep live-bearers or other simple fish because my AC went off the morning and about freaked me out. It came back on quickly, but sure scared me. Some fish can't stand temperature fluctuations, as you know. With those fish in mind, I was thinking of aiming for a GH of around 4? with a KH of 150? pH above 7? Are these reasonable numbers?

    Again, thanks so much.

    Nice to meet you, Sheryl. We sound alike. I have a little long-haired chi among my dogs. He's getting old - 13.5. You have a lot of tanks, too. I know you are busy. I'll post photos, but today I'm behind schedule. Too much research needed for the fish. Last time I kept fish, 30 years ago, I used my well water. I don't even remember cycling my tanks. Now I can't imagine how my fish lived, but they did. I guess the fish and I were just too ignorant to know better. Ha, ha.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2019
  8. OP
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    SharonBR

    SharonBRNew MemberMember

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    Hi Cherie. Thanks for the idea about RO water. That seems to be the solution. I have so much to learn. This is a great site.
     
  9. OP
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    SharonBR

    SharonBRNew MemberMember

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    Thanks for the welcome and compliment. Unfortunately, I live in the country and my neighbors are way off. They all use the same water I do, though. Our well water tastes great! It's not fish friendly, though. I've had Koi and goldfish in outside tanks for 10 years or more. They seem to thrive. I have not lost one. I guess it's not such a big deal for that type of fish. I don't want to learn that it is not, though, because they are all healthy and beautiful.
     
  10. Momgoose56

    Momgoose56Fishlore VIPMember

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    I don't know how your plants or fish are even alive without any dissolved minerals in the water. But then, I've never heard of water other than RO/DI water that is that empty of crunchy stuff!
    Here is a link that might give you some additional ideas on how to correct GH without raising your KH more:
    http://****/AquariumKH.html#gh
    That's kind boggling water you have there! It must come out of some huge carbonated glass aquafer lol! Are you in the US? If so, where do we have ground water that soft and fluffy? I know New York has some amazing soft water- but don't know many other places that match it....Wish I could wash clothes without soap...
     
  11. OP
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    SharonBR

    SharonBRNew MemberMember

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    Hi Momgoose56,
    My tropical fish are alive because I don't use my well water to fill my inside freshwater tanks. I buy bottled spring water which has good parameters. I was just wondering if there is anyway I can use my water possibly mixed with RO water and other things. The General Hardness is close to zero, but the Calcium Hardness (KH) is very, very hard. My two outside tanks with the goldfish/koi have been doing great on my well water for 10 years or more. I don't plan on changing anything for them. I live about 50 miles north of Dallas and also Fort Worth, TX, USA. I have fossils of sea creatures laying right on top of my land and a lot of natural gas and oil under it. My well gets it's water from the Edwards-Trinity Aquifer which is huge. I do use soap, but it doesn't take much, ha, ha.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2019
  12. Momgoose56

    Momgoose56Fishlore VIPMember

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    That's right, you're using bottled water.
    Edwards-Trinity Aquifer a Limestone-ish aquafer. So that explains youre KH.
    Limestone is predominately calcium carbonate. KH measures carbonates (CO3) and bicarbonates (H2CO3) in the water and reflects the temporary ability of your water to neutralize acids. I don't know why there's not more dissolved calcium in your water though. Limestone usually contributes a bit of calcium to water and raises GH some. GH is the total measurement of Calcium and Magnesium etc. in the water. So, you probably could dilute your well water with RO or distilled water (that would bring your pH and KH down) then add Equilibrium and have great water for fish. I'm not sure of amounts of Equilibrium to use though. Someone else here could probably help with that? Most places around that corner of Texas also have really hard water (high GH). Weird.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  13. Wolf010

    Wolf010Valued MemberMember

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    Welcome to fishlore!!!
     
  14. OP
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    SharonBR

    SharonBRNew MemberMember

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    I've done a bit of research, trying to figure out why my GH is so sof while the KH is so hard. This is all I could find - it was specifically speaking of my aquifer and GH: "The mineral composition of water may affect its taste. For example, water with a TDS of 500 mg/L composed primarily of table salt (NaCl) feels slippery, tastes slightly salty, and is called soft water." Since I find sea creature fossils on my property the ocean must have been this far north and left some salt. I know that my water has a high salt content because if I water my outside plants too much, they die. Ag Agent said it was the salt content. Rain water revitalizes, well water kills if too much is applied. Might be good for Mollies. I've never tested the TDS because that doesn't tell which particles are in the sample. Thanks for all your help. I believe I will slowly and carefully (after researching Equilibrium/RO water) convert a tank at a time to modified well/RO water doctored with Equilibrium. I'll keep you posted, but it will take a while. At the same time, consolidate my fish to larger tanks so there is less work for me. Wow. I did not know I'd have to be a chemist to keep fish.
     
  15. Momgoose56

    Momgoose56Fishlore VIPMember

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    Well you have to be a chemist! You are cursed with that uniquely strange water from 300 thousand year old aquafers! We in southern Arizona are blessed with highly treated, not very delicious, reclaimed sewer water and runoff from washes and arroyos (the sand box for ringtails, bobcats, cows and the occasional passenger horse) hahaha!
     
  16. OP
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    SharonBR

    SharonBRNew MemberMember

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    You're so funny. My water really tastes good and doesn't damage my pipes with deposits. Except for the aquariums and watering plants, I love it. The store called and my 48 gallons of water are in and ready for me to pick them up. That might be the easiest thing for me to do - just continue using the bottled water. I never knew I'd go through so much water. The fish seem to love it. I need to save more rain water! Ha, ha. Enjoy your doggies, dolls and fish!
     
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