Bizarre Well Water

Discussion in 'pH' started by SantaCruzMama, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. SantaCruzMama New Member Member

    I've moved to a home with a well and have to adapt my aquarium. The hydrologist who tried to explain our lab results characterized our water as "bizarre." Here are the numbers out of the tap:

    sodium 221 mg/L
    conductivity 1130
    chloride 250 mg/L
    sulfate 76.6 mg/L
    hardness, total (as CaCO3) 25.8 mg/L
    TDS 630 mg/L
    Alkalinity 28.6 mg/L as CaCO3
    pH 9.48

    I also tested GH with an API kit and got zero.

    So, the water is soft, salty -- roughly 0.5 ppt -- and extremely basic.

    The aquarium advice I've read states that low alkalinity results in low pH; obviously not here.

    I'm guessing that adding minerals (e.g., Seachem Equilibrium?) would be the first step. After that, what should I do to bring the pH down (and keep it down) to a level that fish would survive? And does anybody have a guess what could be causing the extreme pH?

    Then there's the sodium chloride to deal with. I'm guessing that guppies, endlers, mollies and some other livebearers would be OK with it. It's borderline brackish, not extreme. The only way I know to reduce saltiness would be to add RO water or use it exclusively. But maybe it makes more sense to just choose tolerant fish and plants.
     




  2. TwoHedWlf Well Known Member Member





  3. SantaCruzMama New Member Member

    Ha ha, that's the first question the hydrologist asked. No. No water softener, no treatment of any sort. This is straight from the well.
     
  4. SantaCruzMama New Member Member

    Ha ha, that's the first question the hydrologist asked. No. No water softener, no treatment of any sort. This is straight from the well.
     
  5. TwoHedWlf Well Known Member Member

    Heh, good to know I'm thinking like a pro. :)

    Also, low GH doesn't necessarily mean you'll definitely have low PH. It usually does, but it's also more that you'll have a lot less buffering allowing larger(And higher) PH swings.

    That amount of sodium doesn't seem like it would make it borderline brackish. 250mg/l is a SG of very roughly about 1.0002, brackish is in the region of 1.013. Your TDS is 630 vs brackish at about 18,000
     
  6. SantaCruzMama New Member Member

    Ah -- you've raised another question for me: Sodium is 221 mg/L and chloride is 250 mg/L, so I've been combining those numbers to come up with (roughly) 500 mg/L salt, and calculating saltiness with that parameter. But you're right that sodium alone is only half that, and I don't know what the convention is for talking about salinity. Should I be counting only the sodium?
     
  7. TwoHedWlf Well Known Member Member

    Not sure, but either way I think you're still talking a few percent of brackish. Looks like you're right at the limit of sodium allowed in tap water, but that's for city water.
     
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