75 Gallon Tank Moving Places - Water parameters vastly different

Gf400

Hello,

I am moving places and I was looking for some advice on how to handle the new water at my new place. I'm moving from city water that has the below parameters:
kH: 125 gH: 248
pH: 7.7 Ammonia: .2 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 11

The water at my new place is well water, that goes through a softener. Its super soft. The parameters are as follows:
kH: 26 gH:20
pH: 6.8 Ammonia: .3 Nitire:0 Nitrate:8

I've started the fishless cycling process 12 days ago on the new 75 gallon tank at my new place. I tried to seed the new filter with some bacteria from my current tank, hoping for a quick cycle, but so far ammonia hasn't budged. My more pressing concern though, is how I will handle the water, mainly water changes with the very soft water parameters at my new place. The stocking of the tank is just one lonely fancy goldfish, hopefully with addition of more if I can get everything figured out.

My big questions are below:
1. Water softened water or not - I am able to get water from a bypass before it hits the softener(uses NaCl salt), but I tested the water coming out of the softener and through the bypass, I expected the non-filtered water to be much harder, but it really only showed one degree higher for the gH, and nothing more for the kH...i was surprised. Doing some reading, it is suggested that the minerals taken out of the water through a softener, is replaced with sodium. Could I assume that since my readings between the two aren't that much different, the water may not have so much sodium as to be a concern? Another wrinkle is that the water I get from the bypass has some detritus the sinks to the bottom of the water -- with the consistency of medium grit sand, and a black/brownish color. Iron? I have no clue really about what all can be in well water, but is it something to be concerned about if I were to use it for the aquarium? I could stop the siphon of the water before it gets to the bottom of the bucket where the sediment settles, or use some kind of filter for the water when it comes out of the hose to catch these particles. The water otherwise looks clear. I wouldn't mind the extra work of getting the water from the bypass, but if I'm not gaining anything from kH/gH perspective, and the sodium in the water isn't terrible for the goldfish, the convenience of being able to adjust water temp from the faucet would be nice.

2. pH out of tap - The water out of the tap is quite low. I was concerned about even getting the pH to the right level as I've read that messing with the parameters can be a dangerous path. However, when I started my fishless cycle in the 75g tank, was pleasantly surprised the ph normalized to around 7.6. I'm hoping I can get some answers on how this happened. Is it that ammonia I dosed changes the pH, or is it the aeration from the air stone I have running in the tank, or the crushed coral I have in the filter? Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to test the aeration/coral with a small sample of water outside of the tank. This is a big concern of mine because of water changes. It seems I will need a lot of prep for the water to not have huge swings in the tank.

3. Water Hardness - Thankfully for my first post in the forums, the members recommended crushed coral to buffer the hardness of my water. I originally put 1 and 3/4 cup of CaribSea crushed coral into my canister filter of the new tank and it bumped the kH from 30-50 to around 70 ppm. I then added another 1 3/4 cup of coral into the filter to hopefully get the kH above 100. Last time I check the kH it was around 89-107 ppm. The gH, strangely is not increasing as much as I would have hoped and is sitting less than 100 ppm. My plan is to add more crushed coral to the filter and get the kH as high as I can, and use Seachem Equilbrium hopefully get gH above 200ppm. I just can't see myself getting the gH up to any comparatively high number as my current water with crushed coral, I'm running out of room in my filter. This leads to another water change question, how can I prep the water for water changes as far as kH? I can always dose equilibrium to handle gH, but I only really feel comfortable raising the kH using crushed coral. My thinking is fill up a tub of water, let it sit for a couple of days with a bag of crushed coral in it, dose it with Equilbrium to match what the tank is, then slowly do water changes in smaller batches to not push my low kH water too much?

Sorry for such a long post, but I'm just super concerned about transferring my little guy over with such different water. TLDR summary question below:
TLDR: Am I O.K. using the water the goes through the water softener, the issue being the sodium in the water? What is the best way to prep the water I use for water changes as far as pH, kH&gH?

My little buddy:
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Cherryshrimp420

Don't use softened water. Your new city may have groundwater reports for localized areas. Depends on where you are, hard to say if you can add well water directly to your tank...
 
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Gf400

Is there something else that would be problematic in well water that could affect the fish? My only options are either the well water through the softener or the well water before the softener.
 
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TacomaToker

1) You might have some heavy metals coming out of the well, you could just use a dechlorinator to take care of it. Your gH test does not test for sodium, so the minerals aren’t being replaced with salt. I would definitely skip the softener.

2) The ph of your tank is probably being boosted by the crushed coral. I would test the KH in the tank again. Why are you using crushed Coral? The parameters out of your well are fine.

3) Again, why crushed coral? 6.8 pH is great. You already admitted you know it’s wrong to chase ph, but you are still doing it. Stop. You have a goldfish, they’ll do fantastic at 6.8. Use the pH out of your tap and use Equilibrium to boost gH up a little bit. Easy as that.
 
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Cherryshrimp420

Is there something else that would be problematic in well water that could affect the fish? My only options are either the well water through the softener or the well water before the softener.

Yes well water can have industrial runoff, agricultural runoff depending where you live and how deep the wells are dug. If it is at a proper depth and safe to drink then should be fine for fish
 
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Gf400

1) You might have some heavy metals coming out of the well, you could just use a dechlorinator to take care of it. Your gH test does not test for sodium, so the minerals aren’t being replaced with salt. I would definitely skip the softener.

2) The ph of your tank is probably being boosted by the crushed coral. I would test the KH in the tank again. Why are you using crushed Coral? The parameters out of your well are fine.

3) Again, why crushed coral? 6.8 pH is great. You already admitted you know it’s wrong to chase ph, but you are still doing it. Stop. You have a goldfish, they’ll do fantastic at 6.8. Use the pH out of your tap and use Equilibrium to boost gH up a little bit. Easy as that.

1. Thanks. Yeah, I definitely want to use the water before it hits the softener. I'm going to fill a bucket with it and let it sit for 24 hr and get a better read on the parameters, and make sure it doesn't turn brown or anything.

2. Just reading the internet and having people scare me with a anecdotes of any change in pH killing the fish. I just tested the kH from the new tank with 3+ cups of coral and the API droplet test is showing 4dkh/71 ppm. According to their instructions and some stuff online, I thought 100ppm kH is a good target to hit for goldfish, so that is what the crushed coral is for. I'm going to test the water straight from the well after sitting for 24hrs to get a sense of it without any treatment.

3. Yeah, I heard how tolerant goldfish are to pH so I should probably just relax. So, what kind of process would you recommend to acclimate him to the new water? Small water changes into my existing cycled tank with the new water treated with equilibrium? 10% WC every couple/several days?

Yes well water can have industrial runoff, agricultural runoff depending where you live and how deep the wells are dug. If it is at a proper depth and safe to drink then should be fine for fish

Thanks. Yeah, its actually my family's place. There are some farms nearby but we have been drinking the water there for decades.
 
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Pfrozen

You'll want to boost the KH to keep your pH stable and maybe boost the GH a bit but it will be very little effort to do so. Just a matter of mixing a little bit of powder in during water changes. I use NilocG ReGen and ReKharb but you can also use Alkaline Buffer and Equilibrium or even SaltyShrimp, whatever product you choose is totally fine
 
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TacomaToker

You'll want to boost the KH to keep your pH stable and maybe boost the GH a bit but it will be very little effort to do so. Just a matter of mixing a little bit of powder in during water changes. I use NilocG ReGen and ReKharb but you can also use Alkaline Buffer and Equilibrium or even SaltyShrimp, whatever product you choose is totally fine

I thoroughly disagree. I have 0-1kH out of the tap, and my ph is very stable at 6.9 - 7.3 depending on the tank (8 different tanks right now). I test very routinely with a pH probe. No need to mess with the kH for a goldfish. I would boost it for fish that prefer alkaline water, like a long fin guppy. What’s your pH/kH out of the tap?
 
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Pfrozen

I thoroughly disagree. I have 0-1kH out of the tap, and my ph is very stable at 6.9 - 7.3 depending on the tank (8 different tanks right now). I test very routinely with a pH probe. No need to mess with the kH for a goldfish. I would boost it for fish that prefer alkaline water, like a long fin guppy. What’s your pH/kH out of the tap?

You disagree with science, not with me. And 6.9-7.3 isn't stable. I'm at work so maybe look into the relationship between KH and pH on your own time buddy
 
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TacomaToker

You disagree with science, not with me. And 6.9-7.3 isn't stable. I'm at work so maybe look into the relationship between KH and pH on your own time buddy

I’m disagreeing with you, since it’s not lined up with my experience. So what’s your kH/pH out of the tap? Do you inject co2 in any of your tanks? What’s your experience on the matter?

You’ve misunderstood what I said, the ph is 6.9 - 7.3 depending on the tank. My 45 runs at 7.2, my 20 high and long at about 7, and a 3 gallon at 6.9. My 75, with co2 injection, shoots down from 6.3 to 5.3 (“false” ph drop) during the day, and rises back overnight. All these tanks have 0-1 kH, with very stable ph and healthy fish! All other tanks have buffered kH so cant be used in this example (guppy breeding mainly).

Anyways, there’s no reason for OP to preemptively buffer his kH for keeping a goldfish. Start at 6.8, test with a ph probe multiple times per day, and see what happens! If it drops, and keeps dropping below 6, then they should consider buffering it. But I’ve never observed this in ANY of my 0-1kH tanks. That’s MY experience, now id love to know yours!
 
Upvote 0

Pfrozen

I’m disagreeing with you, since it’s not lined up with my experience. So what’s your kH/pH out of the tap? Do you inject co2 in any of your tanks? What’s your experience on the matter?

You’ve misunderstood what I said, the ph is 6.9 - 7.3 depending on the tank. My 45 runs at 7.2, my 20 high and long at about 7, and a 3 gallon at 6.9. My 75, with co2 injection, shoots down from 6.3 to 5.3 (“false” ph drop) during the day, and rises back overnight. All these tanks have 0-1 kH, with very stable ph and healthy fish! All other tanks have buffered kH so cant be used in this example (guppy breeding mainly).

Anyways, there’s no reason for OP to preemptively buffer his kH for keeping a goldfish. Start at 6.8, test with a ph probe multiple times per day, and see what happens! If it drops, and keeps dropping below 6, then they should consider buffering it. But I’ve never observed this in ANY of my 0-1kH tanks. That’s MY experience, now id love to know yours!

I've never had low KH. Mine is 4.5 at the tap but I use RO with 0 KH and remineralize

Just look it up when you get the chance.. there are other things that can have a buffering effect to keep pH more stable like active substrates or high phosphate readings but generally speaking your pH will not remain constant if your KH is too low. I'm sure your experience is different of course. I personally am finding it impossible to drop my own pH lol. Still, that's the science... there is a direct relationship between KH and pH. Just water chemistry stuff
 
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TacomaToker

1. Thanks. Yeah, I definitely want to use the water before it hits the softener. I'm going to fill a bucket with it and let it sit for 24 hr and get a better read on the parameters, and make sure it doesn't turn brown or anything.

2. Just reading the internet and having people scare me with a anecdotes of any change in pH killing the fish. I just tested the kH from the new tank with 3+ cups of coral and the API droplet test is showing 4dkh/71 ppm. According to their instructions and some stuff online, I thought 100ppm kH is a good target to hit for goldfish, so that is what the crushed coral is for. I'm going to test the water straight from the well after sitting for 24hrs to get a sense of it without any treatment.

3. Yeah, I heard how tolerant goldfish are to pH so I should probably just relax. So, what kind of process would you recommend to acclimate him to the new water? Small water changes into my existing cycled tank with the new water treated with equilibrium? 10% WC every couple/several days?



Thanks. Yeah, its actually my family's place. There are some farms nearby but we have been drinking the water there for decades.

1) Yea, always good to leave a bucket of tap water sit out and see what happens. Leave it sitting for 3 days, or just aerate with a stone for 24 hrs. This will give You some potential insight into how the ph will behave in your tank.

My tap comes out 0-1kH but 9+ ph (artificially buffered with something to protect the pipes, beats me what it is). Once I aerate it, it drops to 7.1 in about 2 hours. It won’t go lower no matter how much I aerate it. The results are consistent in my tanks, where they won’t go below 6.8 at the most. The extra drop is likely due to some acid or other chemical reactions happening with fish waste?

2) Yea, most aquarium fish do fine within the standard 6-8 range. A lot of them can do fine 5.5 - 8.5. Goldfish are tolerant. You can definitely use crushed coral if you are dead set on raising KH, but a more reliable and standardized method would be using Seachem Alkaline Buffer. Really, no need unless you see the ph bottoming out below 6.

3) You Can just do a nice slow drip acclimation. put them in a tub of their previous water, then just slowly drip in new water for a few hours.
I've never had low KH. Mine is 4.5 at the tap but I use RO with 0 KH and remineralize

Just look it up when you get the chance.. there are other things that can have a buffering effect to keep pH more stable like active substrates or high phosphate readings but generally speaking your pH will not remain constant if your KH is too low. I'm sure your experience is different of course. I personally am finding it impossible to drop my own pH lol. Still, that's the science... there is a direct relationship between KH and pH. Just water chemistry stuff

Ive read plenty about KH since I have it so low out of the tap. I understand the science, but I much more understand my own tanks and the fish within them... that’s about all I can add! Lots of people, including me, have healthy tanks with breeding fish at 0-1 KH!
 
Upvote 0

Pfrozen

1) Yea, always good to leave a bucket of tap water sit out and see what happens. Leave it sitting for 3 days, or just aerate with a stone for 24 hrs. This will give You some potential insight into how the ph will behave in your tank.

My tap comes out 0-1kH but 9+ ph (artificially buffered with something to protect the pipes, beats me what it is). Once I aerate it, it drops to 7.1 in about 2 hours. It won’t go lower no matter how much I aerate it. The results are consistent in my tanks, where they won’t go below 6.8 at the most. The extra drop is likely due to some acid or other chemical reactions happening with fish waste?

2) Yea, most aquarium fish do fine within the standard 6-8 range. A lot of them can do fine 5.5 - 8.5. Goldfish are tolerant. You can definitely use crushed coral if you are dead set on raising KH, but a more reliable and standardized method would be using Seachem Alkaline Buffer. Really, no need unless you see the ph bottoming out below 6.

3) You Can just do a nice slow drip acclimation. put them in a tub of their previous water, then just slowly drip in new water for a few hours.


Ive read plenty about KH since I have it so low out of the tap. I understand the science, but I much more understand my own tanks and the fish within them... that’s about all I can add! Lots of people, including me, have healthy tanks with breeding fish at 0-1 KH!

Yea man, a lot of fish thrive in low KH environments lol. If you use Fluval Stratum or ADA Amazonia then your KH will automatically buffer to 0-2 anyways.

It sounds like you have some kind of crazy leftover buffering substance in your water.. usually your pH will go down over time with low KH. I run blackwater tanks mostly and that is the science that makes blackwater environments "work," so to speak.

Also, you won't get a drop unless you process large volume of ammonia or introduce acidic compounds such as tannins. If you do large water changes every week and don't do that then it might help to explain your situation
 
Upvote 0

Gf400

1) Yea, always good to leave a bucket of tap water sit out and see what happens. Leave it sitting for 3 days, or just aerate with a stone for 24 hrs. This will give You some potential insight into how the ph will behave in your tank.

My tap comes out 0-1kH but 9+ ph (artificially buffered with something to protect the pipes, beats me what it is). Once I aerate it, it drops to 7.1 in about 2 hours. It won’t go lower no matter how much I aerate it. The results are consistent in my tanks, where they won’t go below 6.8 at the most. The extra drop is likely due to some acid or other chemical reactions happening with fish waste?

2) Yea, most aquarium fish do fine within the standard 6-8 range. A lot of them can do fine 5.5 - 8.5. Goldfish are tolerant. You can definitely use crushed coral if you are dead set on raising KH, but a more reliable and standardized method would be using Seachem Alkaline Buffer. Really, no need unless you see the ph bottoming out below 6.

3) You Can just do a nice slow drip acclimation. put them in a tub of their previous water, then just slowly drip in new water for a few hours.


Ive read plenty about KH since I have it so low out of the tap. I understand the science, but I much more understand my own tanks and the fish within them... that’s about all I can add! Lots of people, including me, have healthy tanks with breeding fish at 0-1 KH!

1.) I left out a bucket of the water before the softener and it did develop a brownish color. The waterline left a faint brownish ring around the white bucket I put the water in. After I dumped most of the water, the little water left at the bottom of the bucket was pretty brown and a little "filmy". I couldn't really tell the brown color when comparing it in a clear glass with fresh tap water next to it in. The pH after sitting was around 6.6 according to API test, .2 off of what it was tested at my LFS.

Don't really know what the color means and what I should do. Should I take the water from the well and get it tested at a local water treatment company? Find out what the brown is coming from? You said prime would detoxify heavy metals if that was it, but will the aquariums filters prevent any physical slime/film that could accumulate in the tank?

3.) Thanks. I will definitely do that once when I get the bigger tank cycled. Another crappy wrinkle in my situation is I started my cycle in the new tank with water from the softener. I'm wondering if it does cycle, will switching out to pre-softener well water would affect it somehow.
 
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