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Tap Water Parameters Advice? Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by SheebShoob, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. SheebShoobNew MemberMember

    Image of parameters below.

    Hey everyone. I tested my tap water after letting it gas off for around 40~ hours and received troubling results. The photo isn't 100% accurate because the colors look darker than they are, but it's relatively close. My pH is reading around 8.2 to 8.4, and my ammonia is between 0.5 and 1.0 while nitrites and nitrates are both 0. Just to re-specify, this is from the tap after letting it gas for almost two days. I'll be ordering kH and gH test kit as well as a TDS meter on Thursday (I like to have two methods of checking), so I don't have hardness measurements right now.

    I was hoping to keep a tetra tank/pseudo-Amazonian biotope tank (40 breeder), but I know the pH is way too high for them. I also know a constant pH is better than a target pH. I suppose my questions are: is there anything I can do to my pH to bring it down to keep tetras? How do i deal with ammonia in the water source? Should I invest in an RO unit?

    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  2. Crimson_687Well Known MemberMember

    For PH you can have peet and certain types of driftwood in the tank
  3. LadyArtemisValued MemberMember

    API proper ph 6.5 ;)... and if it’s too hard you can help soften with natural black water setup or tetra black water extract. With a 40 gallon that would get you going in lieu of an RO system. Some LFS sell RO water by the gallon, too.

    oh and use Seachem prime as your main water conditioner and that will help with inherent ammonia.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2019
  4. LynnwoodFishDadValued MemberMember

    There are two “good” options and both may get expensive. RO water will be cheaper in the short term but will add up. You may want to get a filter for your tap. More up front cost but less over time.

    @Crimson_687 had some good natural suggestions but then you’re going to get some pH and ammonia spikes during water changes. If it was me, I’d go the filter route.
  5. Crimson_687Well Known MemberMember

    If you are willing to source it, RO is always a better option then tap. As an added bonus, you can drink from the RO water
  6. Roger121Valued MemberMember

    Lol. its suppouse the tap water must be no ammonia and max. 0.25 ppm of ammonia 10ppm to nitrate and minus than 1 ppm nitrite. Its suppouse is human safe to drink so..., XD. At least in my country that is the way.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  7. Crimson_687Well Known MemberMember

    I guess the way I see it, if you end up having an RO unit might as well take advantage. Not that there’s anything wrong with drinking tap water, but nowadays so many people like bottled water which is just heavily filtered water enriched with minerals
  8. SheebShoobNew MemberMember

    Thanks for the advice everyone. I actually just checked the City news and apparently they are doing work on some waterlines not far away from where I live and that could be causing my abnormally high pH readings (I hope). I still have some testing water left over so I am going to retest tonight to make sure I did it correctly. I'm also going to try to go to my mom's house a few minutes away and test her water to determine if it's my old pipes giving me funny readings or if it's the city. I will update if anyone is interested!
  9. LynnwoodFishDadValued MemberMember

    Keep us posted. Always good to see how people deal with these things.
  10. BrizburkWell Known MemberMember

    If that's the case the fastest and easiest way to fix your ph is purchasing water from your lfs. Hopefully this poor water quality will be short term
  11. SheebShoobNew MemberMember

    So I've tested my mom's water (after letting it sit of course) and the readings were similar, with a pH maybe a point lower and ammonia the same. I've thought about talking to the lfs and seeing if they treat their water at all. After reading a lot of other discussions on here about tap pH it seems the consensus is that if the lfs has the same water conditions, tank bread fish should still thrive.

    I ordered the API gH and kH liquid test kits so that will be here tomorrow. I plan on using natural driftwood in the tank and peat moss in a HOB.

    I have new questions however: Would water changes with this method cause dangerous pH swings? Also, could peat moss be used in a canister filter or is that only to be used in a HOB? Would using Seachem Purigen and filter floss defeat the purpose of the peat moss, or just remove the tannins?
  12. SheebShoobNew MemberMember

    gH and kH test update, strange!
    My kH came out a total of 1, and my gH is 5. I think this explains the high pH in a way with my buffering capacity being so low.

    Forgot to sticky the image.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2019
  13. WraithenFishlore VIPMember

    It doesn't explain high ph. It would explain a ph of 7.0 to 7.2

    Peat moss would consume kh. As soon as that kh is consumed, you have no buffer. As soon as whatever they use to keep the ph high breaks its bonds in the water, you have a sudden, drastic ph crash. I would use seachem equilibrium. Normally, I'd suggest something like aragonite or crushed coral, but when your ph swings, it's going to swing hard and those wont work fast enough. The equilibrium should prevent any major swings.

    Hopefully your water comes out better soon, but I doubt it. Keeping water really high ph like that is likely because you have old infrastructure and they are afraid of a Flint MI scenario
  14. SheebShoobNew MemberMember

    So a quick update, am a silly bean and misread the instructions on the kH test. Color change is supposed to be blue to yellow, and I read it yellow to blue somehow. I'll retest that when I get home from work for a proper reading.

    On the old infrastructure, I do live in old apartments, but we are getting a total rennovation soon incluing new pipes. I'm hoping that helps with the pH value.
  15. WraithenFishlore VIPMember

    I'm talking about a bigger scale. Like pumping plant pipes and distribution plants. Flint has lead water now because the source water changed and the water was acidic. The removed the coating on the inside of the pipes, and then put lead into the water. Lead pipes are fairly common still. As long as the water doesn't eat the lining, it's perfectly safe. To keep it safe and not have to spend hundreds of millions replacing pipe infrastructure, they just keep the ph high.
  16. SheebShoobNew MemberMember

    Oh, wow I didnt know that. I suppose that could be the case, since around the corner at my mom's house her pH is the same also, and her duplex isn't very old.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019