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Can I use 100% well water in my tank?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by adechazal, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. adechazal

    adechazal Prolific Poster

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    Hello all, new guy here, but I'm learning fast...

    I started my freshwater planted tank (180 gallon Oceanic) about 8 weeks ago. I am using reconstituted R/O water now in the tank but would like to start switching over to a mix of my well water with R/O or just the well water if I can. According to the water company my well water contains:
    Fe 1.2ppm
    GH 375ppm
    Chloride 33ppm
    Sodium 14ppm
    Sulfate 48ppm

    I originally went to an R/O system out of concern over the hardness and the iron content. Is there any chance I can use this water exclusively in my tank assuming the pH is acceptable?

    Thanks for any thoughts
    Aaron
     
  2. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
    Staff Member Administrator

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    Aaron ... you are going to get lots of different opinions about this ... in general though, there are lots of "right ways" to do things - but there are consequences too! So if you understand the consequences, then you can make your choice.

    Personally - please understand this is just a personal opinion -- I believe that most of us are just regular normal hobbyist who simply want to enjoy an attractive planted aquarium ... for this group of hobbyists, I am a strong advocate of using whatever water supply you have in its natural state ... it makes doing water changes easier and is one less "variable" that you have to worry about.

    However ... there are often downsides to any choice that we make (a harsher word is to say there are consequences) ...

    Some plants grow better in soft water, some plants naturally grow better in hard water ... some fish breed better in naturally soft water, some like harder water.

    The water coming out of my tap comes out at a GH/KH, both around 12 ... moderatly hard water ...

    There are some plants that just will not grow in my tanks or will grow relatively poorly ... so I am faced with a choice ... artificially change the hardness of my water or simply not grow the plants that don't like my water ...

    I personally choose to take advantage of lots of very large stable water changes ...

    But that means that certain plants just are not good prospects for my tanks.

    On the fish side of the equation ... I kept beautiful discus in my 180 gallon tank for years ... they only breed occasionally in the very hard water ... but they did breed despite the fact that rumor has it that you can only have Discus in very soft water ...

    So can you use your well water? Absolutely ... but simply understand that there may be some plants that will LOVE your hard water and some that will not.

    --- --- --- ---

    Now ... there are also hobbyist who have other goals in mind ... like the cultivation of rare or more delicate plant types ... to me, that is a goal that is well worth changing the water quality of your tank for ...

    For example ... I have a rare crypt ... that the last I heard, I am one of three people in the US that is cultivating it ...

    I and several friends are part of a Species Maintenance Program that works on a breeding to preserve and reintroduce certain fish species back into the hobbyist population ...

    These types of goals my give you no choice ...

    --- --- --- ---

    And of course ... there are beautiful aquascapers that create wonderful works of art in their aquariums that are specifically looking for the unique texture, colors, or subtle color shade differentiation that different plant species offer ... and thus the importance of a broader variety of plant types is an excellent justification for more aggressive management of the water hardness ...

    --- --- --- ---

    So ... I would simply encourage you to make the choices based on what is right for you ... can you use your well water? Yes ...

    But whether that is the right choice or not is really a function of what your goals and objectives are ...

    For me ... I use the equivalent of your well water for most of my tanks ... well (pun intended) at least most of my tanks ...

    Best of luck ... hopefully many others will chime in here with their experiences and let you know about their choices ...

    Greg
     
  3. adechazal

    adechazal Prolific Poster

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    Many thanks

    Wow, Greg Thanks for the big response!
    So as not to waste anyone's time responding to "if/thens" on my water issue, basically I just want what I currently have; a nicely planted tank with many green plants, a few red plants and a moderately high fish load. In other words I am happy to modify my plant species to accomodate my water type. If plants and fish can exist in 1.2ppm of iron and 375ppm GH (which is about 21 degrees) then I will sloooowly start to make the transition.

    I just wanted to know if my water would kill everything.

    Many thanks
    Aaron
     
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