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The Other Things in Our Tap Water...

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plant Fertilization' started by Christophe, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    I'm starting this thread to draw further discussion on a number of water considerations that get a little less play elsewhere. A lot of these issues recently got brought up in Pikez's aquascaping thread, round about here and for several pages further: http://www.barrreport.com/forum/barr...quasoil/page59


    I'd love for this to continue, but it shouldn't bog down his excellent thread. The things I'd like to hear more about that came up in pgs 60 & 61 are:


    Ions other than the primary macros and micros that come in our tap water -- sodium, chloride, and sulfate, for example. Probably necessary for these to be present to some degree, but at what point do they become problematic?


    Water treatment additives such as polyphosphates -- effects on metal content in the water? Here's a good link from Tom's post in the other thread: Use of polyphosphate in corrosion control - American Water Works ...


    Interactions between the nutrient supplements we add to the tank -- are we making it harder to keep one nutrient available by larding on another? does this occur only under certain other circumstances, like hard water?


    Any other concerns with your water quality report? Bring them up here!
     
    #1 Christophe, Oct 16, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2016
  2. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    I mentioned this type of thing many years ago. There is plenty of info now about correct use of CO2, flow etc. I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to get this part, and EI, correct. Yet there are people having plenty of issues...


    I agree we should focus not on just what should be there, but what shouldn't....
     
  3. rajkm

    rajkm Article Editor
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    Very interested in knowing more about this.
     
  4. brrrpr

    brrrpr Subscriber

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    Very interested too, although if we are not talking of highly specialised plants like Rotala or Cabomba with their specific growth range, the great majority of plants are much more generalists with a high tolerance to water paramethers and pollutants.
     
  5. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Fellow Southern California resident Mark Crow says he stopped having issues with Rotala stunting after he switched from tap water to full RO reconstituted with GH Booster and KH Booster (potassium bicarb I think) from Nilocg.


    Was this because he eliminated something he didn't know was there? Or was it because his KH was more simply managed and at a lower level?


    Don't know.


    I can tell you that after I switched to full RO, like Mark, I did not notice any improvement in Rotala tip stunting behavior.


    Ultimately, RO is the solution. It removes a couple of orders of magnitude of just about every undesirable compound. For me, things did not magically improve - wish it had. But it helps in eliminating that concern. So you can focus on something else.


    I think everyone will benefit from a 1-2 months stint with full RO. See what you notice. If there is no improvement, then go back to tap water.
     
  6. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    I think it's important to remember that tap water isn't completely removed from natural fresh water. It's just a treated version of the natural water for your area. Chlorine or chloramine to kill off bacteria, maybe buffering it up to reduce pipe corrosion. These additives might have some untoward effects, plus some extra metals might get into solution from the plumbing. Beyond that, the water has the expected trace elements for the area, and the KH/GH to match your local geology. If we all were doing local native aquaria, with local fish and plants, things might tend to be easier. It's still a leap from stream to little glass box.


    But no, we're importing things from perhaps entirely different environments. I live at 5300 feet altitude -- everything I have has to get by on what oxygen I can get into the water at this altitude. So I ripple the surface like hell, and use a wet/dry filter.


    I'm just transitioning back to 50% RO/DI with tap, just to mellow out the metal content in the water, and reduce the hardness some. This way I can still work with what's in the tap, and not have to re-add calcium. The downer to using RO/DI is the prep time -- I can't just decide I'm going to do an 80% water change, I have to prepare a day in advance for it.
     
  7. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Here is some information I have obtained for my tap water, which is all I use. Generally things are ok for me, but, there are always certain plants that I struggle with in my water for no apparent reason, and sometimes things degrade/get better for no apparent reason either. :)


    I'm keeping things meticulously the same otherwise.


    Does anything stand out in my water analysis of being of concern?


    Just to throw it out there - fluoride?? :)


    No polyphosphates - I checked.


    Scott.
     
    #7 scottward, Nov 2, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2016
  8. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    That's a nice report, they cover a lot of elements that mine doesn't. I think just about all modern water treatment programs add fluoride to about that level if it isn't natively in the water. Seems it's more prevalent naturally in ground water around volcanic areas.
     
  9. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Here's mine. The few things Ive had tested were right in line with what it shows. Ca and Mg almost exact, Mn and Fe showed no detectable levels, Cu .018




    30294601475_dec8f64121_b.jpg
     
    #9 burr740, Nov 2, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2016
  10. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    #10 Christophe, Nov 5, 2016
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