Hi WhitneyLin, Anhel asked me to take a look at your thread.
From what I've been reading, you don't feel that the water is safe to drink? Do you know why? Does it have a lot of heavy metals or chemicals in it?
If Petco will test the water, then the three things we really need to know are if there is a lot of chlorine in it, what the pH is, and how hard the water is even with the water softener, like a specific number. Sometimes at pet stores they'll just say "Oh, everything was fine, although your water was a little hard but that's all" and they won't tell you what the actual numbers of the results were.
I'm on well water too and also have a water softener. As a comparison, my water with the water softener is 0 degrees hardness or GH, meaning it's super super super super soft. My pH is 7.8 though. Without the water softener, my water is moderately hard with an API reading of about 13. On the Jungle Labs/Tetra strip test, I think this comes out to about 130? I honestly can't remember what my KH (alkalinity reading on the test strips) is but usually this isn't important as long as it's high enough that your pH is stable. I use this water to keep all my fish in and so far I have not had any problems.
I would say that your water is most likely safe for fish unless you know you have a lot of contaminants in your water like heavy metals and very high amounts of chlorine/chloramines. Even then, you can usually make the water safe by using a good water conditioner such as Seachem Prime.
The cost of using spring water can get kind of expensive in the long run so if you're not comfortable using your well water for your fish on its own, you can compromise and use a half spring water/half conditioned well water mix.
Im getting a lot of info second hand from my mother, but she doesnt know a ton about it(and I know even less since I was young when things were put in). I'll describe it best I can.
We used to have a smaller well and that was the best water I have ever tasted. Unfortunately is wasnt very deep(and was pretty old) and ended up going dry. So we had a deeper well dug when I was about 10ish.
The new well was really hard, so we got the water softener. Mom doesnt know what its set at, though I could try to go figure it out. We also have a filter thats connected under our sink and when we pull it out its very black. The water actually has a smell to it as of the past few years, almost like rotten eggs (so maybe sulfur? idk) But when you let it run for maybe 4 minutes the smell goes away. Thats the main reason why we dont drink it.
We have not tested it in a long time, so I have no idea what the hardness is at the moment. We have test strips for our pool that I could try to use to check the water?
Last edited by WhitneyLin; 08-29-2013 at 01:37 PM.
You could try to use the pool strips. I don't know, I've never tried those although it seems like a lot of the readings would be similar.
Ah, okay, I think I totally understand why you don't want to drink the water. Does sound like you have a lot of sulfur in there, if it stinks so bad. Hmm.
I really don't understand anything about water softeners except that they use salt to somehow take out the minerals that make water hard. There's been some controversy about how the salt in the water is bad but we actually did have our water tested for that and it had very low levels of sodium so that's not a problem.
You might be able to still use a half and half mix of Prime-conditioned water and spring water. You could also try filtering the water through a Brita filter and then using it for the fish. But, on the other hand, if you feel comfortable using the spring water and it doesn't get too expensive, then there's really no reason why you can't continue doing that too.
Got a like .5 on the free chlorine ppm
THe Alkalinity ppm is the high at 180 or 240. I couldnt tell which blue it was.
pH was like 8 (Out of 6.2, 6.8, 7.2, 7.6, 8, 8.4 were the options)
the total water hardness was 50. (lowest on the scale on the strip.)
These are all set for pools, so it isnt real accurate. But thats at least a ballpark. (though im not sure how well pool strips work in this water).
Maybe our water isnt as hard as I thought it is with the softener.
50 sounds about right for water softener water. If your water was really super hard then a pH of 8.0 would be about right too. The numbers may be off slightly, a little higher or a little lower but that seems about right to me.
As far as your hardness and pH, you're fine using the water for a betta. Using Prime or another good conditioner will take care of the chlorine. But again, if you don't feel comfortable using it and using spring water isn't too expensive for you, then that's fine to continue that way. :)
Thank you very much for your help! I'm still gonna take it for a better test to be sure. But its a relief to know I should probably be able to use it. It would get way to expensive using spring water. Even just mixing it half and half would be better for my pocketbook, especially since im getting him a whole new setup.
Gonna head out now. So i'll hopefully be home with a nice setup. :)
Last edited by WhitneyLin; 08-29-2013 at 02:08 PM.
But remember still to use water conditioner.
Sakura thank you for fast reply. Is it any matter what water conditioner to use? Sakura is it better to use Prime? Or just go with the one that Whitney already using?
Okay! Phew, that was work. Decided if he was getting a heater, he was going in my room. That was a lot of cleaning and rearranging. (however, if this goes well, I probably can rearrange again to get a second tank in the future :D ) Had to go to 4 different stores but I got pretty much what I wanted. Had to settle on a heater, which sucks, but it should be ok. I couldnt find any that were adjustable for anything under 5 gallons.
Turns out the water was great softness wise. It was soft or very soft on the tests (one from petco, and the one I just took while setting up). The pH was really as high as it could go, but I got some drops to lower the pH. Alkalinity was bad but I put in the conditioner.
Gonna wait an half hour to an hour and then test it again. If both go down I can treat some extra water and start transitioning him to the tap water in his 1 gallon bowl.
Letting it sit to see what the temperature end up being before I put the heater in it. Right now its at 81ish degrees, so says my suction cup thermometer.
Not putting any gravel or plants in until I can test the heater overnight and make sure it works right.
But otherwise I got him the Omega One Betta Buffet pellets. Gave him three to try for tonight. He really went for them once he knew they were there. He eats it and spits it back out, but keeps going back to it. Are they too big(they didnt seem so to me) or is he just taking pieces off of it? Also got him the Hikari freeze dried blood worms.(Apparently frozen ones are not allowed in our freezer says the big boss aka: Mom)
Also got him a floating betta log, rather than the leaf hammock. Hopefully he'll like it.