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Old 12-08-2013, 01:07 PM   #1 
Sally M
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I need a water chemist!

I have a water problem. The reason I know this is because I got a lovely dozen red cherry shrimp yesterday. This morning they were all dead. After chatting with the seller, we narrowed it down to ph. I have been doing water experiments all day.

Here's what I've found but I don't know why. My well water straight from the tap is off the high charts! Deep purple! This is the water I've been using for water changes. I'm surprised anyone is still alive! Seachem Prime does not change it. Running it through a Brita filter DOES. The water comes out pretty close to neutral. Running it through a pack of charcoal does not. My tanks are all pretty neutral in ph a day after water changes. Immediately after, the ph is high. Right now all my tanks are good.

Any ideas as to what is in the well water that raises the ph so high and what in the Brita filter fixes it? My next task is to get a filter on my faucet that I can attach my filling hose to so I can put filtered water in the tanks at water changes.

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Old 12-08-2013, 03:54 PM   #2 
rickey
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Interactions of pH, Carbon Dioxide,
Alkalinity and Hardness


Advance Freshwater Chemistry

Bringing Tapwater to Life

This will get you started
There will be a test on the this material later this week

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Old 12-08-2013, 04:17 PM   #3 
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Thanks Ricky. Got anything with pictures?

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Old 12-08-2013, 05:19 PM   #4 
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:33 PM   #5 
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I read through all of it once and now I must assimilate it all! Take notes, jot down thoughts etc. I think that I have an unusual situation in that I have very soft water with very high pH and I can't figure out why. Most articles on aquarium water balancing deals with city water and the additives found in that rather than well water.

Thanks for the articles though! I do like them better than the picture links, however dry reading they are!
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:22 PM   #6 
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Having never tested your water. I'll tell you what I think calcium hydrogen carbonate, has a chemical formula Ca(HCO3)2. The term does not refer to a known solid compound; it exists only in aqueous solution containing the calcium (Ca2+), bicarbonate (HCO3), and carbonate (CO32) ions, together with dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2). The makeup is very pH dependant and as your well water most likely has little CO2 in it the pH is through the roof The Britta filter is a carbon and ion exchange resin which traps these anions and cations giving near neutral in ph but low carbonate hardness by the day after your water change the water as taken on CO2 from the atmosphere to lower the pH and this is well water 101 my well is the opposite of your, my is almost soda water when come out of the ground then gases off so the pH rise

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Old 12-08-2013, 06:38 PM   #7 
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Hmmm....I shall investigate. Thanks again Rick.

I get my well water tested every once in a while by a lab but they usually concentrate on ecoli. I never know what to test for. You sound like you know what you are talking about - maybe even what I'm talking about! What should I be testing for anyway? In relation to drinking and/or aquarium use...
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:40 PM   #8 
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Old 12-08-2013, 07:59 PM   #9 
Sally M
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Ah ha! I got a C in organic chem many many years ago and then I quit! But I actually love science!

So I've been reading the water purification manufacturers' websites and the faucet filters work differently than the pitchers. Would the faucet filters also do the ion exchange needed, assuming that is the issue? Or would it be futility itself to try and find the connectors I need? From what I've been reading, I don't think they would be useful. Would there be anything that I could put between the water faucet and the tank that would have the water at a lower pH by the time it got there? Hmm...
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:26 PM   #10 
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How do you fill your tanks?
If you let the water set a container with a airstone few hours will help.
Also you can get your water for your shower or use a sprayer both may help equalize the gas state in the water. They make de-gassing columns they're fancy showers with a counterflow blower at the top pull air through the water as it trickled through wiffle balls. Really the only thing that it come down to is time, with time the water pH will stabilize but were it will ultimately land is anyones guess without testing your well
Most faucet filters are simply carbon block filter and have no ion exchange but you really do not want to do that in many case as it could make the pH unstable in the long run
R

Last edited by rickey; 12-08-2013 at 09:31 PM. Reason: sp
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