I've done two water changes with the spring water - about 25% each time - and the nitrates are now between 5-10. Tuna Bob seems none the worse for the wear. I've also replaced the carbon in the filter with the Purigen, we'll see if that makes any impact. I plan to leave well enough alone now and retest on Saturday to see where we are.
OFL - I do have spigots on my house for watering the lawn, washing the car etc. I know what you are talking about when you say "well house" - we have those around here on older properties, back when the well pump mechanism was much larger, I guess, and needed its own little house. Today, they typically drill two types of wells around here - shallow, which leaves a concrete "mushroom" in your yard about 3-4 feet diameter; and artesian, which leaves a 6-8 inch pipe just wide enough to hold a small pump. The shallow wells might have a spigot at the well, I've never actually looked inside one of those mushrooms. But I know there isn't any room for one in the artesian well in my yard. There is a spigot under the house (got the door open..yay) but it appears to be plumbed after the iron treatment system so, long story short, I don't have access to "virgin" water from my well. I'm hoping my outside spigots are before the salt treatment system so at least I can bypass that when I draw water for the fish. I'll find all that out when I contact a well/water treatment company to inspect my system (I've been remiss in getting that done here lately). I've also ordered a GH/KH test kit so I can test ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING from every conceivable water source!
Twilight - I DO intend to add plants, but I can only obsess about one thing at a time - I'm weird that way
- and right now I'm spazzing out about the nitrates in my drinking water. Once I've calmed down or resolved that, I'll focus on plants. I also need to make sure I can bypass the water softener since that apparently is bad for plants....no point in adding in a plant just so it can die.