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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. My water comes from a drilled well 225' down with the last 50' into fractured granite. It is pumped through a 20 micron filter then a 5 micron. it then goes through a UV sterilizer. It is very good to drink but clogs up everything with calcium crust.
Tested with an API kit plus KH and GH.
Results:
PH- 8.0
Ammonia- .25 ppm very slight green tinge on the test.
Nitrite- 0 ppm
Nitrate- 20 ppm
KH- 21 drops = over 214.8 ppm which is 12 drops. So maybe double
GH- 20 drops = over 214.8 ppm which is 12 drops.

My question is will this be OK for Malawi Cichlids and if not what do I need to do. Thanks for your help. Bill
 

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Sounds fine. Just cycle without fish.
 

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More worried about the nitrate. Will be hard to keep your nitrate under 20ppm via water changes when you are starting out at 20ppm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So since I have very hard water I assume I should go with granite rocks and quartz sand rather rather than limestone or any reef rock. Do i have this right?
Nitrates at 20 ppm in my tap water i'll probably run at 25 to 30 if I water change and filter well. Not ideal but do you think this is acceptable long term?
Bill
 

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The rocks won't make a difference in pH or hardness if you are already 8. Use what you like, but smooth rocks cause fewer injuries and sand is ideal to observe fish behavior. I like to keep the nitrates between 10ppm and 20ppm. 30ppm will not kill them, but I would think about adding plants somewhere to assist.

Filtration does not impact nitrates and changing the water, you will just put in 20ppm when you take out 30ppm so that will be a constant battle.

What does your water authority say about you having 20ppm nitrates in your drinking water?
 

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Right but your well has to meet health standards. How long ago was it drilled? Are you in an agricultural area?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh, I get it. You have my attention now! Our Local Health Unit specifies
The Ontario Drinking Water
Standard for nitrate is 10 mg/L as
nitrate-nitrogen. This is the
maximum acceptable concentration
(MAC) for drinking water
That converts to 10ppm so I am twice the standard although they do also say this is only a problem for infants. They also say that septic beds can cause the problem among other things.
No agriculture, well is 10 yrs but i do have septic bed within about 40 ft across the well fertilized lawn. I'm going to get a proper water test for bacteria and nitrates right away at the heath unit lab.
Thanks so much DJ for bringing this to my attention.
Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Retested my tap-water a week later. PH still 8, ammonia still .25ppm and nitrite 0. Nitrates now read 5ppm vs 20ppm a week ago.

So either I messed up (had my ladies check the colour this time) or there is variability in my well water. who knows? I will test again in a week and and see. Is there any way to test water that doesn't involve colour matching?
Bill
 

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Get your water stable and you won't have to test.

Water is fine for Malawi cichlids.
 

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It may be possible that your test vials have a bit of residue from prior testing so you may want to consider buying a gallon of distilled or de-ionized (DI) water to clean out your test vials. You can fill the test vials with that water, cap and shake the vials then allow to set for 24 hours then rinse and shake again with that water. Perform ammonia test again to see if you are still getting an ammonia reading. Using this procedure can help determine if you are just getting false readings from contaminated vials.
 

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The reason for the 24 hour soak in DI water is so it can 'loosen' any previous deposits from leftover testing.

I assumed since you are using well water and didn't mention chlorine injection in your system that you are not using any type of disinfection process to treat your well water, correct?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
More water tests. I know this must be boring
Have not obtained distilled water yet so I tested some snow from outside. Correct me if I'm wrong but I assume rain/snow is like distilled water. Created by evaporation.
So I tested some snow:
Ph 6.6 vs 8 for well water
Ammonia .25 same
Nitrite 0 same
Nitrate 5 same
I thought snow would be 0 in all other than PH so now I'm thinking the test is inaccurate or I'm misreading the colours.
Waiting to get my tank so I guess this is at least practice for tank testing.

Any comments people? Bill

ps I'll get some distilled water this week and test
 

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Snow is not pure water; it picks up what ever is in the atmosphere.
 

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You should be able to get Distilled water from any grocery store. Might even find some DI water there, but that could be a taller ask.

ps - not boring at all, loving reading along in your adventure. Although sorry you are going through such a pain :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks KBCoggin I,m glad someone is following other than DJ. Actually I'm kinda enjoying the experiment and learning abit about water chemistry and how this relates to fish. Complex subject. I will get the water and report soon. Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Nitrate.jpg
colour.jpg
[attachment=0]colour.jpg[/attachment

So I compared distilled with my well water. I assume distilled is 0 ammonia and 0 nitrate. My nitrate appears to be 0 on top and my ammonia based on the colour bottom is around .25ppm. Would you agree? Bill
 

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