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Hard water cloudiness.

Jose

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Hi everyone.

Lets see, in my tank when I fill it up with tap water, after a couple of days it goes cloudy.

I live in a very hard water area, Salisbury (wiltshire, UK). I believe the KH might be around 16 or more.

So I was wondering if more people suffer from this. Cause I could keep fish in this water specially livebearers but the cloudiness is quite a problem cause it ends up in the aquarium walls and stuck everywhere after some weeks.

Would this go away with good filtration (I havnt got much experience with this water). Could this be another substance?. The water looks very clear to start with. If I add a bit of an acid extract it goes away (this makes me think it might just be bicarbonates).

Are there other options apart from using RO water?. I know this acid doesnt harm the fish as long as you make good use of it, but its a bit of a pain to have to add it to your new water every time you are doing a water change.

Thanks beforehand.
 

ian_m

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I have 22 degree Clark water from Twyford Down, so maybe harder than yours. I possibly slight get cloudiness in the water, especially visible with bright lights, but certainly not stuck everywhere like you describe.

Could it be bacterial in a "new setup", this certainly can cause cloudiness a few days after water change. API Accu-clear can get rid of it precipitating it out to be filtered away.

Try doing water changes using a mixture of boiled and tap water to see if that makes a difference. Boiling will remove the bicarbonate.
 

Jose

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MMM well I suppose it could be bacteria but it last time I did it the tank was new as well as the sponges.....unles the bacteria in the water died.

I think boiling would help but its just such a pain...imagine if I kept a bigger aquarium. I would be better off with bottled water really in this case.

I will keep trying with normal tap water to see if something changes with time. I just changed all the water in the tank yesterday so will see how it goes.

I do appreciate you tips Ian_m I am just too lazy:shh:.

By the way what fish have you kept succesfully in this type of water/liquid rock?
 

ajm83

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Mine is around 17 degrees (German) / 20 (Clarke) here in Essex, and I have successfully kept Angelfish, Plecs, Neons, RTBS, Rummynose, Harlequins. The only fish I have struggled with are Ramirezi. I used to keep them years ago in this water with no major problems, but now I can't keep them alive.
To be honest even since switching to re-min'd RO I'm still struggling so I'm wondering if they're poorly bred/raised before purchase.

BTW I've never noticed the water going particularly cloudy unless the substrate is disturbed, are you sure it's the water hardness causing it?
 

ian_m

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By the way what fish have you kept succesfully in this type of water/liquid rock?
Nothing special, all run of the mill easy keep fish, some many years old now, Clown Loaches, Flying Foxes, Neons of various types & colours, Ottos, various red, yellow and black mollies and millions of guppies. I have to spend some time each water change fishing the fry out of the two filters I have, I had seven fry in my monster JBL1501 last week.
 

Jose

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There isnt really anything other than water going into the tank. So it has to be something in the water. I used to live in Spain with a moderately hard water and never had this happen.

Have you you guys kept cardinal tetras? Sorry, not a test just some info gathering.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
live in a very hard water area, Salisbury (wiltshire, UK). I believe the KH might be around 16 or more.
I'm just on the N side of Salisbury plain, and our tap water is about the same dKH. The water comes from deep limestone aquifers, and at about 16/17 dKH the water is completely saturated with CaCO3. You can get higher dKH values, but only if you have dissolved NaHCO3 etc.
after a couple of days it goes cloudy.
You are right, the cloudiness is calcium carbonate (CaCO3) coming back out of solution.

Carbonates are technically insoluble in H2O, but soluble in water due to the dissolved CO2 and the HCO3- ~ CO2 (as carbonic acid - H2CO3) equilibrium.

The amount of HCO3- (and Ca++ ions) in solution depends upon the amount of CO2 gas dissolved in the water, and the presence of other cations.

CO2 is more soluble in cold water than warmer water, and the monovalent ions form more soluble carbonates (NaHCO3, KHCO3) than the divalent ones.

The outcome of this is then when water is heated (in a kettle etc.), or when the volume of the solution is reduced (via evaporation) or when a potassium (K+) or sodium (Na+) salt is added to the solution, CaCO3 will come out of solution as a fine milkiness that slowly settles out.

I use rain water, although even that has some carbonate buffering (presumably from atmospheric dust).

cheers Darrel
 
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Jose

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Aha thanks very much Darrel.

You see I do dose with CaCl2 and K2SO4 between other things so this might be playing its part. But anyway, seems there is no way around this for keeping a long term planted tank. So will have to keep buying bottled water for small aquariums and when I get around a big one Ill have to get an ro unit and since I am at it Ill have to keep some discus:happy:.

Its such a shame....since I come from a place of water pretty much perfect for any fish. But you cant have every thing.


Thanks everyone!

Great Forum!
 

Crossocheilus

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I find that a few hours after water change (using both hot and cold tap) the water turns milky. I have hard water, living in Oxford, got a test result of 360ppm CaCO3. I have kept platies, zebra danios, neon tetras, sterbas cories, pearl gourami, emperor tetra, cherry barb, copper harlequins, pygmy cories, otocinclus and recently bamboo shrimp.
 

Crossocheilus

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Btw with the hard water:

I have been through quite a few sterbas cories. They are always kept on a soft water system at my local MA. Many didn't even have barbels and one got a bad case of fungus which I couldn't cure, they slowly died one by one. The ones I have now are indestructible and I have had one female for many years. These are fish that come from very acidic amazonian water of negligible hardness, yet they have eventually got used to and established in hard water and are very happy. I might even go so far as to say that I have seen some mating/courting behaviour (but no spawning)

My point being many softwater fish can and will adapt to hardwater and even flourish given time and care. I know it is not ideal for them but tbh they seem to cope very well.
 

Jose

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My point being many softwater fish can and will adapt to hardwater and even flourish given time and care

Many will but some wont. Like German blue rams. Discus have a limit as well I would think. And also with ph over 7 if you have an ammonia spike your fish have a greater chance of dying, So have to have good biological filtration.
 

Crossocheilus

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I agree discus and rams need soft water, as do liquorice and chocolate gouramis, but most standard community fish are fine in hardwater. The point about ammonia is true however I have never seen any direct impacts or indications of an ammonia spike in my tank.
Anyway in a high tech planted tank with heavy filtration and planting any ammonia should be used quickly.
 

Jose

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All ican say from experience is that Ive kept a tank at a ph around 6 and fish did amazingly well, specially the colour of my cardinal tetras. Its probably coincidence but no matter what i did wrong in that tank and with a HOB filter I never lost fish.

I do honestlythink fish are better at lower ph. And I think many substrate producers know this like ADA.
 

Crossocheilus

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I totally agree I just wanted to get across that although not ideal it is possible to keep fish quite happily in hard, alkali conditions for those that are cursed with such tap water.
 

Jose

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I totally agree I just wanted to get across that although not ideal it is possible to keep fish quite happily in hard, alkali conditions for those that are cursed with such tap water

Definately true.

There is one thing I would really like to know. Do soft wáter fish like the low Ca+Mg or is it the low carbonates that makes them really happy? It might be both.
In other words, If we lower the ph via an acid this makes the conductivity a bit higher but can eliminate the carbonates. This is what I used to do and I know its not advisable for a bginner, but it worked for me.

Maybe German blue Rams could kept in this manner and would be happier. Thoughts¿? I know cardinals were very happy.
 

GHNelson

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Aha thanks very much Darrel.

You see I do dose with CaCl2 and K2SO4 between other things so this might be playing its part. But anyway, seems there is no way around this for keeping a long term planted tank. So will have to keep buying bottled water for small aquariums and when I get around a big one Ill have to get an ro unit and since I am at it Ill have to keep some discus:happy:.

Its such a shame....since I come from a place of water pretty much perfect for any fish. But you cant have every thing.


Thanks everyone!

Great Forum!
Most plants don't care about how hard your water is they a more interested in how much Co2 is in the water!....also fertilization....and lighting!
hoggie
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Do soft wáter fish like the low Ca+Mg or is it the low carbonates that makes them really happy? It might be both. In other words, If we lower the ph via an acid this makes the conductivity a bit higher but can eliminate the carbonates.
Depends upon whether you are interested in maintenance or breeding. It is high dGH/dKH that stops the eggs hatching. This is via 2 mechanisms, hardening of the egg shell, and the increased microbial activity in less acid conditions.

For a lot of species of soft water fish can be maintained in harder water if you have a stress free environment in other areas, but some species can't long term and they tend to be the "tricky" ones to keep like Dicrossus filamentosus, Parosphromenus spp. etc.

The same applies to conductivity, for some species conductivity is irrelevant, for others their life span is shortened in "saltier" water, possibly by hypercalcinosis.

I use the coffee analogy, once you've added coffee to water it is impossible to go back to it being just water, you can make the drink sweeter be adding sugar and milk, but everything you add gets you further away from it being plain water. Some fish are happy in "white coffee", some in "black coffee" and some only in water. The "easy" fish tend to be ones that "drink" everything.

cheers Darrel
 

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