Want to increase GH and KH in my tank a little. Tap water OK

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by maj74, 14 Jan 2009.

  1. maj74

    maj74 Member

    Messages:
    26
    Hi,

    I have used rainwater in my tank for over 3 years now, with almost no tap water ever going in. However, of course now the GH and KH are almost non-existent and I would like to raise it a little. This can easily be achieved with the local tapwater!

    As the rainwater is stored in 25l jerry cans for a couple of days to warm-up before going into the tank at each water change, presumably I could just add about 10% tap water to the cans and leave as it warms up?

    Presumably this way, the chlorine will have left the tap water, and there's no need to add water preparation chemicals into the water?
     
  2. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    I'd use a little hot tap water to raise the temperature and the hardness in one go and quickly!!! I've used hot water for years with no problems.
     
  3. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Hi,

    Can I ask a side question? How do you collect the rainwater and how clean do you keep the water butt if that's water you use? Do you filter it through carbon before it goes into the tank?

    I've been having problems with the plants and am leaning towards it being due to organic compounds in the rainwater from decomposing mater in the water butt?

    Thanks, sorry to hijack :)

    Sam
     
  4. maj74

    maj74 Member

    Messages:
    26
    Dealing with one question at a time:

    a) yes adding hot water would bring the temperature straight up, but my point is, if I add the water, including that from the tap, straight away, I've got to add de-chlorinating chemicals. Whereas my understanding is, if I add the tapwater to the rainwater when it comes in from outside ready for the next water change in a couple of days, the chlorine has, i believe, evaporated out of teh water without having to use any chemicals. Correct?

    b) I have 2 water butts connected in series to a down pipe that comes only off our conservertory. Therefore a six monthly wash (without detergents!) of the conservertory roof, gutter and downpipe keeps the runoff very clean and with conventional sankey waterbutts, they have the clip on plastic lids, so no leaves or whatever get inside. Hence clean water. I've never had to do anything other than let it warm up in winter and add it straight to the tank.
     
  5. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Such a small amount won't really need a dechlorinator unless you have horrific levels! Even if you want to play safe you could just put a bit in the tank before adding the water. Chlorine doesn't evaporate but does come out of solution and back to being a gas. Chloramine is more long lasting though.
     
  6. maj74

    maj74 Member

    Messages:
    26
    Thanks for the response.

    Yes that's waht I meant.. badly explained on my part. So how long does chloramine last before it comes out of solution?
     
  7. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Chloramine presists because it is bound with an amine molecule. It's also why adding a cheap dechlorinator can give you ammonia as the dechlorinator removes the chlorine molecule and liberates the amine part. I'm not sure how long it takes to degrade naturally.
     
  8. maj74

    maj74 Member

    Messages:
    26
    Ok, but presumably in the sort of quantities of tap water I wil be adding (say 20% of my water change volume, if that) I shouldn't have to worry about it?
     
  9. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    As it persists it is more of a problem than chlorine. If you ask your water company they should be able to tell you if they add Chloramine to your water supply so you'll know if it's going to be an issue.
     
  10. maj74

    maj74 Member

    Messages:
    26
    Yes, it would appear that Chloramine is used in Ipswich, so there goes the idea of using tap water to raise the gh and kh of my tank.

    So what options does that leave. I really need to raise gh AND kh a little and am I correct in thinking that gh booster only raises gh?

    Any suggestions?
     
  11. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Why do you need to raise the GH and KH? Unless you're keeping hard water fish then most of the usual aquarium fish prefer nice soft water? I only add a little minerals to raise the GH a bit; my KH is 0.
     
  12. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    GH booster raises GH and baking soda raises KH.

    Cheers,
     

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