I'm doing my head in: Northumbria Water messing with the supply

Lynnzer

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For as long as I can remember, the tapwater here has been very high in GH at 437ppm and a high pH of around 8.5.
I have sorted my fish between 7 tanks to allow me to mix water to get the best result for the species in each tank.
Mainly that consisted of adding bottled Asda or Tesco water that has low GH and pH.
Each tank differs in what I need for the best for the fish. So, those who have watched my posts over the last couple of months will know I spent a good amount of cash on a rainwater collection operation, as well as the money on bottled water at £1.20 per 5 ltr bottle.
I really do want the best.
So........
This morning I want to do a water change on a couple of tanks and as normal I did a TDS check on the tapwater to confirm everything was still the same. And...... wait of it.......
The TDS now shows as 176ppm and the pH is at 6 - 7
I called my local Aquarist shop and he says his friend works for NWA and the water station that normally feeds our supply is offline due to massive electrical problems. The water is now now being pumped from another reservoir.
I called the NWA office for an update on the water quality report they put out and I'm supposed to be getting a call from the quality team, sometime.....
Now I ain't complaining about having softer water as most tanks are better that way and only 2 is well above the 176ppm. But the pH is problematic.
I will now have to spend the rest of the day figuring it out again and perhaps needing to add some sort of stone etc to harden the water where necessary. A low pH isn't all that good for some fish either and if anyone knows how to raise it I'd appreciate it. All my previous calculations as to what I need to mix to get each tank's correct parameters needs a rethink. The upside to this is that I can at least store as much tapwater as possible right now and let the chlorine evaporate before the pumping station goes back to the usual very hard supply.
I think though that a move such as a change of supply with completely different water properties is completely out of order without notification to the households and businesses that are using the water.
Some people may take it for granted that our tapwater is still very hard and are taking remedial action to lower the GH. It might seem trivial but some people may suffer badly as a result.
 

Fishfinder1973

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I wouldn’t mess with trying to chase pH.
My local authorities did exactly the same last summer,but that was due to drought and therefore too much recycling.If your fish are ok then everything is fine,just do small but more regular water changes til things get back to what they should be.
 

wasmewasntit

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The uncertainties and inconsistencies of tap water is why I went 100% bottled water. Too much faff and fuss trying to keep the tap water exactly what I need it to be

Bottled water is consistent and stable....I am not into faff and fuss.
 
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Lynnzer

Lynnzer

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Sod it. The water shows 0.2 ammonia. Is this fine? I'm changing from a zero reading in the tank so 0.2 may be stretching things.
The other tests are: Nitrate nil, KH at 54pph (3 drops of liquid).
So with pH of 6ish and GH of 176 it complicates life.
WHOA - Hold that. Another time lapse of 5 minutes shows ammonia reading of 2.0 ?
It may go even greener if I wait longer still.
 
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Essjay

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Always read tests after the time given in the manual. The colours do change after that and give false readings.

Your area does seem to be the odd place out in Northumbrian Water's region. Everywhere else has soft water. It sounds as though your water is currently coming from the same source as everywhere else.
 
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Lynnzer

Lynnzer

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Always read tests after the time given in the manual. The colours do change after that and give false readings.

Your area does seem to be the odd place out in Northumbrian Water's region. Everywhere else has soft water. It sounds as though your water is currently coming from the same source as everywhere else.
Yeah thanks Essjay. I didn't wait long enough the first reading but the new one is correct and shows at around 3.0ish
I've just emailed NWA about this. It may seem trivial to the average person but I know at least 3 LFS's that may have potential problems as they all tested the same as me with very hard water.
To be honest though, I'd rather keep the supply I have now. It makes life so much better, and my kettle might last longer too.
I might even not get so much while calcium on the top of my tanks.
The funny thing is that the last few days I have noticed that when using the shower on a morning the lather worked up really well and my hair didn't sort of squeak when rinsed off.
So, given a reading of at least 3.0 ammonia ( it shows higher than 2 on the test chart but not quite at 5.0 so may be anywhere between) is this safe do you think? I know there are ammonia reducing chemicals but are they necessary?
 

Wills

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Yeah thanks Essjay. I didn't wait long enough the first reading but the new one is correct and shows at around 3.0ish
I've just emailed NWA about this. It may seem trivial to the average person but I know at least 3 LFS's that may have potential problems as they all tested the same as me with very hard water.
To be honest though, I'd rather keep the supply I have now. It makes life so much better, and my kettle might last longer too.
I might even not get so much while calcium on the top of my tanks.
The funny thing is that the last few days I have noticed that when using the shower on a morning the lather worked up really well and my hair didn't sort of squeak when rinsed off.
So, given a reading of at least 3.0 ammonia ( it shows higher than 2 on the test chart but not quite at 5.0 so may be anywhere between) is this safe do you think? I know there are ammonia reducing chemicals but are they necessary?
Blimey! Ammonia of 3 is a big deal, they should be sending someone out to sort that.

I've had it similarly from my water supplier since we moved here my hardness fluctuates through the year between 12 and 16 and nitrates vary from 10ppm to 40ppm. Without a dedicated water source for the fish through an RO machine or similar theres just no way through it. RO is hardly a simple option either.

Wills
 
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Lynnzer

Lynnzer

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Now I'm confused.
I did an ammonia retest on another sample and it shows as zero, then another test half an hour later with zero ammonia.
I wonder if I used a tube that hadn't been properly washed or something.
Anyway I'll just have to go with the flow and do a water change based on the later readings.
 

Wills

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Now I'm confused.
I did an ammonia retest on another sample and it shows as zero, then another test half an hour later with zero ammonia.
I wonder if I used a tube that hadn't been properly washed or something.
Anyway I'll just have to go with the flow and do a water change based on the later readings.
Literally all we can do is our best, we can be super hard on ourselves and each other because of the animal welfare but in times like this you just have to trust yourself that you are doing the right thing.

Wills
 

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