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Using Rain Water In Tank

Voxcharm

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Hey

Interested to hear people's experience of using rain water. I am conscious of being as Eco friendly as possible and have heard good things about using rain water for water changes particularly if your tank ph tends to be on higher side. (My 50 litre/12 US gallon tank tends to sit at around 7.4 most probably because it has a think layer if sand as a substrate.)

I've heard you need to be careful of acid rain, particularly as I live outside a major city. But if when I get around to doing a ph reading of the rain water, its within good limits, am I ok to go ahead and use rain water out of a clean water butt or is there any other nasties other than acidity I need to be aware of with rainwater?

Thanks

Anna
 
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Voxcharm

Voxcharm

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Found these two previous threads:

http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?/topic/415309-rain-water-in-fish-tanks/

http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?/topic/282663-using-rain-water-to-fill-your-tank/

Looks like mixed opinions. I will do a standard ph test on rain tomorrow but may be worth doing a gh/kh as well. I know our local tap water is pretty soft anyway. Looks like tap/ rain mix is also a good idea.
This thread even better:

http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?/topic/144396-using-rain-water/

Note to self. Check old threads before posting.
 
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Hmmmm, I might even add some rain water to my tanks now  because I have a tap pH of 7.8 and a tank pH of 8.0 so some rainwater might lower it a bit. A good thing also is that in winter when NZ get's rain, it gets a lot of it so I shouldn't (hopefully) have to put the bucket under the spout. :)
 
One thing to watch out for though I'd say would be the fluctuating pH level because in the summer you might not get as much rain so therefore have to use more tap water than rain water which would almost certainly change the pH quite a lot.
 

DrRob

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Rainwater should, in theory, be wonderful for tanks.
 
There are some howevers though.
 
First is the quality of the rain itself, this can be remarkably variable, with high up clouds passing on pollution from significant distances away.
 
Second is the method of collection, for most of us it's from the roof. This brings in the problems of road pollution and things like farm spraying, as well as other more minor looking things like rotting leaf litter in Autumn and bird droppings.
 
There are solutions to these problems, the second being easier to solve by dropping the first flush of any rain down the drain and filling the water butt or other container with the rest, this generally flushes the roof clean with rain before collecting (there are devices that do this).
 
The first problem is more difficult to both quantify and to solve. There's some mileage with using test kits on the water, there is also the daphnia toxicity trick, of putting daphnia in the water (or the water over the daphnia), if they survive, then it's good for the tank and now includes live food. There are references to methods of this lying around.
 
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Voxcharm

Voxcharm

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Blondielovesfish said:
Hmmmm, I might even add some rain water to my tanks now  because I have a tap pH of 7.8 and a tank pH of 8.0 so some rainwater might lower it a bit. A good thing also is that in winter when NZ get's rain, it gets a lot of it so I shouldn't (hopefully) have to put the bucket under the spout. :)
 
One thing to watch out for though I'd say would be the fluctuating pH level because in the summer you might not get as much rain so therefore have to use more tap water than rain water which would almost certainly change the pH quite a lot.
You'd probably be alright in NZ with you having closer to a 'rainy season' so you could do a flush of the water butt first very easily. In UK it's more little bits of rain all year around. But guess that means on the plus side I could add small amounts all year round.

Sure beats using Evian for lower ph water changes. Guess it works for pond fish.


DrRob said:
Rainwater should, in theory, be wonderful for tanks.
 
There are some howevers though.
 
First is the quality of the rain itself, this can be remarkably variable, with high up clouds passing on pollution from significant distances away.
 
Second is the method of collection, for most of us it's from the roof. This brings in the problems of road pollution and things like farm spraying, as well as other more minor looking things like rotting leaf litter in Autumn and bird droppings.
 
There are solutions to these problems, the second being easier to solve by dropping the first flush of any rain down the drain and filling the water butt or other container with the rest, this generally flushes the roof clean with rain before collecting (there are devices that do this).
 
The first problem is more difficult to both quantify and to solve. There's some mileage with using test kits on the water, there is also the daphnia toxicity trick, of putting daphnia in the water (or the water over the daphnia), if they survive, then it's good for the tank and now includes live food. There are references to methods of this lying around.
That larvae idea is a good one! :-D
 
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