Water softening

KMW1954

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The water I an using is coming from a shallow point well and is very hard and when tested it does show low levels of nitrate but is well within the safe zone of the Tetra test strips. We have been trying to collect rain water to dilute down our well water. Recently the collected water I had stored into a large plastic drum and today I mixed it half and half with our well water and then tested it and it had the same nitrate level but now also had nitrite levels into the stress zone. The GH was lower, the alkalinity I couldn't read any difference but the ph was lower. I did not use this water.

At this time I do not know if the contamination of Nitrites came from the barrel or not.

Now in an attempt to lower my hardness I am still looking at collecting rain water, also just stumbled across a Coralife Pure Flo RO unit used locally for $25.00. Then the next question is in regards of using a Zero Water pitcher for doing my water changes. Today I used our PUR water pitcher to add water to my tank.

Thoughts, suggestions, warnings?
 

Colin_T

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If your in a warm climate you can make a solar still out of a plastic storage container and bucket.

If the barrel you used to hold the rain water was not used for anything bad prior to you storing water in it, the nitrites might have come from the actual rain water.
Have you tested some freshly collected rain water?

No idea what a zero water pitcher is.

Reverse Osmosis (r/o) units can be good. Check the conversion ratio and get one that has a 1:1 ratio. This means you get 1 litre of pure water to 1 litre of waste water. Cheaper brands have a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio and you get 2 or 3 litres of waste water to 1 litre of pure water. The waste water contains the minerals and chemicals that are stripped out of the water, and usually gets put on the lawn/ garden.
 

JCW_1

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The water I an using is coming from a shallow point well and is very hard and when tested it does show low levels of nitrate but is well within the safe zone of the Tetra test strips. We have been trying to collect rain water to dilute down our well water. Recently the collected water I had stored into a large plastic drum and today I mixed it half and half with our well water and then tested it and it had the same nitrate level but now also had nitrite levels into the stress zone. The GH was lower, the alkalinity I couldn't read any difference but the ph was lower. I did not use this water.

At this time I do not know if the contamination of Nitrites came from the barrel or not.

Now in an attempt to lower my hardness I am still looking at collecting rain water, also just stumbled across a Coralife Pure Flo RO unit used locally for $25.00. Then the next question is in regards of using a Zero Water pitcher for doing my water changes. Today I used our PUR water pitcher to add water to my tank.

Thoughts, suggestions, warnings?

If you leave tap water overnight it gets softer and the chlorine evaporates, but I do not know if it will be enough for a fish tank so you will still need to condition -it's worth researching properly as it may help.

You can test water or get information from supplier to know what chemicals are contributing to hardness and get a filter that removes that stuff.
 

FairyFin☆

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The water I an using is coming from a shallow point well and is very hard and when tested it does show low levels of nitrate but is well within the safe zone of the Tetra test strips. We have been trying to collect rain water to dilute down our well water. Recently the collected water I had stored into a large plastic drum and today I mixed it half and half with our well water and then tested it and it had the same nitrate level but now also had nitrite levels into the stress zone. The GH was lower, the alkalinity I couldn't read any difference but the ph was lower. I did not use this water.

At this time I do not know if the contamination of Nitrites came from the barrel or not.

Now in an attempt to lower my hardness I am still looking at collecting rain water, also just stumbled across a Coralife Pure Flo RO unit used locally for $25.00. Then the next question is in regards of using a Zero Water pitcher for doing my water changes. Today I used our PUR water pitcher to add water to my tank.

Thoughts, suggestions, warnings?
My water in the San Joaquin valley sucks! We got (another) notice from the city a month ago warning about nitrates in the water & for pregnant & babies not to drink it. I may be wrong, so if someone knows, please chime in, that Brita & regular carbon block filters (like in refrigerators) don't remove it. My water is also very hard & leaves a mineral film in my electric kettle after every use. I filled most of my newly set-up tank from the water filling station ($1.50/5 gal) hauling buckets. I'd snatch that RO unit up if I were you!
 

JCW_1

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My water in the San Joaquin valley sucks! We got (another) notice from the city a month ago warning about nitrates in the water & for pregnant & babies not to drink it. I may be wrong, so if someone knows, please chime in, that Brita & regular carbon block filters (like in refrigerators) don't remove it. My water is also very hard & leaves a mineral film in my electric kettle after every use. I filled most of my newly set-up tank from the water filling station ($1.50/5 gal) hauling buckets. I'd snatch that RO unit up if I were you!

Standard filters are not good with more complex issues. When my friend had issues with tap water they had to identify toxins/chemicals and get a special filter that is not normally sold in shops. You first have to know what chemicals are in the water which makes it harder from source. It might be worth investing in a barrel or garden water storage that will collect rain or give you capacity to store water overnight which will reduce hardness to some degree.
 

GaryE

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I collected rainwater for years off my roof, 30 minutes' walk from the centre of a major city. I had zero nitrates in it. So something is contaminating the water you're collecting. Bird wastes or leaves in the eaves?
The pitcher systems you're using are nothing I've heard of. RO is great, but on metered water, wasteful and expensive unless you get the right unit, as @Colin_T noted. I'm in a very wet zone with unmetered water, so I could pick up a cheap unit from Amazon if my water weren't already great. I'm guessing you may not have that luxury, if you have nitrates and nitrites in your groundwater.

If you are working off a well, you need good consistent water pressure for RO.
 
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KMW1954

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If you leave tap water overnight it gets softer and the chlorine evaporates, but I do not know if it will be enough for a fish tank so you will still need to condition -it's worth researching properly as it may help.

You can test water or get information from supplier to know what chemicals are contributing to hardness and get a filter that removes that stuff.

All water is coming from my own private well. So chlorine is not the issue. From a map I found illustrating water hardness this area that I am in has a general hardness of 201-300 TDS of which the largest parts are iron and calcium.

I was also told that water coming off a roof can pick up minerals and other contaminates from the roofing material and not to use it for aquariums. The rain water I am collecting is all trapped in large plastic totes and buckets with no run off.
 
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KMW1954

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These are the two pitcher water filters I now have. Been using the PUR and just purchased the Zero today and filling it to test. Will post results.
 
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KMW1954

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Testing using Tetra EasyStrips;

tap water:

Nitrate between 0/20ppm
Nitrite about 1.0ppm
GH about 300ppm
chlorine 0ppm
KH 300ppm
pH abour 8.4ppm

PUR water filter pitcher:

Nitrate between 0/20ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
GH between 75/150ppm
chlorine 0ppm
KH unchanged
pH unchanged

Zero Water filter pitcher:

Nitrate 0ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
GH 0/25 looks closer to 0
chlorine 0ppm
KH 0 to trace
pH less than 6.2

Very impressed with this filter. Now I will have to mix to find a good balance.
 

StevenF

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A 4 stag RO filter would perform as well as the zero water filter. A 3 stage RO filter would be better than the PUR filter and almost as good as the zero. You can also get a RO system on amazon.com. The one linked can be connected to a facet and will produce 50 gallons in one day. The waste water from the RO system can be used to water the garden or other outdoor plants. The rain would wash the minerals away or back into the aquifer.
I was also told that water coming off a roof can pick up minerals and other contaminates from the roofing material and not to use it for aquariums. The rain water I am collecting is all trapped in large plastic totes and buckets with no run off.
One of the biggest sources of contamination from the roof could be bird droppings, and leaves and moss on the roof. You might want to clean off any organic material and and hose off any bird droppings. The materials the roof is made from generallywill not leach nitrates or any source of nitrogen. Rain would have washed off any chemicals from the manufacturing of roofing material years ago.

Another source of nitrate is fireplace smoke and polution from vehicles. In any case the rain water can be used to water garden plants.
 
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KMW1954

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Thanks for the link. So far the Zero Water is making more than I need.
 

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