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Old 04-03-2008, 04:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ft. Worth Water Sources

I have some questions about the municipal water supply around here. I live in SW Ft. Worth and was wondering about the GH & KH. What are the typical measurements? Is the GH composed primarily of calcium or magnesium, or composed of (roughly) equal amounts? What is the typical KH, and does it vary much? I ask these questions for fertilization reasons. When I moved here, I had a little 10g with whatever plants I had left, and for some strange reason, they melted...and I've only seen this when the KH rises too much. I could also tell the water got harder when I take showers at about the same time (the water was really soft before). I'm guessing this might be the result of the city switching water sources? Anyhoo, I've been away from aquariums for a while, and I'm about to start one up. It would be nice to use tap water and I like to know exactly what my water consists of, but I'm prepared to use RO as I've done before if the water supply isn't stable (I tend to grow finicky plants). Thanks for any insight you can provide!
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Old 04-03-2008, 05:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ft. Worth Water Sources

http://www.fortworthgov.org/water/

There is a water quality report from 2006 (latest) available for download towards the bottom.
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Old 04-03-2008, 06:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ft. Worth Water Sources

I suggest you use a combination of the city's reports and your own measurements.

I once knew some people who had some pipe deposits that caused their pH to be so high that they had to use a swimming pool test kit -- the pH was up around 10!!!!
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Old 04-05-2008, 05:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ft. Worth Water Sources

Thanks for the quick responses. I'm not really asking what's in the water. I apologize if I didn't state my question clearly (I was trying to ask more than I needed to know...sorry!). I would like to know if the water supply changes throughout the year, causing changes in the KH of the water, or any other changes that might be significant?
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Old 04-06-2008, 05:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ft. Worth Water Sources

In Dallas the water parameters change depending on the season, but also seemingly just because. Maybe Fort Worth is different, but the bottom line is you need to find a way to minimize the risk no matter what the water company decides to do today.

The best approach is to get activated carbon filters. You can use $30 canisters from Home Depot, the "drop filters" used for drinking water. The 10" long ones are fine. They look like this:
http://www.watervalue.com/img/slimli...cartridges.jpg

You use activated carbon cartridges in them - two for $10 or so at Home Depot. They last for a very long time (months) or if you want to get really particular you can change them every other month or so.

To hook the canister to the water supply you need one or two fittings - also found in Home Depot.

That way you will not need to use a dechlorinator, but you will be removing/neutralizing a long list of chemicals that are in the water and we never test for or even think about.

If you really want to reduce the risk of the water parameters changing you could mix RO with your tap water. 50% or 75% RO and the rest tap water (ran through the activated carbon filter). That's an overkill in my opinion, but you could certainly do it.

--Nikolay
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ft. Worth Water Sources

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon View Post
Thanks for the quick responses. I'm not really asking what's in the water. I apologize if I didn't state my question clearly (I was trying to ask more than I needed to know...sorry!). I would like to know if the water supply changes throughout the year, causing changes in the KH of the water, or any other changes that might be significant?
My wife is retired from the City of Arlington water department. From time to time it is common for cities in this region to alter the percentages for their sources of water, which is often area lakes. The City of Arlington has several treatment and holding steps where the goal is for the water to come out with consistent parameters.

I think Niko's suggestions are good. The area cities are probably trying very hard to provide good, consistent water, but the goal is to provide water suitable for human consumption. A lot of aquarists have more stringent expectations.
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ft. Worth Water Sources

That's exactly what I was wanting to know! Thanks Niko and ranchwest!
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Old 06-07-2008, 01:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ft. Worth Water Sources

Analon I don't mean to jump into you thread but I do have a question concerning the filter.
Niko do you have a picture of how you set up this type of filter system? I live in almost a 100 year old neighborhood and we are always getting blasted with chlorine if a line breaks, our ground pipes are very old. I have wanted to do something like this for a long time just need to see how one would set it up. I usually put a tub in the sink and a pump with a very long hose to reach the different tanks. But the addition of a carbon filter would be so much better.

Thank You
Karen
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