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As the basis of any fertilizer routine, one needs to know what is in the water that is supplied to them. A quick email or phone call to your local water company can get you all the information you need. You may need to ask for a Water Quality Specialist for the detailed info. Also ask about your water source for your address.

San Jose, CA Local water quality (Lawrence expressway and 280)
9.2.04
San Jose Water Quality Report

A quick email to my water company revealed,
Water Source - Summer = 25% Well 75% Import
Water Source - Winter = 60% Well 40% Import
From the report,



example of how I calculated totals,
(25 % X 308)+ (75 % X 104)=155

Spreadsheet to help fill out information,
http://www.aquascapingjournals.com/forum_images/waterqualityreport.xls
 

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pineapple said:
New York City (5 boroughs) water is detailed in a report at the following location:
Holy phosphates batman... I think I have something very similar going on down here, do you notice oddball pH problems with so much phosphate? My water, if you let it sit, measures of pH of 6.6, I inject CO2 down to 5.4 or so but the tables have been pretty useless to me...

Also my local water reports usually don't include phosphate or Ca/Mg breakdown, do they need to legally provide this? I'm even willing to send some water away for a water report but I can't seem to find any labs that will do this...?

Jeff
 

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JLudwig said:
Also my local water reports usually don't include phosphate or Ca/Mg breakdown, do they need to legally provide this? I'm even willing to send some water away for a water report but I can't seem to find any labs that will do this...?
Jeff, the water report provided by your water company online or sent to you yearly is, more often than not, a very crude piece of document, lacking a lot of information planted tank folks want to know. Find the number for your water company which should be on the utility bill. Call and request for a COMPREHENSIVE water report. They will transfer you to the testing department where someone will take down your address. In 1-2 weeks, you'll get a 3-6-page report detailing all sorts of chemical breakdowns than you'll know what to do with. All the stuff we care about is usually in the first two pages.

Whatever they don't test for, you can request it. I am not sure if they are legally bound to oblige, but if you are anywhere near a big city where taxes are a-plenty :lol: then you'll have a little bit more leverage.

All this is free by the way. :biggrin:
 

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When the water comes out of the tap with a higher pH than it has upon standing, it probably means that the water company has dosed it with lime (Calcium hydroxide) to reduce how much it dissolves the pipes. When I was in Boston, in the late 60's they got their water from granite reservoirs and didn't add any lime. The pH out of the tap was around 6, and there was 5 ppm of copper, enough to be lethal for most tank inhabitants.

In central Mississippi, the water comes out of the tap with a pH of 8.3 and it rises to about 8.6 upon standing. This is due to a large amount of sodium bicarbonate in the water and almost nothing else. With my test kits, Ca, Mg, K, and PO4 are zero. All that sodium bicarbonate is not good for much, and it slows down the uptake of badly needed calcium into the water from limestone or snail shells. I prefer to work with rain water. Fortunately, it rains a lot here.
 

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I often wondered if there would be a potential algae problem from using rain water. Usually, people collect rain water as run off from a roof and collect it in a plastic barrel. There must be the potential for quite a lot of algae 'spores' to accumulate in that water. How do you treat it?

Andrew Cribb
 

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Portland, OR

TDS = 29 ppm
Hardness (as CaCO3) = 7.9 ppm
Alkalinity (as CaCO3) = 12 ppm

Now that's soft water!

See http://www.portlandonline.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=33093 (PDF) for the complete report.

pH is 7.9. The city adds "sodium hydroxide to increase the pH of the water to reduce corrosion of plumbing systems. This treatment helps control lead and copper levels at customers' taps should these metals be present in the customers' home plumbing."

Portland's primary water supply comes from the Bull Run Reserve, a forested watershed near Mt. Hood. The city occassionally mixes groundwater from several well fields when Bull Run supplies are low or are too turbid. The well water adds some hardness but not much. Much more info can be found at www.portlandonline.com/water.

Tim
 
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