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People regularly post on this site statements like “To find the level of Calcium and Magnesium in your tap water ask your water company for an analysis of your water.”

OK I’ve checked with my water company and even talked to the guy who runs it and he gave me the report in person. He gave me the same report that is posted on the company’s internet site. The report only contains those items required by the US EPA to be checked and reported. It includes a long list of possible contaminants like lead, arsenic, gross alpha emissions, nitrates etc. but things like calcium and magnesium (which are considered normal constituents of drinking water) are not included. In fact, even total hardness is not a requirement and my water company only reports it as a courtesy to its users.

OK is my company unique? I’m looking for anyone who has actually checked with and gotten a written report from their water company. Is there anything on your water company’s report that is useful?
 

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I'm lucky because my water company reports the range of values for both calcium and magnesium, but I have looked at water reports for many other cities and a lot of them don't report anything not required by law. If your water company does report it that is a good source of information, if not, then you have to test it yourself.
 

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I was looking for my water report, and finally found it. I live in Cambridge, Ma and they list all the goodies. I have a few questions about the trace elements:

Calcium 21.8ppm
Magnesium 4.56ppm
Chromium .003ppm
Copper .002ppm
Iron .02ppm
Manganese .038ppm
Nitrate (as Nitrogen) .052ppm

Anything i need to look out for when dosing EI for a 26 gallon bowfront?
How are those general trace stats?
I remember reading about Flouride in water and fish tanks... there is 1ppm of Flouride also, that ok?

It also says Alkalinity (as CaCO3) 35ppm. What does that mean (CaCO3)?
 

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I don't see anything wrong with your water, based on that report. You can divide the ppm of calcium and magnesium by 20 and get close enough to the GH in degrees of hardness to see if it is ok. So you have about 1 degree of GH - I would plan on adding a couple more degrees of GH using Seachem Equilibrium or other GH booster at every water change. Alkalinity is the same as KH, so you have about 1 1/2 degrees of KH, which is fine. (It doesn't matter that dividing by 20 isn't accurate, it is accurate enough for this.)

The fluoride isn't a problem. Most city water systems add fluoride, so most of us have that without problems.
 

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SteveD: You must be on the MWRA water system as those values are close to what I have in Framingham. Very soft water - great tetra material.

The alkalinity is your KH value.CaCO3 is how they represent it as calcium carbonate. Cambridge must be adding something to boost that value as my water is less than 1 dKH. Typically they raise that value to prevent pipe corrosion. Some towns add phoshate which is bad news - like Ashland. Glad I moved from there - bad water problems; they weren't on the MWRA system.

You would divide by 17.8 for German degrees of hardness.

Another way of obtaining even more information is if you can get a water treatment company that does work for a business in your town/city. Typically they do a very comprehensive analysis when doing cooling tower and boiler water treatment programs. I used to work in the town I live in (too bad they closed down) and ran the water treatment for several cooling towers and the boilers. I'd get an analysis every year.

Testing isn't that expensive for water.
 

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Actually it says the hardness is 54 ppm, which is fairly accurate with my 2 test kits. TDS of 310. I knew alkalinity was KH, wasn't sure if the CaCO3 was come kind of addative to prevent pipe corosion. Is a TDS of 310 considered low dissolved solids?
 

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That's probably Total Hardness.
 

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0.01, uS ion exchanger
0.1 uS, distilled water
1 uS, RO (reverse osmosis)

100 uS discus fish breeding, low
330 uS lake Ontario tap, medium
800 uS very hard water, high
Hey Edward! On my TDS meter I have a choice of several types of uS readings "KCl", "442" and "NaCl". I figured that NaCl won't be applicable to freshwater planted tank, which of the other two would be best, as I get slightly different readings for each?
 
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