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lots of iron

Posted by love4daylilies z5MI (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 22, 05 at 6:25

I would like to get an aquarium for my daughter for Christmas however, we have an iron problem with our well water. A few years ago we tried one of the Sponge Bob tanks and tried guppies in it and had also tried 2 goldfish (these were seperate times trying). That tank was small enough that I brought water from my parents house that didn't have iron in it. We had nothing but problems with that tank and couldn't keep anything alive in it.
At my old house I had a 55 gallon tank and had no problems with it but I also had better water. The iron in our water stains things pretty quickly and changes color in the tub if the softener runs out of salt.
I have been searching on the internet for answers about iron in the water but I must not be searching the right as I haven't found anything. Is there something you can put in the water so it doesn't change color in the aquarium? I live in a small town and have not found any people that have been able to help me out.
I also read on the internet that if you have copper plumbing that is lethal to fish? When we built our house my husband insisted on copper as he hates the plastic pvc. Am I doomed not to have an aquarium? If I stuck to a 10 or 12 gallon tank I could bring water from my parents house to fill it.
Also are the acrylic tanks hard to clean and keep up? I have only had the glass tanks in the past other than this Sponge Bob one that was the biggest nightmare ever.
What type of water testing kit should I try to find to buy?
Thanks in advance!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: lots of iron

My self I like the "master test set" from Aquarium Pharmaceuticals(A.P.). It has everything you need to test while trying to establish the nitrogen cycle. I like it because the cost is reasonable, the color charts are easier to distinguish (IMO), it lasts up to 3 years. It claims on the bottles that it is only accurate after a year, but i think that is more of a precaution. If you close the bottles tightly, and store them in a cool dry spot they should last. As far as copper water supply plumbing killing fish, it is only possible if the water is very acidic and the plumbing is very, very old or the pipe is somehow leeching copper into the supply. If you suspect a problem with copper in your water supply then get a test kit for it. A.P. has one as do other brands. Since you have a watersoftener I suspect you have hard water so a GH/KH test wouldn't be a bad idea, though not necessary. If you have a bypass on the softener it is probably better to use non-softened water. The salt used to recharge the water softener also goes into your supply. Too much salt over a long period of time is proven harmful to aquarium fish. Potassium chloride is probably the way to go or by-pass the softener. Do you have a sediment filter before the water softener? If you do try to go to a 1 micron filter and see if it helps. I am not sure of the product used in rust removing in softener salts. I think it is some type of cleating agent, but I am not sure. Anyway research this to see if the rust removing ingredient is safe for aquarium fish.

RE: lots of iron /safe iron content

An iron test may be a good idea. <.3ppm is considered safe drinking water. I think <.2ppm is reccomended for aquariums. Also a "polishing filter" may help clear the water. Polishing filters come with micron filters or use D.E. (diatomaceous earth).

RE: lots of iron

A small reverse osmosis unit will solve your problem, use 90% RO water and 10 % regular water when you fill up the tank and refill evaporated water with RO water, that will keep the mineral content in safe levels. Copper piping doesnt leach enough copper to make it unsafe for the fish but invertabrates are the ones that do not tolerate copper.

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