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Water Quality


Guest Rod

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  • Regular Member

Is this a recent thing? Have you been keeping fish in this water? How did you find out your water has iron in it and how much? What kind of piping do you have? I would contact the water authority and ask for an expl.

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  • Regular Member

Many people raise goldfish in water that has higher iron content. I have gotten fish from local breeders that have an iron content so high you can almost walk on the water! The fish are fine - in fact most of them have constitutions not unlike the iron! Maybe this is because the weak do not survive. I do not know. But the fish are healthy and breeding.

I have amazingly high iron content in my water - along with some other nasties from the well. I cut the water with RO - 1 part well to 2 parts RO. This takes the iron, sulpher and other inclusions down to reasonable levels.

Still other people I know use water that has had the iron removed through the water softener. They use the iron removal salt pellets. Water that has been softened with ion exchange will be VERY high in kH, but have a very low gH. You should consider mixing softened water with your regular tap water to raise the gH or by adding back the minerals and such you want with a product similar to Kent's RO Right.....

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I have high mineral content, including iron, in my water, as well. I use Prime as a water conditioner since it is supposed to bind heavy metals. Since I started using Prime, my fish have been much healthier. I don't know if that is the reason, or if I have just improved my fishkeeping skills, but I thought I would mention it :)

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Iron in drinking water is classified as a "secondary" contaminant by the Environmental Protection Agency. They have set a limit of 0.3 ppm as a "secondary" standard. This means that if the level of iron gets higher than that, it will likely cause some nuisance (as opposed to health) effects. In the case of iron, this could be taste or odor in the water, staining of laundry, etc. Based on this, I wouldn't think that high iron in your aquarium water would be especially harmful (although you don't say how high your level is).

Do you get water from a well? If so, I have seen cases in which iron from shallow aquifers (subsurface water bearing zones) is pumped out in an anaerobic condition (zero dissolved oxygen). That usually happens when wells are located near swamps or (heaven forbid) contaminated by nearby septics. In these cases, the iron is in a reduced state (Fe+2, or ferrous iron). On contact with air, the iron is oxidized to Fe+3, or ferric iron. This is the more common and stable form, and is removable, as Daryl suggests, by the use of water softeners, or other cation exchange processes.

The reason I mention this is that ferrous iron is much more soluble in water than ferric iron, and often forms a precipitate on exposure to air. You don't want that happening in your aquarium. Otherwise, iron can be a pain in the butt, but isn't very toxic.

If you know what your iron level is, please let us know. If you happen to know your total dissolved solids level (from a water lab test), please let us know that as well.

Dennis

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