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New tank with high GH even though my water out of the tap is soft


DannyBWell
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I've tested my water out of my tap and it only measures between 0 to 25ppm I usually use wonder shells and equilibrium to harden the water. I have recently "restarted" my 75g aquarium after a couple years of it sitting empty I power washed and cleaned it and filled it with water from my tap and treated with fritz complete. The only things in the tank when I measured it was 2 medium sponge filters and 2 aqueon heaters otherwise it was an empty tank and it measured over 300 ppm. Very confused as to what could cause this I have 2 10g tanks and a 29g and none of them have this issue any ideas what this could be?

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2 hours ago, KBOzzie59 said:

Did you use any kind of soap/detergent when you power cleaned it? That's a miracle huge jump.  I'm sure you tested a couple times?  

No I just scrubbed with a magic eraser once it was filled with water and used that to get rid of the algae that was still stuck on to the glass. I tested multiple times over a couple days because I thought I had a bad test strip but it's the ones I've been using for months now and they've always been pretty accurate but everytime I retest it shows the same results. I am going to test with my API GH test kit tonight to triple check. I'm assuming it will resolve itself with water changes hopefully I'm not so much worried as I am curious as to why this happened.

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4 hours ago, KBOzzie59 said:

I'm curious as well.  Let us know what you find out.

So I figured it out. My 29g is right next to my 75g and when I started my 29g I used water from my bathroom with a 5 gallon bucket but when I set up my 75g I bought a 25ft faucet adapter because that's awesome for a 75g tank and I don't like killing my knees and back hauling the buckets. So I used that kit to fill my 75g and I tested it with my API kit it actually was at 200ppm not 300(was hard to tell the test strips go from 150 straight to 300 ppm). Then I tested water hot and cold from all my faucets and it turns out the kitchen sink faucet the one I used to fill the 75g has hard water and the rest have soft water. I live in a duplex and just got a new water softener so i can conclude one of two things either the pipes going to the kitchen sink are laced with minerals or my kitchen faucet is tied in with next doors  kitchen faucet and they don't fill their water softener with salt. So there is my answer I was happy I was able to figure it out. It's incredibly awesome by the way in the fact if I need soft water I have that available and if I need hard water I also have that readily available the best of both worlds haha.

Edited by DannyBWell
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I’m not a plumber but I do know that stuff can settle in your pipes if the water hasn’t been run in a while. So if you only use one faucet occasionally, the GH might be really high for the first minute you run it as the pipes flush out.

Our school system ran into this problem when testing for lead. They thought all of a sudden the drinking water had a dangerous amount of lead in it, when actually the person testing the water just forgot to let the water run like they were supposed to. When they let the water run for a bit, the water was totally fine. Which honestly is only slightly reassuring.

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1 hour ago, Hobbit said:

I’m not a plumber but I do know that stuff can settle in your pipes if the water hasn’t been run in a while. So if you only use one faucet occasionally, the GH might be really high for the first minute you run it as the pipes flush out.

Our school system ran into this problem when testing for lead. They thought all of a sudden the drinking water had a dangerous amount of lead in it, when actually the person testing the water just forgot to let the water run like they were supposed to. When they let the water run for a bit, the water was totally fine. Which honestly is only slightly reassuring.

Oh wow, it is very strange I'm not too bothered about it my plan for the tank was to have it filled with driftwood and have have java ferns, anubias, and val for a cichlid tank so the hardness will be perfect for them.

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21 hours ago, DannyBWell said:

So I figured it out. My 29g is right next to my 75g and when I started my 29g I used water from my bathroom with a 5 gallon bucket but when I set up my 75g I bought a 25ft faucet adapter because that's awesome for a 75g tank and I don't like killing my knees and back hauling the buckets. So I used that kit to fill my 75g and I tested it with my API kit it actually was at 200ppm not 300(was hard to tell the test strips go from 150 straight to 300 ppm). Then I tested water hot and cold from all my faucets and it turns out the kitchen sink faucet the one I used to fill the 75g has hard water and the rest have soft water. I live in a duplex and just got a new water softener so i can conclude one of two things either the pipes going to the kitchen sink are laced with minerals or my kitchen faucet is tied in with next doors  kitchen faucet and they don't fill their water softener with salt. So there is my answer I was happy I was able to figure it out. It's incredibly awesome by the way in the fact if I need soft water I have that available and if I need hard water I also have that readily available the best of both worlds haha.

Very impressive sleuthing. Bravo! 

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In regards to having softened water everywhere but the kitchen tap, that's actually a really common way to plumb softener systems.  Many people prefer to avoid drinking softened water due to sodium and taste preferences.  At our house all hot water is softened, and so is cold water everywhere but the kitchen sink.  My parents, on the other hand, soften everything.  I grew up drinking softened water and never noticed, but now that I usually drink unsoftened water I can taste the slight saltiness at their house.  Impressive that you figured out what was going on without prior knowledge about your plumbing system!

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1 hour ago, KaitieG said:

In regards to having softened water everywhere but the kitchen tap, that's actually a really common way to plumb softener systems.  Many people prefer to avoid drinking softened water due to sodium and taste preferences.  At our house all hot water is softened, and so is cold water everywhere but the kitchen sink.  My parents, on the other hand, soften everything.  I grew up drinking softened water and never noticed, but now that I usually drink unsoftened water I can taste the slight saltiness at their house.  Impressive that you figured out what was going on without prior knowledge about your plumbing system!

I bet that is it then! I've never heard that before I would ask my landlord but I don't think he would know. I've been here for 15 years and guess I've never noticed.

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