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Thread: ottawa water

  1. #1
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    ottawa water

    Hey guys, first post but not first time here. I know that Ottawa has soft and clean water but I am having trouble reading the water report, anyone can help?

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    Ottawa has very hard water. My ph out of the tap is 8.2. I even use it right from the tap for top up when I am too lazy to make anymore RO. Never had a problem from that.
    Jason

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaden View Post
    Ottawa has very hard water. My ph out of the tap is 8.2. I even use it right from the tap for top up when I am too lazy to make anymore RO. Never had a problem from that.
    Jason
    pH doesn't determine hardness. That is based on the levels of calcium and magnisium in the water. Ottawa water is genreally 'soft' (at least, the within city water is). Here is a quote from the City of Ottawa web site FAQ about drinking water:

    Quote Originally Posted by City of Ottawa
    Dissolved calcium and magnesium make water "hard" when these substances are present in high concentrations. Ottawa’s central drinking water system is naturally soft with an average hardness of 55 milligrams per litre (mg/L). Because water softeners are not required until hardness exceeds 125 mg/L, softening devices are not required if you receive water from the City's central supply system.

    By contrast, in Eastern Ontario groundwater is typically hard (300-500 mg/L). Water softening units, also called ion exchangers, remove calcium and magnesium ions from water and replace them with sodium ions. A water softener requires the regular addition of salt to regenerate itself and work properly. This maintenance process can waste up to 1,300 litres (300 gallons) of water per month.

    While softened water is desirable for washing and helps prevent mineral deposits in appliances and hot water pipes, it is generally not recommended for drinking and cooking. This is due to its higher sodium content, decreased essential mineral content and potential for bacterial growth. If you are on a sodium-reduced diet, consult your Physician about the advisability of drinking water softened by ion exchange.
    BTW, the official data on Ottawa water lists the pH as between 8.4 and 8.8.

    One concern with using tap water is the luse by the city of choramine rather chlorine as a disinfection agent. Chloramine is a chemical combination of chlorine and ammonia. Adding it to the tank adds ammonia and chlorine is determinental to marine life and to your biofilter. It needs to be removed before adding to the tank. If you use tap water, you should use special chemicals to remove the chloramine. Just aerating the water, while effective at removing chlorine, does not work for chloramine.
    Nick

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishroids View Post
    Hey guys, first post but not first time here. I know that Ottawa has soft and clean water but I am having trouble reading the water report, anyone can help?
    Ottawa's water is very clean although mileage may vary depending on your specific house or neighbourhood. The values you see in the report don't take into consideration anything that could slip in between the source and your tap. The thing I would be most concerned with is copper, other than that your biggest concern is the chloramine and Amquel by Kordon is an excellent product for taking care of that. There are many people around that run their tanks successfully with nothing but tap water (with a treatment for chloramine of course).

    If you're setting up a new tank I'd probably recommend using RO/DI or distilled water to fill it initially, this is available at a lot of places and it will give you a good base to start with, your salt mix should get your parameters very close from there. For topoffs and small water changes you should be fine using tapwater treated with Amquel.

    Don't concern yourself about the pH or alkalinity (hardness) of the tap water, you won't ever be adding enough volume of tap water at once to cause a major pH swing. It's no different than adding pure RO/DI which will usually have a pH closer to 7 which is much too low, but we never add enough to change anything.

    I personally have an RO/DI unit, perhaps it does nothing more than let me sleep better at night knowing that even if something unexpected happens, my water will still be clean. As for RO/DI, the investment isn't really that huge. An Aquasafe or some other names are quite affordable. Don't let the sellers of these products fool you into thinking that you need to replace your filters every 6 months or so, this may be true if your water quality is terrible, but I can tell you first hand my Aquasafe unit has been running for 4 years now on the same set of filters athough I do flush the system out once every couple month or so. I've gone through 3 TDS meters cause I was convinced they were broken. After 4 years TDS is still zero, the water doesn't have any color or smell, there are no traces of any nutrients, etc, the only thing is production dropped from 75GPD or so (about average for a 100GPD unit) down to about 60GPD now. Bottom line is that you don't need to change them until you start to see a problem. TDS meters are cheap, and will give you a good general idea of when you really need to change the filters.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaden View Post
    I even use it right from the tap for top up when I am too lazy to make anymore RO. Never had a problem from that.
    Jason
    If you're too lazy to open a tap for RO water, you should probably get out of the hobby. Getting RO water is standard routine. Especially in comparison to the other responsibilities in maintaining a tank.
    120g AGA~145 lbs Haitian LR~DA Reef Keeper 2 Controller~Dual 14k 250 DE MH's~Dual Overflows~Dual 250w Jager Heaters~Dual 96W Actinics~30g Sump/Refugium~Mag 12 Return~140 lbs Reefgrade Caribsea Aragonite~BubbleKing 180 Skimmer~Phosban Reactor~GEO Kalk Reactor~Powerheads:MP40w/Seio 820/modified Powersweep 270 with Hydor rotating deflector~Digital lighting timer for moon/fuge lighting~7 stage RODI filtration~Quarantine: modified 12.5g Marineland Eclipse

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    Woah, Porcupine, after 20+ years of keeping marine aquariums, I can safely say that water out the tap here in Ottawa is not ever going to be a problem. Especially for top up. I run a heavily stocked sps system and have had no problems with color, growth or any kind of undesirable algea....EVER. So please, give me a break. As for Nick, thank you I was not aware of that. But what little Chloramine that gets into my tank has had no deliterious effect to date. But again thanks for the softness note.
    Jason

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    Pardon me, I just re-read my comment and noticed it looked a bit unpleasant. It's just when you said too lazy, it seemed to me like you were really slacking. :b15:
    120g AGA~145 lbs Haitian LR~DA Reef Keeper 2 Controller~Dual 14k 250 DE MH's~Dual Overflows~Dual 250w Jager Heaters~Dual 96W Actinics~30g Sump/Refugium~Mag 12 Return~140 lbs Reefgrade Caribsea Aragonite~BubbleKing 180 Skimmer~Phosban Reactor~GEO Kalk Reactor~Powerheads:MP40w/Seio 820/modified Powersweep 270 with Hydor rotating deflector~Digital lighting timer for moon/fuge lighting~7 stage RODI filtration~Quarantine: modified 12.5g Marineland Eclipse

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    I regularly test the tap water (Ottawa) with a TDS meter and it is usually in the 70-90ppm range, depending on season. This is much better than some of the big metro cities in the US like New York or Philadelphia for example. They are more in the range of 200-300ppm, and it tastes and smells BAD without other treatment.

    Whether the tap water in Ottawa contains copper will largely dependant on your building's supply piping I guess, but otherwise it is pretty clean to use for topoff for a fish-only system if you de-chlorinate it first. For a reef system, an RO/DI unit is a must since copper will kill invertebrates. An RO/DI unit costs $200-$300 and given the clean initial quality of tap water in Ottawa, the filters last quite a while. This is cheap compared to the cost of your expensive corals.
    If the authors of "Finding Nemo" knew anything about Clownfishes, Marlin would turn into a female and Nemo would become her new husband.

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