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Saint Paul water

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Post Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:46 pm
Mikaila31 Level 4 Member
Level 4 Member

Posts: 222
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Curious if anyone here does high tech planted tanks in or around saint paul. My tap water is 130-150 TDS(currently 150) pH is 7.0-8.8(7.0 currently) typically higher end but their has been a lot of road construction around me and pretty sure they were doing work on some of the mains during that time. I live near white bear and 10th/minnehaha. I've been in this area for 4-5 years now. I originally did high tech planted tanks in WI with huge success. However the water over there was much more nutrient rich and allowed me to be fairly lazy about fertilizers. This alone might be my problem. I just have never been able to grow plants as well with city water as I did in WI on a well or agricultural polluted city water. My tap water is really soft and even dosing EI dry fertilizers nothing is 'really' happy. Soil tanks have given me the most success so far in Saint Paul. My fish also act really stressed after a water change 25-50%, been doing smaller these days to try to avoid the stress behavior. Its usually immediately after I start refilling a tank and last for 30-60min even double dosing Prime. I'm looking to upgrade and replace a tank soon for a soil based 125g, build a good LED light for it along with EI fertilizers. I'm curious what others living around me do for keeping their planted tanks and their success rate.

Post Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:29 am
Passionfish Level 20 Member
Level 20 Member

Posts: 11942
Location: apple valley, mn
Since no one else is answering I will give it a shot. Saint Paul and perhaps White Bear have old lead pipes in some neighborhoods. If water pH is 8 or greater, lead will not leach into the water.
Saint Paul waterworks can draw from wells (pH 8 and hard 300 ppt at least half is calcium) or surface water where pH is close to 7. Or mixed water to residents. Surface water is likely to leach lead if pH is left at 7. Therefore water works treats water with sodium hydroxide to raise pH to 8 or greater in neighborhoods with lead pipes. Once this water reaches a home, sodium hydroxide breaks down and pH drops to whatever buffer system is in water. For well water, buffer is carbonate and pH is about 8. If surface water, there may not be a buffer present and pH falls to 7. Water works definitely adds sodium hydroxide to water for area around Saint Katherine College. Newer areas of Saint Paul would not have lead pipe delivering water and sodium hydroxide may not be added to sourced surface water.

pH 7 is good for plants and if adequate light, many plants will grow without issue.
Other plants simply require CO2 in an aquarium and high output lighting with correct wavelength for photosynthesis.

Based on your post, it seems the light intensity is not high enough. Perhaps it is time to change fluorescent tubes.
Fertilizer is important. Dose once per week following a 50% water change.

If you have attempted these suggestions, then attend MAS meeting and speak to a true plant guru.
Like a complete unknown

Post Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:31 pm
twinsfan Level 3 Member
Level 3 Member

Posts: 51
I used to live in St Paul and kept a low tech planted tank. Potting soil capped with play sand. I don't remember what my water was at, but I do remember it was soft out of the tap. I've bought plants from you before and I didn't live that far from you so I would assume we were basically on the same water. St Paul draws it's water from the Mississippi and it's usually a lot softer than most of the surrounding community from my anecdotal experience. My plant growth was steady, but slow. However, I always attributed it to me having a low tech setup.

My fish occasionally stressed in the winter from micro bubbles in the water. I would set the water out a few hours before I wanted to do a water change from time to time. I'm not sure if that's what you're experiencing. I've also seen on Facebook that some Eastside St Paul people were commenting on higher than normal ammonia levels out of the tap this past fall. Right around the time you posted.

I never had prolonged problems with the water. In general, I added water straight from the tap to my tank and then dosed Prime.


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