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Thread: Well Water - Neutralizer (Calcite) to raise pH in Well Water - OK for Koi?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Well Water - Neutralizer (Calcite) to raise pH in Well Water - OK for Koi?

    Hello all,

    I am considering moving, and of course moving my wet pets with me after I build a new pond.

    One of the homes I am looking at has a well. The water parameters on the source water are below my post.

    The most concerning is the source pH of 6.45. I've come to find out that the water system that comes with the house has something called a "Neutralizer" in line that uses calcite to raise the pH to over 7.

    So my question is as follows - does anybody have any experience using a similar system and raising Koi? Is calcite safe to use to raise pH for koi? Pushing the limit a little bit, could this system be used for a flow through on a new pond?

    Thanks to those who can help!

    - Chris

    Water Analysis Report:

    Total Coliform Organisms/100 ml = <1
    Nitrate = 0.76 mg/L
    Nitrite = <0.05 mg/L
    pH = 6.45
    Color Units = <1
    Turbidity NTU = 0.48
    Chloride = 18 mg/l
    Manganese = < 0.05 mg/L
    Detergent = <0.10 mg/L
    Iron = 0.22 mg/L
    Odor Units = <1

  2. #2
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Davenport, Oklahoma
    If you were considering a true flow through system a simple well aerated Trickle Tower at the pond inlet might be all you want. It would deal with the Nitrate, degas the CO2, and thoroughly oxygenate the source water. A stable ph of 6.45 is very close to the mudponds used in most of Japan and not at all unsafe for Koi. The only time it would become an issue would be in the event of a power outage in which case you would need a generator to maintain flow and/or your biofiltration.

    As to the Calcite treatment, I can't think of any reason why that would be a problem. Find out details on the catalyst from the mfg to ensure you know the details, re-charge frequency, etc... Their testing should include guidance on discharge to waterways, wildlife hazards (if any) etc..., all of which they would be required by EPA regs to test for and have at their fingertips.
    Larry Iles

  3. #3
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Orlando, Florida
    To get an understanding of the water, you need the hardness and alkalinity measured. Also, what are the parameters after the water has been exposed to the air for a couple of hours? It is common for the pH of well water to rise significantly after being exposed to the air as a result of CO2 degassing. Mineral content can also change as oxygenation produces reactions that can precipitate various minerals.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Interesting. In doing some research, I've come across the concept of a Hydracharger.

    Does anybody have any experience using such a system to raise the pH?

  5. #5
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Davenport, Oklahoma
    No experience with it, but you may wish to check this out instead.
    ProblemWater.com - We fix Problem Water
    This unit is strictly for acid reduction while the hydrocharger unit is larger and aimed at Iron removal. Your iron level is very low and not really an issue.

    I mentioned earlier the possibility of a simple aerated Trickle Tower on the pond inlet. Either method should accomplish the same function so it really comes down to the dollars and cents of it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Home water treatment systems are typically for one of two reasons....better for human consumption or, and actually more prevelant (despite how the marketing sells them), for the home's pipes. Watersofteners as an example are marketed to make the water taste better, less scale on your dishes, less soap needed to do laundry, etc. But the original and best benefit is to keep scale from forming in the pipes, cutting down water flow. Likewise, I suspect, regardless of the marketing, the real benefit for the PH plus style systems is to reduce pipe deterioration from acidic water, especially in copper piping.

    Now, as mentioned, I would "suspect" that this would not actually be needed if the well water is aerated prior to being added to the pound. The CO2 in typical well water makes it tend to be on the acidic side (Carbonic Acid) and when the CO2 is off gassed, the Ph then typically rises (often higher then what we would prefer).
    The views presented are my personal views and not that of any organization that I may belong to unless otherwise specified. [email protected]

  7. #7
    Oyagoi kingkong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    If existing house with well has copper water pipes, eventually they will be replaced. Flow through system is great as long as you have a system to treat water before you dump it in the aquifer. The neutralizer sounds like a good name for a movie.

  8. #8
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Louisiana - KHA
    I agree with the others. Once the well water is aerated, the pH will rise.

    I've used well water for my ponds going on 21 years. The pH out of the tap is 7 but once it's aerated, the pH stays between 8.5 and 9.

    As long as the pH is stable, the koi will be fine.

    As Mike said, you really need to know the alkalinity and hardness as this plays a factor in the stability of the pH.

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