Sanity check on spring water ICP results - what is acceptable for source water?

eag

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I have access to a freshwater spring, and am curious about the viability of the water for use in a reef tank. Using water from the spring is easiest... I'd say buying distilled water is 2nd easiest... So, what I'm really wondering is how suitable is the spring water, and how might it compare to Kroger brand distilled water?

The latter, for the record, tests between 1-2ppm on a TDS meter. I haven't sent any for ICP (probably varies from jug to jug?), but I have asked Kroger for their test results... We will see.

Here are the results when sampled directly at the spring box.

Screenshot_20200709-171809.png


The levels all seem to be below that of NSW. The only two that caught my eye were copper and silicon. On the former, my research says it should be low enough to not cause a problem? And on the latter, it doesn't seem to be something anyone cares about unless you're having a diatom outbreak... Does this sound right?

What would be the impact of using this source water in the long run? And what about just in a pinch? The tank is small - 7 gallons, and will have a ~30% water change weekly.

How do you all think these results would compare to store-bought distilled water?

Finally, here are the results of the same water but from a faucet in the house. Looks to me like copper is way too high... What about some of the other metals?

Screenshot_20200709-171822.png


Thanks in advance for the help everyone!
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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I do not have confidence in this company. But taking the values as accurate, the copper is too high, IMO. If it is real, it may be from your own piping.

Values such as uranium are not to be believed. :(
 
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eag

eag

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I do not have confidence in this company

I learned this after having ordered the test :-/ is there one that you'd recommend? Or maybe that's against the rules

But taking the values as accurate, the copper is too high, IMO.

Oh, hmm... I read this post on RC earlier today which led me to believe that 0.001ppm should be ok. Is the problem that it would build over time?

Also, how might this level compare to store bought distilled? Is copper generally a worry there?

If it is real, it may be from your own piping.

The copper level taken from the kitchen faucet is 60x higher than that of the spring box. There is copper piping in the house, and I believe the silver and tin are from the solder.

Values such as uranium are not to be believed.

Heh I did find this weird, especially in that such a high concentration was found inside when compared to immeasurable at the source. That said, I do think that uranium contamination has been detected in the water table in this region (middle Tennessee).

I will send samples to another testing company and compare.

Average spring water tds runs between 150-200 tds at the source

I tested some faucet water from a bathroom near the tank with my TDS meter and it read either 40 or 60... I don't remember which, but do remember being surprised. Maybe I should try again.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I learned this after having ordered the test :-/ is there one that you'd recommend? Or maybe that's against the rules

I do not have reason to be concerned about any other particular company, but that does not mean they are all accurate.


Also, how might this level compare to store bought distilled? Is copper generally a worry there?



The copper level taken from the kitchen faucet is 60x higher than that of the spring box. There is copper piping in the house, and I believe the silver and tin are from the solder.

It is the faucet water I was talking about (63 ppb). The other one (1 ppb) is likely at the limit of detection (it is for triton) and may just be test error.
 
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eag

eag

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I do not have reason to be concerned about any other particular company, but that does not mean they are all accurate.

Ok. I will order a different test and compare.

The other one (1 ppb) is likely at the limit of detection (it is for triton) and may just be test error.

Good to know.

For my own edification... If we assume that the test results are accurate, am I correct in asserting that the water from the spring box is suitable for use as source water in reef aquaria without further conditioning or filtration?

If you had to choose between this spring water (again, assuming the test is accurate) and Kroger brand distilled water, which would you choose? I personally worry about variability and quality control in the latter...
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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The silicate in the spring water is pretty high and will likely drive diatoms. That may or may not be an issue, but topping off with that water will be an ongoing substantial source, more than I dosed.

I dosed about 200 ug/L of silicate once a week or so.

If you top off 2% daily, you will be boosting silicate about 200 ug/L daily.

It otherwise is likely OK, but certainly has more of many elements than distilled water (potassium. calcium, magnesium, sulfate, etc.).
 

Timfish

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Here's an ATI's ICP test results for local tap water and a video of a mixed reef that's been maintained for over a decade with it. Water is sourced from a local reservoir

Tap water results
ATI 90 PBD Tap 04-06-19.jpg


System results
ATI 90 PBD Tank.jpg


 
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eag

eag

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The silicate in the spring water is pretty high and will likely drive diatoms. That may or may not be an issue, but topping off with that water will be an ongoing substantial source, more than I dosed.

Oh, yes that is a great point. Maybe I can use distilled for top off and spring water for WCs. Does that sound reasonable?

Here's an ATI's ICP test results for local tap water and a video of a mixed reef that's been maintained for over a decade with it. Water is sourced from a local reservoir

Thanks for sharing this! Having the reference point is super useful
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Oh, yes that is a great point. Maybe I can use distilled for top off and spring water for WCs. Does that sound reasonable?



Thanks for sharing this! Having the reference point is super useful

Depends on how often and what size you do water changes.

The good thing is you can always stop using it if diatoms are too much of an issue.
 
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eag

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MotorCityCorals

BruceLeeroy

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Yeah honestly the ATO is where you want to avoid water that has anything in it... for every gallon of water you add in a change you are taking one out... it’s really only evaporation replacement that has cumulative effects.
 

Timfish

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I forgot to add this link to my post of Richard Ross' Skeptical Reefkeeping 12 of a ICP-OES test of a saltwater standard. I certainly see ICP testing as an improvement of our testing options but as others have pointed out it's not without some limitations or qualifications.

Also, the biggest issue I've had with the system in my first post since I took over maintenance of it in 2007 was lack of overall coral growth due to "presumed ditripenes" or growth inhibitors from the Sinularia foliata in the system. (Sinularia foliata is one fo the green Palau Sinularia spp. see Ofwegan 2008.) From 2007 until 2015 S. foliata was the dominate species with an estimated 50% to 70% of the coral biomass total. In 2015 the majority was removed so it comprised less than an estimated 20%. After reduction overall growth was noticably improved.
 

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