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Rain Water Usage

Discussion in 'Water Maintainence' started by alorindanya12, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. alorindanya12

    alorindanya12 Active Member

    Sep 25, 2015
    Kissimmee, FL
    I live in Florida where it rains rather frequently. Recently I gathered 5 gallons of water during a day where it just didn't stop raining. I'm not finding much info on what to do to rain water before I try to use it to refill my tank after I siphon out the substrait.

    It did come partially off the roof, but again, it had been raining for over an hour before I decided to stick pitchers out in the rain to collect the water.

    And, I am also confused on the difference between API Stess Coat Water Conditioner and Tetra Aquasafe. Do they both do the same thing?

  2. Virginia ranchu

    Virginia ranchu Professional Breeder

    Dec 20, 2008
    Arlington, Virginia
    Straight rainwater is very soft (low in dissolved minerals) and acidic. It is perfect for some tropical fish, but probably not ideal for goldfish in an aquarium, especially if they are used to your tap water. You can use it to top off your tanks or ponds if you are trying to save water, but I wouldn't use it for a 100% water change. I would recommend using Seachem's Prime over the other two products. Prime treats chlorine and chloramines and neutralizes ammonia. The other products do not specifically neutralize ammonia, and they also contain aloe vera which isn't necessary.


    Jlaw03 likes this.
  3. Cincy Ranchu

    Cincy Ranchu Professional Breeder

    Dec 20, 2008
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Rob has this correct, but if you are really interested in this water, try adding a tablespoon of Arm & Hammer baking soda per ten gallons of water before using it with goldfish. The baking soda increases alkalinity which is necessary for nitrification. The increased alkanity also provides buffering capacity, which slows pH drop
  4. Fishheadz

    Fishheadz Well-Known Member

    Jul 31, 2014
    Moffat, CO.
    As a professional roofer of 25 years, nearly ALL roofing products contain petrochemicals.
  5. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    Orlando FL
    I assume your tap water comes from the Floridan aquifer which has high GH and KH and will maintain it's pH even when you add quite a bit of rainwater. During August and September 2015, when the rain would not stop, I think my ponds were about 50% rain water. I have tried to lower the pH for the benefit of my plants in an aquaponics system and can't do it. I don't know how large your tank is or how much water you are changing, but if you have at least 50% tap water in the tank, you should be fine.

    As Virginia Ranchu pointed out, straight rainwater would not be suitable for your fish. And definitely use Prime, which is not only better but also cheaper. Look at the gallons treated when you compare prices.

    Run off from the roof sounds bad and many people warn against it, but I have yet to see someone say they used water from the rain barrels in their pond and the fish got sick. In FL, if your roof is more than a few years old, it will have a biofilm coating between the roof surface and the rainwater. This biofilm is the (usually) black scum that the pressure-washing guys call "mold," and you know it doesn't come off easily.

    If you worry about chemicals from the roof, you can run the collected water through a filter with activated charcoal/carbon before using it to remove any petrochemicals.
    Fishheadz likes this.
  6. *Ci*

    *Ci* Goldie Guru

    Mar 15, 2009
    BC, Canada
    For many years in my old house I used rainwater collected in a cistern for all my ponds and tanks. This was from a asphalt singled roof then switched to metal. The 10,000g cistern acted as a giant settling chamber for debris and the water I pumped out was clean. I never had a problem with this water.
    I would add baking soda to get my targeted PH, but also Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Sulphate (Epsom) which raise the GH and are important, IMO, for good fish and plant growth.
    Fishheadz likes this.

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