Hard Water looses 130 PPM!

I have well water that regularly reads as 275-300 PPM, PH 7.5, mS/cm 0.36. I have had problems using water that starts out so hard. My girls do not like it. So, I started taking water from a stream that runs through my property. The stream water is PPM 110 (or less), PH 7.2, mS/cm 0.18. Because winter is coming I recently decided to see what would happen if I PH balanced my well water to 6.0 (General Hydroponics PH Down) and oxygenated it with a fish tank bubbler stone. What happened amazed me. Perhaps a knowledgeable science person out there can explain this. After 24 hours of the bubbler there was slimy sediment on the bubbler stone and a white sediment at the bottom of my 5 gallon pail. I poured off the water and kept the sediment separately. The PH had gone back up to PH 7.2 so I rebalanced it back down to PH 6.0 and then put the bubbler back in it for another 24 hours. Same thing happened. The PPM were now down to 140! The PH had gone back to 6.8 so I rebalanced it back to PH 6.0. I hesitated but decided to pick one plant and I fed it with the new well water for the past month. Everything is AOK. I tried the same method with another 5 gallons of well water and this time I used vinegar to lower the PH. I did not get the same results. So, I tried again with another 5 gallons of well water but using the General Hydroponics PH Down again. Again I go lots of precipitate and the PPM went from 280 down to 145. Holy cow, I am able to lower the PPM with a low tech approach of PH Down and a fish tank bubbler. Has anyone ever heard of this? I did try a reverse osmosis filter last winter but I did not like throwing away so much water. What do you all think of this?


The slime makes me think your growing some sort of bacteria ect that could be feeding on the nutrients in the water. I’m not sure how the sediment is affecting the ppm, the minerals ect I would expect to be dissolved and not sink to the bottom unless there is some sort of reaction happening. Maybe @TheMadFlascher would have a better idea of what’s going on


Following just because.

RO was the only way to fix my floating ph issue. I’d have the same problem. Adjust down and it would just raise over time. I do know a couple of people that use the waste and RO from a filter with the thought process that they are still running through a couple of filters.

My airstones also get “slimy” after a while. I soak and clean them every couple of weeks and haven’t had any negative issues caused by it yet.

What kind of PH meter are you using? I just had the conversation of the importance of a quality meter. I upgraded to find my old meter was way off!


Hey faf !
Just logged on and read of your issue… First things first…you are seeing your ppms drop because of the precipitation of ‘something’ in your mix…

Ultimatly what you are going to find is you are MUCH BETTER off with using R/O water for both your irrigation and nutrient mixes… I understand your interest in using "stream’ water as it appears ‘softer’ than your well water…

There is a potential hidden hazard using the stream water…you have no idea of what’s in the stream water as far as the disolved salts, there may be sodium, boron, or even ‘organic solvents’ dissolved in the stream water. Because the stream water is essentially ‘run off’ water you also have the good possibility that there are pathogenic fungi/bacteria you would be introducing to your media.

Anyway, I do wish you luck with it…it may just as well be OK but you are ‘flipping’ the coin…
Honestly, most growers will start with available water and after fighting various associated issues just break down and purchase a good R/O or even DI water systems to end the agony !

I believe that @dunbar has traveled the same path and may be able to offer you a rec on specific systems…His point is also WELL TAKEN to purchase a good pH/EC meter…You spend all this money setting up equipment and buying quality seeds…but can’t spend $50 on a pH meter???
Buying a $15 pH meter is equivalent to using a florescent light in your grow !!