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Thread: White specs/particles in aging barrel

  1. #1
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    Unhappy White specs/particles in aging barrel

    Hey all,

    So this is new over the past few weeks. I am getting some kind of white specs/particles build up in my aging barrel. It accumulates and settles to the bottom over time. After 3-4 fills over the course of a couple weeks, there is a noticeable layer at the bottom. Here are the details.

    1. Emergency Essentials 55 Gallon Water Barrel (https://www.walmart.com/ip/Emergency...arrel/48735101).
    2. Fill with cold water only. I never put any Prime or other conditioners in the aging barrel.
    3. Heater, airstone and thermometer are only things in it. Temp is ~86.
    4. Even after rinsing & wiping barrel, the particles still appear after 3-4 fills.
    5. After filling with cold water, water is crystal clear. After aging for 12-16 hours, water is cloudy. Particles are not really visible until after a number of fills.
    6. Particles are noticeable in tank when I do a water change, and accumulate on the prefilters after about an hour, at which points I rinse them out.

    I use water straight from a tap for a 10g snail tank and have not noticed any particles or build up on that prefilter.

    I am wondering if this is a kind of algae bloom.

    I am also not sure if there is a certain way I should be cleaning the water barrel. I cannot reach the bottom, so I use a high pressure shower head spout to clean the bottom, holding it at an angle in the bathtub so the water immediately drains out.

    Thoughts?

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    Default Re: White specs/particles in aging barrel

    So, I pulled the airstone out of the aging barrel and put it in the snail tank for the time being. After a few hours, I noticed some of the white particles. Do airstones deteriorate that quickly? Could there be something wrong with the pump that it is releasing particles into the tubes? I have only recently started using them. Not certain this is the issue, but it is a start.

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    Default Re: White specs/particles in aging barrel

    Just closing the loop on this for anyone else that encounters this problem. I emptied and cleaned the aging barrel, refilled, and pulled the airstone of the tubing. The tube is just in the water open ended. No white particles. I had 2 different airstones in there and they were both leaching/dissolving white particles. Not sure why. I just have a chear airpump. These were the standard bluish/purplish stones.

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    Default Re: White specs/particles in aging barrel

    Scratch that. After about 48hrs, the water in the barrel is getting cloudy and white particles can be seen floating on the surface. I am up for any thoughts on this.

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    Default Re: White specs/particles in aging barrel

    could be calcium in your water.
    God is the artist, he merely allows me to see and capture his work . http://davesphotography7055.zenfolio.com/ coupon code: angelfish
    some of my work accepted by Pentax (the camera bodies I use): http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/davidgray

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    Default Re: White specs/particles in aging barrel

    Ok, so I called my city's water quality lab because I read on their site that it might be calcium carbonate. It is, in fact, not calcium carbonate, but rather alum, potassium aluminum sulfate, a chemical that is added to the water to remove dirt buildup. I live near lake erie and with seasonal algae blooms affecting our drinking water, the city combats this by increasing the amount of alum in the water. This explains both why this suddenly starting happening in the past few months when I had not changed anything, and also why it builds up over time (the alum clings to dirt and materializes in the water as white crystals over time).

    So, now that I know what it is, a rather harmless chemical that also contains clumps of dirt (yay!), I am wondering what to do about it. Eventually the city will lower the dosage back to normal, but that could be another few months. I don't like the idea of using water that will build up with clumps of dirt over time. In the meantime, I have water changes to do. My filters do not seem to be catching it all. I have prefilters on all the intakes and they catch some of the particles, but not all of them.

    Any thoughts, aside from praying and waiting?

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    Default Re: White specs/particles in aging barrel

    Why not filter the water before it enters your aging barrel?

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    Default Re: White specs/particles in aging barrel

    The water is crystal clear when I fill it. The alum bonds to the dirt over time to form the white particles, so there is nothing to filter out when I fill the barrel.

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    Default Re: White specs/particles in aging barrel

    Quote Originally Posted by Lionheart View Post
    Ok, so I called my city's water quality lab because I read on their site that it might be calcium carbonate. It is, in fact, not calcium carbonate, but rather alum, potassium aluminum sulfate, a chemical that is added to the water to remove dirt buildup. I live near lake erie and with seasonal algae blooms affecting our drinking water, the city combats this by increasing the amount of alum in the water. This explains both why this suddenly starting happening in the past few months when I had not changed anything, and also why it builds up over time (the alum clings to dirt and materializes in the water as white crystals over time).

    So, now that I know what it is, a rather harmless chemical that also contains clumps of dirt (yay!), I am wondering what to do about it. Eventually the city will lower the dosage back to normal, but that could be another few months. I don't like the idea of using water that will build up with clumps of dirt over time. In the meantime, I have water changes to do. My filters do not seem to be catching it all. I have prefilters on all the intakes and they catch some of the particles, but not all of them.

    Any thoughts, aside from praying and waiting?
    Get an inline filter so that the water going into the aging barrel doesn't have the Potassium Aluminum Sulfate. You would have to use a filter that won't allow the clumps to go through so either some sort of sand filter, a paper filter, or a solid carbon block filter (your best choice).
    God is the artist, he merely allows me to see and capture his work . http://davesphotography7055.zenfolio.com/ coupon code: angelfish
    some of my work accepted by Pentax (the camera bodies I use): http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/davidgray

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    Default Re: White specs/particles in aging barrel

    There are no particles in the water as it comes out of the tap. They form over time, over the course of the a few days.

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    Default Re: White specs/particles in aging barrel

    A filter that removes the KAl(SO4)2 before it reaches your aging barrel would eliminate this build up from occurring. A carbon and sediment filter may be all that is needed to correct this. A chemist would be able to verify that a carbon filter will remove KAl(SO4)2 from your H2O supply.

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