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Old 12-27-2009, 01:28 AM   #1
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Thumbs down Soft, alkaline water--please help

Help... I have a 7 gal and 29 gal freshwater tank and I'd like to keep fish alive in there. I have been keeping guppies with some success in the small tank; inherited the big one and had to start over with cycling it. It's cycled (but still high in nitrates...).I've got a few lamplight tetras and black phantoms in that one, also an upside down catfish and small golden killifish. I am doing 20% water changes every 3 days hoping to lower the nitrates.

Tell me if that's wrong. (One of the new phantoms died; others seem OK after a week). Fake plants and small river gravel, one live philodendron (I find those stay healthy for a few weeks and I've got plenty to replenish them with).

MY QUESTION: What kind of fish will thrive in very soft, alkaline water? I have a water softener and a reverse osmosis systemt. The water softener is stupidly hooked up to the whole system (including outdoor faucets that I water my garden with!). There is one outdoor faucet that is only softened, not RO.... So, I have a choice between these two sources:

Tap/RO/soft water: pH 8.0 or 8.2 , less than 1 GH, KH 6.5.
Outside faucet (softened): pH 7.5, 9.5 GH, 5.5 KH.

Are there interesting fish can I keep (either colorful or interesting or preferably both!) can I keep with such unnatural water parameters? Or is there a way I can safely harden the water? It is not easy to use the bypass valve for the water softener... hard to press and seems like it could break. And then I'll forget to turn it back on... So I'd rather not.

Ideas??? I'd love to have a tank full of fancy guppies, frankly but there are no pretty ones at pet shops around here. Fugly yellow ones, and black/white that are supposed to be "blue deltas"... I'd love Endlers but I think they like hard water. Any cichlids that will like my water? Anything at all???
Thanks!

Sue
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:39 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard Sue. Moving this thread to the FW forums for more answers. This forum is for saying Hi. Again Welcome to AA.
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:33 AM   #3
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Thanks for moving me to the right place, Mike. I hope I can get some advice to ensure my fish stay healthy.
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:39 AM   #4
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What kind of R/O are you using? It is very strange to see R/O that has no GH but highish KH. Also, that KH does not jive with the pH .... Something is wrong. Is the R/O broken? <R/O should make low KH & GH water.>

Also, even your "softened" water isn't quite right. You should have no GH after softening.

Do you have any idea what the pre-treated water is like (perhaps tests from your water co?) Looking at those number, I would suggest that the outside tap is untreated water, and your inside tap is softened, but no R/O unit is in use.
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Old 12-27-2009, 01:49 PM   #5
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I don't think an Ro unit could put out enough water to be run off a tap like your sink or outside faucet. jsoong is correct softwater and high alk is an Oxymoron. You would either have softwater and low alk.
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:33 PM   #6
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OK, sorry gang...I am going to retest everything. You're right ---I should not have said RO. I have an RO and it's working but that water comes from a tiny dispenser at the sink... I do believe, though, that it is ALL softened. Got a sample from my neighbors to compare (they don't have a softener). We have a community well.
'm going to test 3 different water sources and report back. Thanks!
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:35 PM   #7
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Newbie here with similar problem. Just got my daughter a 5 gal tank and couldn't get the pH down below 7.8. Only 10-14 days into cycling and high nitrites too. Did a 25% water change yesterday and today with no change in test strip parameters so I checked the water from my tap and it is very soft and alkaline at 7.8. We have well water which is treated with water softener. Any suggestions?
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sami View Post
Newbie here with similar problem. Just got my daughter a 5 gal tank and couldn't get the pH down below 7.8. Only 10-14 days into cycling and high nitrites too. Did a 25% water change yesterday and today with no change in test strip parameters so I checked the water from my tap and it is very soft and alkaline at 7.8. We have well water which is treated with water softener. Any suggestions?
Sami, I am going to reply to your own thread ... In future, please don't muddle the water by posting the same thread in multiple places ... It gets verymessy & difficult to follow very quick.
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