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Old 03-16-2005, 05:20 PM   #1
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water softener

I just had a water softener installed in my house and now realise that there is no bypass valve to get hard water... My ? is... Is it Ok to use soft water in the fish tank.... It is also planted..?

thanks
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Old 03-16-2005, 06:57 PM   #2
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What fish are in it? Many fish prefer soft water but some do require harder water.
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:48 PM   #3
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it's a 20 gal with 4 tiger barbs, 2 rosy barbs, 1 ruby shark, 2 ottos, 1 pleco, 1 algae eater, and 4 corys
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:56 PM   #4
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A water softner just replaces the hard water ions (usually Calcium carbonate & magnesium) with regular salt (sodium chloride). If you have outside faucets they are probably not on the water softner but it would be good to check.

I wouldn't use water softened water (if you have hard water normally) to add to your fish tanks (as it evaporates your salt levels will go up & up). I'm pretty sure your ottos at least would be very unhappy & probably your other fish too.

It will also mean that your water won't be basic (I believe a saline solution is actually a bit acidic) & you will loose your buffering capacity.
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Old 03-16-2005, 11:01 PM   #5
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Thanks fo the quick reply.. I checked and can bypass the softener and get filtered hard water. Just have to run it long enough to remove all the softened water from the filter..

Thanks again..
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:48 PM   #6
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I have a water softner and never have had any problems keeping my fish healthy. I would think the biggest problem for you would be, the fish getting use to the change in the water... Couldn't tell ya about otto's...never have had any yet... I have only had trouble with angels and glassfish...and I think that was stress from the move from the lfs to their new home... Otherwise I have some barbs, catfish, pleco, and algae eaters that all do fine in my water...
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Old 03-17-2005, 11:40 PM   #7
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Just out of curiousity fishplay, does your pH stay stable when you use just your softened water & do you have any rocks (like limestone) that would be adding buffering capacity to your water in your aquarium?

I am not an expert but I would think that softened water would not be very stable pH wise unless you add buffers from the lfs.

Perhaps Malkore weigh in. I am sure he knows.
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Old 03-18-2005, 11:24 AM   #8
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It stays the same..actually..I think it runs something like 8.6 most of the time(don't quote me on that, haven't checked it in a long time).... I do have limestone in with my aficans....
I hardley ever check my water anymore, unless something going on (sick fish,etc.)
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Old 03-18-2005, 05:23 PM   #9
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Since the Softener only exchanges the Ca++ & Mg++ for Na+, the total osmolar load is unchanged. There is no change in the carbonate levels, so the pH is not changed, nor is the buffering capacity (KH). So, pH stability is not a problem.

This is in contrast to RO water, where both the anions & cations are removed. RO water has no KH & you have to add buffering salts to maintain pH stability.
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Old 03-21-2005, 11:10 AM   #10
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Ok, that was way over my head... Alls I know is my fish do fine and seem healthy... and that's really all that matters to me...
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