Very happy to be on this forum and to continue learning about this life long obsession of mine in keeping freshwater aquariums. Until recently I had been out of the hobby for the last 15 years or so and I'm busy catching up on all I need to know and learn. After being gone so long, I have just enough knowledge to be dangerous.
So here's my first big and pressing question regarding soft vs. hard water.
I started my 90 gallon freshwater community aquarium about three months ago and never once thought anything about the hardness of the water. The fish (see below) are thriving and have since day one. About six weeks ago I introduced a decent number of aquatic plants, mostly amazon swords of different varieties, marimo balls, java moss and several java ferns.
I have been studying aquarium care and maintenance, water chemistry, fish care voraciously and the tank looks amazing.
Then I added 8 nerite snails and as I was studying how I should care for them learned that calcium is critical for them. I know, I should have checked first!
Upon testing my water I came to find that my hardness was non existent and according to my test strips was at 0 ppm
. I have a water softener and the laundry room mop sink I do my water changes from use the soft water for cold and hot. I tested a bathroom sink that I know to be untreated and it shows 300 ppm
Now the million dollar question.
- Do I leave things alone and leave the tank with soft water?
- Do I supplement with chemicals, crushed coral, etc.?
- Do I start doing water changes with the hard water and slowly over time change out all the water to be hard water?
Any advice here would be appreciated. Thank you!
Platties - 3
Gourami - 1
Bleeding Heart Tetra - 2
White Skirt Tetras - 6
GloFish Tetras - 5
Plecostomus - 2
Siamese Flying Fox - 6
Neons - 4
Rainbows - 2
Angels - 2
Barb-Odessa - 2
Cat Fish - 4
Nerite Snails - 8