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softener water

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softener water

Post by Starfish on Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:12 pm

I seem to remember reading somewhere that water from a water softener is not suitable to use in an aquarium. Is that correct? I was just thinking that I am getting tired of my hard-rock-water.
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Re: softener water

Post by CAAIndie on Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:29 pm

I use water that runs through a commercial softener,  and have used in in tanks in the past without issue. It's useful for hard water problems around the house (ie shower, washing machine,  dishwasher), but not useful in softening water in an aquarium sense. With a commercial softener you simply replace certain hard water minerals like calcium and magnesium with sodium (or potassium depending on the softener). Ultimately you are just trading one mineral for another and aren't really softening in an aquarium sense (which lower in minerals). Some aquarium plants may also not take particularly kindly to the higher sodium content in the water. I have not personally experienced that issue, but I was only keeping hardy plants.

Now that I run a reverse osmosis system for my tank water (probably 90% r/o to 10% tap) I do have softer water in a total dissolved solids (low in minerals) sense. I did not see any particularly adverse effects to any of my fish when I was using 100% tap water (that had gone through a commercial softener). It is possible that some fish could be more sensitive to the sodium/potassium versus calcium and magnesium etc but I haven't run into that myself.

Basically if you want to have a tank with softer water in an aquarium sense, you would need an R/O system. Peat can also be used to slightly soften water too.

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Re: softener water

Post by Starfish on Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:09 pm

Thanks for the info. I was thinking in both areas, for household use and aquarium use.

Would love to get an RO unit. It is very interesting that my hubby has had a major role in the planning and construction of the new and largest RO water treatment plant in North America but we don't have one at home. scratch
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Re: softener water

Post by Shell on Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:59 pm

We use a water softener at our house, sodium. Interestingly enough, we use the water that goes through the softener in our black skirt tetra tank, but we use the water straight from the well (i.e. bypassing the softener) for all of our other tanks! All of our tanks are doing well. Now, I'm not sure if it has to do with the type of fish (i.e. maybe the skirts can tolerate water through the softener); if our water just isn't as hard as many other's water; or if it really makes no difference once fish become accustomed to your water type (I am guessing this may not be the case with more 'delicate' fish who have very specific requirements).

As for plants, I cannot comment as the only plant in the tetra tank (softened water)is one lonely sword - which is doing well, but this is certainly not a planted tank!! All of our fully planted tanks run on water straight from the well - and they are thriving!

So, I suppose my post is not overly helpful - but thought I'd share where I use a water softener!! Very Happy

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Re: softener water

Post by hello_rockview12 on Wed Oct 01, 2014 3:33 pm

My tank uses 100% water that has been through the softener. All fish and plants are alive and well.
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Re: softener water

Post by the clean guy on Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:49 am

I also use water from my softener with no problems
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