soft water, even before going through softner?
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:10 PM   #1
Markp80nj
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Default soft water, even before going through softner?

First of all, sorry if this is the wrong forum, but I'm assuming it has to do with water parameters.
OK, so I just got my API kh/gh test kit today, and was able to test my water.
The kh seems fine, as it took 4 drops to change color, so I'm at 71.6 ppm.
What surprised me was the gh, which is supposed to change from orange to green, but the very first drop comes out green.
So, according to the chart, that is 17.9 ppm.
Now I was surprised because I thought my softner didn't work all that good.
Then I looked in my basement, and found a spigot before the water softner.
Took some water from there, and got the same results!
Can my water really be that soft?
I don't get that slimy feeling people say they get with softwater.
In any case, would adding crushed coral be good for my plants?
I'm also thinking of adding angelfish later on, would the crushed coral be bad for them?
TIA

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Old 03-05-2014, 12:48 AM   #2
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You might check the valve again. The ones I'm familiar with add the valve just as the water leaves the softener so they can test operation without running through the house and waiting for pipes to drain out the untreated water.
If you are not used to having a softener, do you add salt to the barrel? Sounds like a dumb question but I have been on several service calls for that as the new owners don't know.
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Old 03-05-2014, 01:14 AM   #3
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Well, I do add salt, but not as much as I should.
Sometimes, when I remember to check it (speaking of which, it has been a while) there's just a sludge on the bottom.
But other times it's halfway, and others even full.
But if it didn't have salt, then wouldn't my water be hard?
As for the valve, there's a little blue cylinder attached to the wall, a pipe coming from that, with the said valve on it, going into my (I think) iron filter, which goes to the salt tank, then to some other contraption, which then goes to the house.
That's why I think the valve is before the softner.
I'm assuming the blue cylinder is just a pump of sorts to get the well water.
I hope that all made sense...
And thanks for replying!

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Old 03-05-2014, 01:46 AM   #4
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Often (but not always!) there is a faucet outside for garden use. This is not run through the softener or any other filter.
Try taking a sample from there. Do it this way:
Run the hose bib for at least a minute before you start to take the sample. Run it longer if you know there is a long run of pipe from the pump to the house.

See if this water has the same GH as the other samples.

If it does, here is what I would do for soft water fish:

Use water that has not been treated. (no softener, no filter- right out of the well)
Add GH booster, a source of calcium and magnesium until the GH was in the right range for the fish. Many soft water fish are good with GH of 3 German degrees of hardness. This is a good minimum for most aquatic plants, too. Angels will be fine in this.
Be careful and read the label on the GH booster. Some contain salt (sodium chloride). You do not want this in the water.
Seachem Equilibrium is good, and so is Barr's GH booster. These also contain potassium. At the low level you are using them it is not much, but some.
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:34 AM   #5
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My outside faucet is run after my softner though, so that sucks.
I guess I could still use those tips for hardening my water up a bit though, right?
When you say german degrees, is that the dKH sign on my chart?
So I would have to be at 53.7 ppm for GH.
It would take 3 drops to change the color on the test.
Thanks for all the help!

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Old 03-05-2014, 02:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markp80nj View Post
I guess I could still use those tips for hardening my water up a bit though, right?
Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Markp80nj View Post
When you say german degrees, is that the dKH sign on my chart?
So I would have to be at 53.7 ppm for GH.
It would take 3 drops to change the color on the test.
Yes
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:08 AM   #7
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Cool, thanks!

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Well, I was looking at seachem equilibrium on Amazon, and came across seachem replenish.
It claims to raise gh on water that has been through RO or deionized filtration.
I think my softner is deionized filtration.
So which would be better?
Equilibrium, or replenish?
Edit:
Never mind, I just looked at the ingredients, and I realized that replenish contains sodium, so I think equilibrium is the way to go.
Sorry for my noobness, lol.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 03-05-2014 at 02:32 PM.. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:18 PM   #8
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Some thought on the softener might help. Would it be logical to have a softener installed if the water is soft coming out of the ground? This would lead me to think the raw water is hard and they wanted it soft so installed the softener. Several hundred dollars and time/expense to keep salt in it so normally folks don't go that way for no reason.
On the salt issue, there is no difference how much salt is left in the brine tank as long as there is some. The water added to that tank will only dissolve to the correct point and should be set to allow enough brine water to use to flush the softener resin. I would guess the little blue tank might be totally sealed with maybe an air valve on it? That sounds like a small pressure tank to make the water flow while the pump itself is not actually running. A point for the owner to be aware of as it may occasionally need the air in the tank adjusted to keep the water flow steady. Not a big thing but something to be aware of at some point.
I would look for a raw water tap before the softener. Usually there is some spot to get raw water.
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:53 PM   #9
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Hey, I haven't seen this response yet.
Sorry I didn't respond earlier.
Well I figure the reason they got the softner is whoever did the well convinced the owner they needed a softener?
You are correct on the blue tank, so I guess it is a pressure tank.
There is also a spout there, which is the only spout I have before the softner.
This is where I got the water to test.
Am I correct in assuming I should get hard water here?


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