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Old 09-22-2011, 01:10 AM   #1
baldy1970
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water softener


Hey guys and gals quick question. Moving next week into house with water softener never used one for filling fish tank are the any concerns i should have? Thanks Dan
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:37 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by baldy1970 View Post
Hey guys and gals quick question. Moving next week into house with water softener never used one for filling fish tank are the any concerns i should have? Thanks Dan
am not the best at answering this but here i go, it will depend on what kind of salt they use to soften the water. they normally use two type of salts sodium chloride (salt) or potassium chloride, i think you will be much better using potassium chloride for plants and fish, but am not 100% sure.

i hope someone could answer this better than me.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:48 AM   #3
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Its not good for fish tanks. Try to get water that is not treated. Normally it should only be at the pipe for warm water going to the boiler. This what I had, so I always used cold water and let it sit overnight to get to room temp. ( this was in Belgium, I don't know how they do it in the states...)
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:11 AM   #4
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happi is pretty close to right on the answer but even with potassium used to regenerate the exchange resin issues will be near continuous using product water from a whole house water softener unit. Odds are not in favor of it being one that uses potassium anyway. Caking and valve clogging are very common problems on a potassium based system so most companies selling softeners try to talk customers out of buying them. (mine did) I have a single untreated tap pre softener but still don't use the water from my well. Long story figuring it all out but my tap is crap.

After fighting my water for 2 years I installed this system in my garage.



Find out what's in the water pre softener and see if it will work for your tanking needs as the altered water won't have a mineral balance the fish and plants will thrive in.
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:20 AM   #5
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usually the hose spicket outside is not hooked up the the softener (?)
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:40 AM   #6
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I've lived in this house for 17 years, and kept multiple tanks the whole time. I have a well system with water softner. I've literally had fish live in this water for years before trading them off (fresh, brackish AND saltwater reefs). Blanket statements that water softners are not good for fish are simply not true.
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:51 AM   #7
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Avoid the softened water, or at minimum, only use a small portion of it. For instance, cold water in my spigots is all non softened. I only use cold water to fill my tanks, except january and feb when the tap is about 40 degrees. Then I just mix with hat, at about 15%t tap water. The temp drop is fine for fish/plants (stimulates breeding in cichlids).

The softened water should be avoided if possible. If your water is naturally VERY hard, you might consider RO, but it isn't mandatory and I use very hard water with a jacked up TDS(near 400 tap) and grow plants great. Some plants just dont like hard water though.

I did ok with softened water for a while, but you have some obvious issues that plants just don't like it.
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Old 09-22-2011, 04:02 AM   #8
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Has anyone ever kept shrimp of any kind in water from a water softener that uses salt?

I have never had a water softener, so I am clueless. I have read a lot of posts here at TPT and haven't seen a thread that deals with shrimp and softened water.

Someone in our local club wants to know if shrimp will live in her water softener water. She recently got some blue pearls and previously had cherries but all the cherries died out.
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Old 09-22-2011, 04:11 AM   #9
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I have no idea if the residual salt content left behind can be harmful to a tank, but what I do know is that softeners will NOT remove sulphur, and high sulfur doesn't seem to be a good thing for a planted tank. That is the main reason why I am not using my straight softened water...or the untreated water from my spigot for that matter. Luckily the house I bought has an R/O unit that feeds to a tap at the sink. Fairly easy AND I still have a very welcome higher KH and GH.

Do you know the status of the water? Does it smell like sulphur?
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Old 09-22-2011, 05:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by londonloco View Post
I've lived in this house for 17 years, and kept multiple tanks the whole time. I have a well system with water softner. I've literally had fish live in this water for years before trading them off (fresh, brackish AND saltwater reefs). Blanket statements that water softners are not good for fish are simply not true.
Purchasing this property in 1986 it included a whole house Kinetico salt regen water softener (not a cheap system). That system was upgraded in 2006. Never had fish that didn't come from a store here until I started using an alternate source for water and then adding the RO system I now use. Fish now spawn constantly in my systems and rather than store bought fish I'm selling fish and mulching tank trimmings.

My blanket statement is that my water softener was not good for fish or plants.

Funny or not is what it is.

I live in west central Florida with tannin lakes and wetlands all around my property.
Well water leaves iron colored stains on everything, the electromagnetic sprinkler valves stick and the head nozzles plug once a year at a minimum. The water spots heavy deposits as it dries. Basically water from hell. Well water drawn into an open bucket with a sponge filter/aerator running for 2hrs. reads as follows;
Ph 7.2
kh 196.9 ppm
gh 179 ppm
phosphate 1.0
iron (off the scale)
Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia 0.0

Water ran through my Kinetico RO system (uses salt for regen)
Ph 7.0
kh 196.9
gh 35.8
phosphate .75
Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia 0.0
The following were tested at my work location water lab.
Temperature 25c
pH 7.56
hardness 10 ppm
iron 0 < .1 ppm
Maximum Turbidity 1.0 NTU
Maximum Chlorine .02 not visible

While the numbers don’t look completely wacked the well sample sponge was packed with orange ‘dust’ when squeezed. Fish had a Russian Roulette chance when purchased. Plants just shrank and withered out even the ones from the local swamp. Did a test using distilled water 100%. RO Right and Seachem products to remix. Fish losses went way down, almost nonexistent but water changes were a transportation pain and getting ever more costly with distilled rising at that time to .94 per gallon. Maintaining ferts and doing weekly 50% water changes mandated a change.

Whether it's sodium chloride or potassium chloride once you chemically break the bond shifting the mineral content stripping the Calcium and Magnesium the water is messed up. The altered water won't have a mineral balance the fish and plants need to thrive. Played this game here and have now chosen to play mad chemist with 100% RO instead.
I'll stand by what I've posted.
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:17 PM   #11
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IME, softened water was fine for fish, but hard on plants. The chocolate gouramis I had did really well in the softened water, but when I switched to using non-softened water, they eventually all died. On the other hand, my plants actually started to grow.
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:00 PM   #12
baldy1970
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thanks for all the replys
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