Question aout softening water - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Question Question aout softening water

I have angel, cardinals, rams in my heavily planted 29 G tank. No CO2 injection. tests show that the water has low KH and high GH. pH is ~6.8 and stable. i decided to soften the water and lower the pH a little bit.

after searching it looks like I could use either Rena Filstar Water Softener Pillow Pouch (I have an XP1) or the API water filter system for water change, or maybe both. my question is, would the process also remove the KNO3/KH2PO4 in the water? I guess the plants would not be happy without those.

Can anyone with experience help answer the question please? TIA!!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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a little bit more homework revealed that the Rena Filstar Water Softener Pillow Pouch works be exchanging Ca++ ions etc with Na+ and release the Na+ into the water, just like how a conventional tap water softener works. Na+ is supposed to be not good for fish I've heard. so my only option is to use the API tap water filter and then dose KNO3 I guess.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 12:35 AM
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Water softened with a "salt" water softener will NOT hurt fish. I used one here for 12 years with several aquariums.

I've been told that it's not the "best" for a planted aquarium.

Our water source changed and I no longer need a softener (in fact I have to add baking soda to tank to raise KH).

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 01:01 AM
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I don't think there is any good reason to do this. Your fish will be happier with stability than with "ideal". You will cause fluctuations over and over if you try to mess with it. You could soften your water by mixing with RO, but you'd have to buy an RO unit for that to be logical.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 02:35 AM
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Why would you want to change the water? Looks good to me. Don't do it!


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies in such a short time!

I am a bit confused. didn't they claim that these fish are particularly much better off at low pH soft water? Is it difficult to maintain a stable low pH low GH? Please help me.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 11:01 AM
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Thanks for all the replies in such a short time!

I am a bit confused. didn't they claim that these fish are particularly much better off at low pH soft water? Is it difficult to maintain a stable low pH low GH? Please help me.
They are better off in a clean, well maintained, oxygenated, un-stagnated (iow good gentle circulation throughout the tank), and STABLE environment. The fluctuations that you will inevitably encounter trying to maintain the low ph-low KH environment will be bad for you fish. Those species will do fine in a variety of conditions provided they are stable. If you want to go to the trouble you can investigate using reverse osmosis water and adding hardness elements back into the water to hit your target but why bother? They will thrive at higher pH and hardness once they are acclimated to it (they probably have lived most of their lives in it already).


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 01:23 PM
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You posted that you have high GH and low KH but no #'s as to the content. If your pH is 6.8 non injected your in a 'happy' zone there already. What is your dGH or GH ppm?

Researching you will find in reducing GH there are no 'quick fixes' only snake oil or RO. (IMO)


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
You posted that you have high GH and low KH but no #'s as to the content. If your pH is 6.8 non injected your in a 'happy' zone there already. What is your dGH or GH ppm?

Researching you will find in reducing GH there are no 'quick fixes' only snake oil or RO. (IMO)
I am getting a test kit that can read the numbers. Previous test strip only tells me high or low GH.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 11:58 PM
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I am getting a test kit that can read the numbers. Previous test strip only tells me high or low GH.
A GH/KH test kit with liquid reagents is very cheap. But concentrate on something that will actually improve the lives of your fish like better maintenance or filtration or circulation. Always remember: KISS.


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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2010, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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A GH/KH test kit with liquid reagents is very cheap. But concentrate on something that will actually improve the lives of your fish like better maintenance or filtration or circulation. Always remember: KISS.
What is KISS (besides the obvious meaning)?
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2010, 04:24 PM
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KISS = keep it simple stupid.


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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2010, 05:25 PM
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what about adding some peat moss?
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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what about adding some peat moss?
i heard that if the GH is high, then there is high buffering capacity in the water. Adding peat moss will then have insignificant effects.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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i got the number. using the API kits the KH and RH reading are both 5 drops. i don't have the chart off hand, but my impression is that the KH and GH equals 90 ppm or so.
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