Need a way to Lower Water Hardness - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Question Need a way to Lower Water Hardness

Hi everybody, it's been a while since I posted on here.

Anyway, I'm getting ready to try a planted tank, and I eventually want to keep some Dwarf African Cichlids. I have tested my water, and all of my water parameters are great for dwarf cichlids, except for my hardness (not a surprise, I knew it was hard....darn well water).

My test kit shows a total hardness of about 120ppm (I'm assuming it's measuring GH, it doesn't say on the package). I know that dwarf cichlids do best in a GH range around 3-25 or so.

So here's my question to you; is there any way to soften my water without buying a huge RO system that has to be hooked up to the tap? I was looking around online and I was trying to find a small RO system that could hook up to a small pump or something to just filter like 10 gallons for water changes, but I have had no luck finding any such system. I know you can mix water that is softer to cut the hardness down, but that's not really an economical option for me. How well does the peat moss work for softening water? Are there any other types of gadgets or methods to soften water?

If anybody has some ideas I'd love to hear them.


Thanks,
Andy

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 10:03 PM
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Google... Water Softener Pillow

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 10:25 PM
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Unless your goal is to spawn them, chances are very good you can acclimate them (slowly!) to your tap water, especially if you can find some captive bred stock and ideally a local breeder.

My water is liquid rock and it hasn't been an issue with Rams.





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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 10:30 PM
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170 PPM is like 7 Dk which is between the 3-25, your going off american measurements, they are talking about german measurements/degree's which is 170ppm/17.8 = 7 something. What you have is great for your fish. I wouldnt change it, you will have more problems. Your water isn't hard at all.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 10:31 PM
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Water softener pillows exchange "hardness" (calcium, magnesium) with salt (sodium). I'm not sure that's exactly what you want to do.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insta View Post
Water softener pillows exchange "hardness" (calcium, magnesium) with salt (sodium). I'm not sure that's exactly what you want to do.
Ya agreed, not really a good idea, It will soften your water, but will raise the TDS. If your going to do it, peat filtration is the best under ro/water. Again though, your water isn't that hard. Are you using test strips, they are not very accurate. But what ever your water is, the fish will be fine , just be sure to acclimate them as lauralee suggested. I keep Angels in about 15, which is about 260 ppm.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-02-2010, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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170 PPM is like 7 Dk which is between the 3-25, your going off american measurements, they are talking about german measurements/degree's which is 170ppm/17.8 = 7 something. What you have is great for your fish. I wouldnt change it, you will have more problems. Your water isn't hard at all.
That's interesting. I am using test strips and on the key it labels 50-120ppm as "Moderate" and 250-425ppm as "Very Hard". So if I understand this correctly, dividing total hardness (which is what my test strips are measuring) by 17.8 will give me Dk? So my 120ppm would equal 6.74 DK (which would make it slightly soft...) And I am not familiar with what exactly Dk is... Is it the same as dH?


Thanks for your input guys, this is some great info that's really helping me out right now!

Andy
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-02-2010, 01:01 AM
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1dGH = 17.9ppm

"dwarf cichlids do best in a GH range around 3-25 or so. "
3dGH = 53.7ppm
25dGH = 623ppm that's a HUGE range if I'm reading the post correctly.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-02-2010, 01:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishFarmer View Post
That's interesting. I am using test strips and on the key it labels 50-120ppm as "Moderate" and 250-425ppm as "Very Hard". So if I understand this correctly, dividing total hardness (which is what my test strips are measuring) by 17.8 will give me Dk? So my 120ppm would equal 6.74 DK (which would make it slightly soft...) And I am not familiar with what exactly Dk is... Is it the same as dH?


Thanks for your input guys, this is some great info that's really helping me out right now!
haha yes dh, brain typo...
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-02-2010, 01:26 AM
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Move to Vancounver - sorry couldn't resist.

170ppm (or 7 dGH) should be fine for your fish. My refence say they prefer around 7 dGH and that is pretty much right where you are.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-02-2010, 02:51 AM
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170/17.9=9.5, not 7 degrees.

This is about as high as most soft water fish are OK with. For breeding you probably would want softer water.

I will whisper it... RO.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-02-2010, 06:14 AM
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I stand corrected on my math, the next time I'll use a slide rule instead of my fingers.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-02-2010, 01:19 PM
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More research required first???
Copied from here;
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/cichlid/dwarf.php
One of the most commonly kept dwarf cichlids from Africa is Pelvicachromis pulcher, the Kribensis cichlid. A male Kribensis can reach a size of 10 centimeters (4 inches), while the females stay even smaller. Unlike a lot of the commonly kept African cichlids, this cichlid does not originate from any of the Great Rift Valley lakes. Kribensis is instead found in the Niger River in tropical West Africa, where it prefers rivers with shallow water. If you want to keep Kribensis cichlids, you should house them in a well planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places since this resembles the natural environment for Kribensis cichlids. Drift wood and rocks can also be used to create hiding places. Kribensis cichlids will work well with each other or in a community aquarium. They will claim territories, but these are so small that territorial fights will be unusual. Unlike many larger African cichlids, Kribensis cichlids are not very found of digging. Kribensis cichlids will tolerate temperatures between 25 and 28 degrees C (77 and 82 degrees F). They will adapt to soft as well as hard water, and tolerate a comparatively wide range of different pH-values; 5 to 7.5.

Looking at several other cichlid types each has parameters that are quite differant in many cases. Specific varient needs to be identified before water requirements are determined. (IMO) The above listed site seemed to have very detailed info.


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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-02-2010, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
170/17.9=9.5, not 7 degrees.

This is about as high as most soft water fish are OK with. For breeding you probably would want softer water.

I will whisper it... RO.

I'm not sure where the number 170 came up, but my test strips said that my hardness is 120ppm, not 170. So with 120ppm, I should be just under 7 dH.



Thanks for all the info guys, it seems like I should be okay with my water hardness now that all you folks have chimed in and informed me

My goal isn't to breed the dwarf cichlids, just to keep a few of them and have them be happy (and if they do breed then that's gravy).

Thanks for your help guys (thanks for at link wkndracer, good info on that site)

Andy
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-02-2010, 02:36 PM
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The less you interfere with YOUR water/setup, the better it will do!


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