Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago Suburbs, IL
That is a good question. I can tell you from my experience that I use a whole house water softener and I DO use that water in my tank. The water has a KH around 15 and GH around 3-5. I decided to use the water in my tank because of what my tap water did to my appliances. The water would turn our white appliances rust colored in just a few uses. With the softener this is eliminated.
I do worry about the effect the salt has on my plants. I used to think this was the culprit on why my plants were not growing well, but I think I am getting a hold on other things (Upgraded lights, added lots of stem plants, and soon to boost my Nitrate with the help of Rex since it is at 0).
We are using the rest of the salt up in the softener now and I am replacing it with Potassium Chloride which I think will actually be beneficial for the plants. I am not a biology major, but I wonder what the effect of the salt is on the plants. According to my water softener manufacturer, there is very little salt in the water. As a matter of fact you canít taste any difference in the water.
For the record I use a Sears Kenmore water softener. When buying one you need to know how many gallons per day you use. Just keep track for a week or two. This way you can get the right size that will not have to recharge all the time and will provide a steady flow of softened water. I also suggest instead of using the bypass switch have a plumber or the installer rework the piping so that your outside water bypasses the water softener. This will make it a lot easier so that when you are washing the car or watering the lawn, you do not have to run downstairs to flip a switch which then in the meantime, the entire house will have your old hard water until it is switched back.
10 gallon Planted Crypt W. Java Fern Java Moss
40 Gallon Turtle