Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Alberta, Canada
Parameters and Water Softener
Hi I have a few questions regarding water parameters, water softeners, RO units, and fertilizing. To start I have a well established and fairly heavily planted 20 gallon long tank with 2 30" coralife T5NO fixtures and pressurized CO2 on it. I recently moved houses and the new one has a water softener system in it that use bagged salt to soften the water. My fish seem to be doing ok with the softer water but I've noticed plant growth has been lackluster since I set it up again.
The parameters as measured yesterday are:
GH- very high, not sure exactly as my GH test either can't go that high or is too old to get a proper reading
KH - 8-9 degrees
Nitrate - at about 15ppm, after probably 2 weeks without a water change.
pH - level of 8
Now on to the questions:
1) Would the softer water affect the fish in the longer term? I have Galaxy Rasboras and pseudomugil gertrudae rainbow fish along with a few cories.
2) I'm wondering if by starting the EI method of ferts combined with the water softener will have some negative effects on plants/fish.
3) Would it be worthwhile to grab a small RO unit to add water to or use exclusively for water changes? I can get a small cheap one from a friend for a really good price.
I guess I'm just wondering how all these factors combine and any advice on what steps to take for plant growth and fish well being.