General Hardness issues - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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General Hardness issues

Ok so here's the deal... I have a water softener in my home which gives me a problem for my planted 80 gallon aquarium. When I test the hot water I get a gh of 0 degrees because that's what the softener is hooked up to. but when I test cold water I get a gh of 11 degrees. So my problem is do I go with the hot water and get a gh of 0 or cold water and get a gh of 11. I heard that water from a water softener is a big NO NO in planted aquariums so if I use my cold untreated water then I get a gh of 11 degrees...

I guess I could add peat moss and drift wood to my tank but I don't like the yellow color that it gives off... I'm in need of some advice as to what option to take. Oh ya I could also get a relatively cheep RO unit off of ebay but I don't want to bother to hook it up...
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 02:30 AM
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A GH of 11 degrees is just fine. I say, use the cold water. Water changes can be a problem in winter when you do that. If you like to tinker, have some money to spend, you can buy an instant hot water heater that mounts on the wall, which would be your source of hard hot water.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
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oh thank you. I just thought a gh of 11 ment that there was a lot of salt in the water which is, again as I've been told, pretty bad for the water quality.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 04:49 AM
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GH is a measure of Calcium and Magnesium in the water, not what we refer to as salt. The Calcium and Magnesium may be in the water as ions from a salt, like calcium chloride or magnesium chloride. The water softener, which apparently complies with the code by affecting only the hot water, substitutes sodium ions for calcium ions to soften the water. And, too much sodium isn't good for aquarium water.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Ok So I'm just going to get one of those python things so i can hook it up to the cold water spicot outside so that way I can do easy 50% water changes... Won't the temperature of the cold water be a big problem for my aquarium? I'm thinkin that I'll just slowly replace the water when filling my tank back up as that's probably my only option since the hot water is loaded with sodium ions.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 12:55 AM
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I think a 50% change using cold water can be a problem. I know from my experience that a 10-15% change isn't a problem. I don't know what other's here think about this.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
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So then how do I remedy this problem? could I get by on a 25% weekly water change?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 11:50 AM
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The other option is that you could switch over to using potassium chloride softner salts rather than sodium chloride. I've done that, and I have no issues at all with my fish or my planted tank.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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I think I may do that as soon as the softener runs low. Then Life would be easy as far as temp and what not. Today I did a 50% water change with cold water but what I did is only put in 10 gallons every other hour so that way the cold water was sitting for about two hours before it went in and the tank had time to warm up again as well. It worked great only it was time consuming.
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