Effects of a water softener? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-16-2006, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Effects of a water softener?

First: I apologize about this post being the wrong place! I meant to post it in the Water Parameters section.

I'm going to be setting up two tanks at my parent's place - one for breeding CRS and one larger planted tank for discus fish. There is one obstacle I've been thinking about - the water is running through a water softener, however not through all taps and so I can use either water source that I want to.

Water softeners will remove the calcium and magnesium. Is that all a water softener does? If so, I should clearly go for the normal water, right? Will this be an issue at all? The water in our area in Indiana is supposed to have hard water.

Any recommendations? I'm really very confused and need any guidance possible for my situation. Thanks

Last edited by Ankit; 12-16-2006 at 10:03 AM. Reason: Revisions and title change for wrong forum location
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-16-2006, 01:20 PM
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They replace the hardness with sodium (very common) or potassium (less common).

The total dissolved solids remain the same or even a bit higher. Softwater fish normally want low TDS. Naturally soft water normally has low TDS.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-16-2006, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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The total dissolved solids remain the same or even a bit higher.

Does that mean it shouldn't matter if I use water that's been run through the softener or not?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-16-2006, 11:17 PM
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If you are talking about a softener that use resins like Rex is saying, they replace the hardness with something else. If you are talking about an RO machine they don't just replace the hardness with sodium or potassium. They actually just take out the hardness, lowering TDS.


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-17-2006, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ianiwane View Post
If you are talking about a softener that use resins like Rex is saying, they replace the hardness with something else. If you are talking about an RO machine they don't just replace the hardness with sodium or potassium. They actually just take out the hardness, lowering TDS.
Right, mine uses sodium to replace the hardness, which leaves me confused. Am I better using water before or after the water softener?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-17-2006, 01:21 AM
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Ankit, people around here do both and have great success either way keeping most varieties of fish. Cichlids especially. Unfortunately discus and shrimp don't tend to like our Indiana tap water, water softener or no. Your best bet if you want to keep and breed these successfully is to get a reverse osmosis unit and use the RO water.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-17-2006, 03:23 AM
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Most plants won't like softened water at all if it's done with sodium. I doubt the Discus will either, but I could be wrong. If you don't want to bother with RO then use the non-softened water. If the water system was properly installed the outdoor faucets should not be softened water.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-18-2006, 02:07 PM
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Discus people seem to like low TDS water, from what I have read. 200ppm or below is usually their mark and much lower for breeding. If the water softener uses sodium then its just "Softening" the water with Salt (sodium). Without knowing the parameters, my guess would be that you would probably be better off with the non-softened water.

HTH


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