What does water softener water do to plants? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-11-2007, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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What does water softener water do to plants?

My cold is REAL hard, my warm is soft, I use a python.... been mixing both.

Does anybody have negative experiences with the sodium and or softer water.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-12-2007, 03:41 AM
 
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If I am not mistaken, the main thing that happens in your home water softener is that calcium is converted to magnesium? Both of these are useful in plant tank if they are in normal ranges. And when it comes to plants and fish both calcium and magnesium are both factors in water hardness, so despite what your hardness meter might say, your hardness really doesnt change, just shift from Ca to Mg. Can anyone verify this?
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-12-2007, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by crazy loaches View Post
If I am not mistaken, the main thing that happens in your home water softener is that calcium is converted to magnesium? Both of these are useful in plant tank if they are in normal ranges. And when it comes to plants and fish both calcium and magnesium are both factors in water hardness, so despite what your hardness meter might say, your hardness really doesnt change, just shift from Ca to Mg. Can anyone verify this?
No, the softener, if it is set up with sodium chloride, as they usually are, will substitute sodium ions for both calcium and magnesium ions in the water. Since hardness means the amount of calcium and magnesium in the water, the softener reduces the hardness. Too much sodium is hard on plants.

But, you can also set up the softener to use potassium chloride, which would leave the water rich in potassium, a needed plant nutrient.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-12-2007, 04:45 AM
 
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I C, thanks for the correction. Now to remember who told me that...

As I recal they said the water softner pillows I was using in my XP3 were also pointless because they were just swapping Ca for Mg. Maybe I shoudltn have thrown them all away lol!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-12-2007, 05:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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Ah, Ok, sodium=bad,

Hard water=good (mg, ca)?!

Thanks

-Does anybody have any 'soft water' stories?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-13-2007, 07:14 AM
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-Does anybody have any 'soft water' stories?
My story is, I've been using softened water for years without any ill effect to plants (at least that was directly caused by the softened water). Or shrimp. Or fish.

And I used to add something like a tsp of aquarium salt per 5 gal!

I don't get crusty scale buildup on my tanks or equipment. I do add a gal or 2 of unsoftened water every once in a while to make sure there is enough Ca/Mg around.

That's about it. Pretty boring, eh?

As long as your water isn't insanely hard, I believe you're going to have trouble making the water too rich in sodium for probably most plants. At least the easy growing types. But I don't know the hard data for sodium toxicity, and maybe I've just been lucky?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-13-2007, 01:03 PM
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I actually like the fact that I have soft water. I raise it to 3 degrees gH with Tom Barr's gH Booster, and get no calcium crusts or deposits anywhere in the tank. I always hated that crap.

40 gallon SeaClear Acrylic, 192 watt Orbit Lunar PC, Filstar XP2, Filstar XP1, JBJ Regulator, Rhinox 5000 glass co2 diffusor, 9 watt UV sterilizer, Hydor Inline Heater, Pool Filter Sand substrate
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How comes shoppings so stupid, looks at all this stuff I haves, what do I do's with it.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-15-2007, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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Maybe I'm looking in the wrong areas to remove any problems with my green thumb. Thaks for the input everyone. At least I know my problem isn't 'here'.
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