How to soften water??? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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How to soften water???

I'm on a well, which is good because it means no added chemicals in my tap. PH is round 7.5, hardness I haven't measured in a while, but seems to me it was on the moderate side, not "hard" per se. Is there a relatively easy, inexpensive way to soften my water a bit for some of my south american fish who would likely appreciate it???
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Shadowcat3 View Post
I'm on a well, which is good because it means no added chemicals in my tap. PH is round 7.5, hardness I haven't measured in a while, but seems to me it was on the moderate side, not "hard" per se. Is there a relatively easy, inexpensive way to soften my water a bit for some of my south american fish who would likely appreciate it???
You could use half-&-half R/O water with your well water or use natural peat moss (not the stuff you use for flowers) both methods have there down sides.

R/O water is expensive to ether buy or to buy a unit to do yourself and peat is a pain because you have to pre-mix it with your water and then strain it to remove the brown tannins it produces (you use resin filters similar to R/O units just diy).

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm, kinda expected an answer like that!! LOL....Don't wanna start "buying" water for my fish...wife would kill me and the premixing thing sounds like more work than I was hoping for. Oh well, my philosophy has always been to keep fish that like what I have and KISS. ....How about rain water??? That's pretty soft, isn't it...and free!!! haha Could I collect roof run-off, run it thru some carbon and add a percentage of that to my tanks?? Seems like I've heard of people doing that and it sounds fairly straight forward.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Shadowcat3 View Post
Hmm, kinda expected an answer like that!! LOL....Don't wanna start "buying" water for my fish...wife would kill me and the premixing thing sounds like more work than I was hoping for. Oh well, my philosophy has always been to keep fish that like what I have and KISS. ....How about rain water??? That's pretty soft, isn't it...and free!!! haha Could I collect roof run-off, run it thru some carbon and add a percentage of that to my tanks?? Seems like I've heard of people doing that and it sounds fairly straight forward.

Yep rain water would work tho it's more of a pain to collect and distribute than doing the other two methods. You might want to google that as several types of roof materiel has rock/salt additives that would skew your water back up.

If I was going to do that I'd setup several 50/100gal rain containers away from the house so it wouldn't catch roof water but then I'm lazy so I'd have to plumb them so I could pipe it directly into the house.

~

To be honest once you start using a pre-mix container you won't go back. I have a 120gal water container that I plumbed at the top to add tap water in and then plumbed an output on the bottom that feeds into my tank racks. I also added heaters to get the right temps so to not jack with the tank temps to much.

It's so much easer/cheaper to buy de-clorinator by the gallon and pre-mix whaterver I need into it before pumping it to the tanks. But again I'm the lazy sort who would sherk water changes if it wasn't as easy as opening a couple of ball valves to drain and then fill.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 07:03 PM
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Always been told dont jack with water.
Use what you get from the tap and most fish will adjust.

Only time s. american's have to have super soft water is
when they are breeding. Has to do with egg osmosis.

Houston has similar water to what you described.

Local Discus dealer has fish that thrive in it.
Stability is more important to the fish than some magical hardness or Ph number.

You can get PH down under 7.0 by injecting Co2.
6.9ph with moderately hard water will also give you nice 20ish ppm Co2 level.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 07:26 PM
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Always been told dont jack with water.
Use what you get from the tap and most fish will adjust.

That's very true as long as your just keeping fish but if your
trying to breed for BAAP or resale you are going to have
to monkey with it for anything but the lfs common breeds.

C02 is another option I forgot to mention but it has it's own
issues as well. It just depends on what your comfortable
with doing on a long term bases (I c02 most of my planted
tanks and use R/0 for the really difficult fish).

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 08:14 PM
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What I do is mix half R/O water with half tap water. Just go to those water vending machines and fill up a couple gallons. The cheapest I've seen is 20 cents per gallon. Plus since you're only using half of it to mix with tap water, 1 gallon of R/O water will make 2 gallons of "fish tank water".

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