Water softeners, OK or bad? Contradictory search results - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2015, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
Newbie
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Monticello, MN
Posts: 3
Water softeners, OK or bad? Contradictory search results

Hi guys, I've tried searching this forum to find out what to do about my situation, but there seems to be different answers in different posts. I have a water softener. Usually I use water from an outside spigot that doesn't go through the WS. But when winter hits I wont be able to do this.

In an effort to get hard facts instead of "I'm using one and nothing has ever died" answers, can someone explain if it is bad, why? And what water parameters should I be testing to find out HOW bad mine might be and determine whether or not it would be an issue for me. If it matters, I've got a fairly lush planted 75gal with low to medium fish load, medium lighting, EI dosing dry ferts with some osmocote root tabs in gravel/sand mix substrate and no CO2.

TIA!
Thorinale is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2015, 04:27 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
roadmaster's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Missouri united states
Posts: 5,576
Does washing machine use the softened water?(maybe can disconnect and get water here?)
Is said that many of the softener's remove mineral's calcium/magnesium which fish and plant's need for structural development ,and replace these mineral's with sodium salt's which may not be well received by fishes and or plant's over the long haul.
roadmaster is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2015, 07:04 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
klibs's Avatar
 
PTrader: (29/100%)
Join Date: May 2014
Location: NH
Posts: 3,325
Is the spigot outside really the only source not going through the water softener?


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
klibs is offline  
 
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2015, 07:20 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PlantedRich's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 11,868
The softener is designed to remove the hard water minerals. This is most often calcium and magnesium. In many places that use softeners, it is the calcium that they want removed. Then there is a certain small amount of sodium left in the water. The softener does go through a full of the resin bed which does flush most of the sodium down the drain. But even when rinsed in a dishwasher, there is a small amount of things like salt left on the dishes and it is normal for some to be left in the resin of the softener.
As you've found many of the planned softeners are routed to all the inside connections but not to the outside. This is an effort to save salt in softening water used for the yard where hard water does no harm.
Several ways to deal with the situation. If it bothers your fish or plants, use untreated water. This is what I do, just because I like life easy.
To make it easy, I cut the line that goes into the softener and added a tee to go to my fish room. Not hard at all with some basic cutting of pipes IF the house layout is set up to be easy.
What type foundation and plumbing layout do you have? An open basement with plumbing exposed across the basement ceiling can make it real easy---or real hard!! Some looking may help you decide.

But some hard water is too hard for the fish/plants that people want so they may choose to use the softened water and add back the calcium and magnesium removed by the softener. More complex water changes but less upfront plumbing.
PlantedRich is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2015, 07:26 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2015
Location: the desert
Posts: 541
The outside faucets do not go through the softener because the salty water is not good for plants. In my house the kitchen cold water and refrigerator line also do not go through the softener so that people on low sodium diets have a source of drinking and cooking water that is sodium free. My softener also has a bypass valve that I can use and after running the water for a minute all the softened water is flushed from the line.

Yours should also have a bypass valve. It has to be bypassed when it recharges.
keymastr is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 04:14 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
Plants and fish need the calcium and magnesium that are removed by a sodium exchange water softener.
Many fish want less calcium and magnesium than might be in the unsoftened tap water, you would have to do some research:
What is the GH of the tap water?
What is the GH of the softened water?
What is the optimum GH for the fish?
Diana is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 04:18 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (84/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,015
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Plants and fish need the calcium and magnesium that are removed by a sodium exchange water softener.
Many fish want less calcium and magnesium than might be in the unsoftened tap water, you would have to do some research:
What is the GH of the tap water?
What is the GH of the softened water?
What is the optimum GH for the fish?
I would look more for the acceptable range of GH for the fish, not the optimum. Fish are pretty adaptable, so there isn't much need for an optimum GH. I don't know where you can get that information, though.

Hoppy
Hoppy is offline  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 04:34 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
http://www.seriouslyfish.com/
has a lot of info, including the range of hardness for most species.

www.fishbase.org
also has a lot of info, especially about the original water the fish come from.
Diana is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome