water softener - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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water softener

I have had my 30 gallon planted tank setup for about a month. I came back from vacation (a neighbor fed my fish and dosed the tank-I use Seachem) and the plants have gone from bad to worse. Plants covered in brown algae and losing many leaves.

I currently have a whole house water softener that uses sodium. I am thinking now that I should bypass the water softener when I do a water change. Any thoughts on this?

Part of the problem too could be that I have a dual T5 HO coralife fixture (78 watts total) over the tank without pressurized CO2. My GLA system is arriving this Friday so this weekend or early next week I should be setting it up.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 09:26 AM
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You should use the bypass function on your water softener. Adding sodium cation softened water can lead to problems.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information. I did a water change today and used the bypass function. I let the water run a minute before filling up my tank. Hopefully this will help solve part of the problem until I get my pressurized CO2 system up and running.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin1983 View Post
Part of the problem too could be that I have a dual T5 HO coralife fixture (78 watts total) over the tank without pressurized CO2. My GLA system is arriving this Friday so this weekend or early next week I should be setting it up.
IMO you answered your own question. In general, T5HO + no CO2 = algae.

As to the softener, before I went to RO water, I was pretty successful with softened water. And I have read of many others who have as well.

Put it this way, the softened water is probably the least of your problems. There are plenty of plants you can grow well who won't mind. And depending on the condition of your water before it's softened, you could introduce other issues from the bypassed water.

My advice is to get the CO2 going first, let things get balanced out a bit, and then reevaluate. Good luck and look forward to hearing how things work out.


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 02:00 AM
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It might be okay to use the softener bypass occasionally but it should be noted that the bypass is a frequent trouble spot when they are used often. They are designed to let the maintenance folks bypass the softener on the occasions when they need to service the softener and are not really well built for frequent use.
Far better option is to plumb in a faucet before the softener as the water is then certain to be untreated where just letting the water run may or may not clear all the salt content, depending on the way the house is plumbed.
Considering how many folks do routinely add salt to their tanks as a disease prevention, I'm not sure the salt content is enough to worry about.
But it is an unknown wild card which I like to avoid. Just another issue to confuse us, perhaps?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
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I will keep you updated. Thanks!
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