If someone had really soft water could you... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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If someone had really soft water could you...

Use baking soda to increase your KH with every water change..

Im talking about going from 1 KH to 6 KH with entirely baking soda.. Is this healthy/advisable?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 12:44 AM
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Yes you can do that, kH of 3 or 4 is perfect though, if you want to grow softwater plants, no backing soda at all, not many fish will live in that though, due to very low pH with C02 injection, but I have found that cherrie's and Tonina do very well with 0~2 kH.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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OK then this brings up another issue.

My well water comes off a mountain and has a ton of iron sedimate in it, so of course we have a water softener. it has a KH of about 5. It is difficult to get to this water also as it requires crawling on my knees under the house to the tap comming off the pump. When I do water changes with this water it makes my water cloudy for an entire day or two.

Our tap water after it hits the ion exchange water softener has a KH of about 1 or less, its very, very soft. I am thinking since this water has been filtered and cleansed that it might just be better to use it, buffered with baking soda to a KH of ~5 everytime I do water changes. It would help me on both the temp of the water, and the ease of changes.

I seriously think that the tap water coming straight from the well is not good for the fish, i was having trouble keeping them alive until I started using start right. I still have a bit of trouble keeping fry alive.

Any thoughts?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 01:24 AM
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My tap water is 2 dKH and I used to use baking soda to increase to 7 dKH after each water change. Never had any side effects. Worked great.

I now just add a little baking soda though to get to 3 dKH. Probelm now is that I have a pH of 5.5 after peat moss substrate and co2 injection play their roll, so may end up going up to 4-5 dKH soon again.

It is nice having soft water. Many more options.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 03:00 AM
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Sometimes super low KH is paralleled by really soft GH. You might need to check that and add Epsom salts and calcium chloride. If you do, PM me and I can give you some gram conversions for how much to add to arrive at a desired GH. I have zero GH and KH out of my well water. GH has a lot to do with plant and fish metabolism.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 03:43 AM
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Water softeners trade sodium ions for the calcium ions in the water. A lot of sodium ions are not good for plants, or so I have heard. You might try testing the water for iron before it goes through the softener, and if it isn't terribly high, just use it as is, or dilute it with some RO water. You also can get water filters made for household use that say they will remove most of the iron from the water, along with a lot of other stuff. I have a 29 gallon tank too, with low KH. I add a tsp of baking soda every water change to get it up around 7 to 9. I originally did this to get the final PH in a range where my PH test colors were easier to read.

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