Hard Water! How To Soften?
Posted 24 March 2009 - 11:17 PM
Are there any simple natural remedies, or do we have to rely on chemicals?
Posted 24 March 2009 - 11:31 PM
Reverse osmosis water, which is water that is for all practical purposes void of any mineral content, mixed with your tap water will soften it. Many people collect rain water for this purpose, which is often softer than hard tap water. You do have to be careful of collection procedures, as runoff from a roof can contain chemicals from the roofing. In more populous areas there is also the risk of airborne contaminants in rain water.
Posted 25 March 2009 - 12:46 AM
When I get a good hard rain, I often collect quite a bit right from the gutter system. When I get a gentle rain I never collect any. A gentle rain washes the roof very nicely and gets all kinds of dirt and dust into any water that I collect. A hard rain lets me wait 5 or 10 minutes to let the rain wash the roof, then I start collecting and it is surprising how clean the water is. The TDS, total dissolved solids, after collecting a hard rain is lower in minerals than my RO water by about half and much less wasteful than making pure water with an RO.
Back to your original question FUB, why do you want to soften the water in the tank? Do you know how hard the water is and what value you are trying to get? It will definitely affect how much pure water you want to mix into the tap water to make tank water. Fish cannot live in pure water with no minerals. Even the fish that are reputed to need very soft water will die in pure water with no mineral content.
Posted 25 March 2009 - 03:20 PM
I would never have thought of rainwater.
My tank is at around TH 16, at the moment I only have 1 bronze cory in there, and she seems to be doing fine, but before I consider stocking with other fish, i'd like to bring that figure down a little to give me more options.
Not sure what figure would be ideal as I'm not sure exactly what to stock with, I'm going to keep it simple and stick with hardy fish, just reading through all the beginners guides to try and work out what to do next!!
Posted 25 March 2009 - 04:52 PM
Have you thought of a reason why you need softer water? The vast majority of fish will be fine in hard water - some prefer it.
Posted 25 March 2009 - 05:13 PM
Posted 26 March 2009 - 09:36 AM
I was under the impression that a hardness of 16 was classed as Hard Water (the book I got with the tank says 16.5 or above is 'vary hard water - not suitable for aquarium fish'!)
After having read around, 16 is more like 'Moderately Hard', which now doesn't really seem too bad, my bronze cory is apparently quite happy at this level, and there are plenty of other fish out there that will also do well.
So I guess my question is probably now not needed, its good to know about the rainwater, but I think it is just going to be far easier to leave the water as is, and find fish suitable for my water.
Just goes to show you can't trust anything you read!
Posted 26 March 2009 - 12:28 PM
My water is much harder than yours, and I keep fish that prefer soft water with no problems at all
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