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Hard Water! How To Soften?

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by FUB, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. FUB

    FUB Member

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    I live in a hard water area, and am looking for natural remedies to soften the water in my tank.
    Are there any simple natural remedies, or do we have to rely on chemicals?

    Thanks
     
  2. Tolak

    Tolak Gun Toting Lunatic

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    Chemicals will not soften water, as they will not remove the mineral content of the water which causes hardness. More mineral content, harder water.

    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.
     
  3. OldMan47

    OldMan47 Livebearer fanatic

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    Welcome to the forum FUB.
    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.
     
  4. FUB

    FUB Member

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    Thanks for the Info guys (thanks for the welcome too!)

    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!!
     
  5. petertr

    petertr Member

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    Have you actually measured the Kh and Gh of your water?

    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.
     
  6. helterskelter

    helterskelter Livebearer Specilest

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    Also want to ask why u feel you need to sofen the water, what fish are you looking to keep?
     
  7. FUB

    FUB Member

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    Ok so been doing some more reading (theres a lot of guides on here!)

    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!

    Thanks
     
  8. petertr

    petertr Member

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    If it helps, I asked many similar questions a few months back, and was told to ignore the hardness.


    My water is much harder than yours, and I keep fish that prefer soft water with no problems at all
     

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