Fish keep dying!!

AilyNC

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@essjay is the softened water ok? I know when we had this system we couldn't use it for baby bottles as sodium was too high.
 
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AmyJade2004

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@AilyNC I've just googled and it says that it is not good for fish tanks. Would it be best for me to do a large water change in both tanks to correct this?
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Yeah I didn't think so. Maybe that's the issue with fish. @Byron @Ch4rlie @essjay any tips here? Wait until someone more experienced pops in in case a big change in water parameters is an issue. @AdoraBelle Dearheart
I don't know much about those water softeners personally, but pretty sure I've seen @essjay say that they're not suitable for fish tanks, and have never seen them recommended for people who want softer water for their fish, they usually buy or install specific RO systems, so I have to think the sodium is a problem.

I'm sure @seangee or @Byron would also know more.
 

kwi

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Water softeners add salt, you'll find them in the bottom of your dishwasher and you too up the salts every now and then. NI water has a dishwasher salt dosing guide on their water parameter pages.
 
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Rapid temperature changes effect the bodily functions of fish and can be harmful, particularly to those adapted to specific temperatures.
Fish can detect small changes in temperature - some as small as 0.03C. Some fish succumb to whitespot and other stress-related diseases.

And I've been in a tropical downpour, it was like taking a shower, nice and warm.
Sorry that this is off subject but I appreciate the tropical rain info. I've never experienced it and even at my age I crave new info like that. Thank you.
 

Essjay

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There are several types of water softener and one type swaps the hardness minerals with sodium. No freshwater fish (except perhaps Rift Lake cichlids) can cope with a lot of sodium in the water. There should be a bypass tap somewhere and this should be used for fish tanks.
This water will be hard (or you wouldn't use a softener) so it's fine for hard water fish but not soft water fish.

As you live in England, your water company should give your tap water hardness somewhere on its website. You need a number and the unit of measurement (though there are 3 which don't give a number just words). Once you know the hardness of the bypass tap you can search fish which need that hardness.
 

Byron

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First...you must ascertain the GH of your source water. And the pH of this water on its own. Without knowing this, no one can sort out GH/pH issues.

Second, water softeners often add sodium chloride (common sea salt) to remove hard mineral salts (calcium and magnesium) and this is even worse for soft water fish. And either would be trouble for hard water species.
 
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AmyJade2004

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The water hardness of the bypass tap is hard- 104 Ca mg/l which is about 16 GH (270ppm). The only fish that I have that prefers soft water is my betta but he is compatible with guppies who like hard water? The pH of the hard water is still 7.6 so I think it might be best if I let the water sit before adding it to the tank
 

Essjay

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That hardness is fine for the common livebearers and other fish such as most rainbowfish.

Bettas and guppies are not compatible. Bettas are solitary fish which should be kept alone; and bettas usually see male guppies with their fancy tails as other male bettas and attack them.
 
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AmyJade2004

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That hardness is fine for the common livebearers and other fish such as most rainbowfish.

Bettas and guppies are not compatible. Bettas are solitary fish which should be kept alone; and bettas usually see male guppies with their fancy tails as other male bettas and attack them.
Oh most websites that I looked at said that they can be compatible but most aren't because of that reason so I presumed their parameters would be the same. I have 2 female guppies in the tank with him as I didn't want to mix them with the males in the other tank. I wasn't really expecting them to survive but at the time, I was having issues with the ammonia in my tank so I didn't think they would survive either way. Now they get on perfectly with each other.
 

Antichton

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Ah that makes sense. The water softener was likely the culprit for your fish deaths if it adds sodium.

I have kept a betta with other fish before. He wasn't aggressive towards any of them, but male guppies with long tails might get harassed. I feel like it would vary from fish to fish.

I wouldn't worry about the hardness with the betta either, my tap water is at 400-500ppm GH and my betta did fine for 4 years in that water.
 
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AmyJade2004

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My old betta didn't get on well with my other fish but the one I have now barely even notices them.
For the tanks, should I do lots of small water changes over the next few weeks or just a large one to change it to the hard water?
 

Essjay

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I would do small water changes for a few days so the water chemistry is altered slowly.
 

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