View Full Version : How can i SOFTEN up my water?

04-25-2008, 10:28 PM
hey, guys i was reading online about my 2 Golden severums, and its said they they like the water soft instead of hard.

Like on the testing strips for my water, whats the difference between like KH and like that other thing that reads hardness... i forget.
It says my water is really hard, and is there a way i can make it softer?
My tap water is hard, so yea..

doug z
04-25-2008, 10:43 PM
How hard we talking?

There are a few ways to soften your water.

You can use peat in your filter. This has to be replaced periodically.

You can add driftwood, but the added softness and lower pH is temporary.


You could buy R/O water (pH 6.0) from the supermarket, or buy your own R/O unit (expensive), and mix it with your tap water until you have a ratio that brings your pH down to the desired level.

04-25-2008, 11:00 PM
well, here it is the GH is like 180 and the KH is like 0, i dont even get how that makes sense but,

the PH is like little bit low around 6.5 is that ok for Gold Severums?

doug z
04-25-2008, 11:29 PM
Your pH should be fine, but if you want to soften that water..

The R/O water is the best solution, and the most cost effective.

These are the best on the market.


Do some research on them and see if you are up for getting one of these, or wether you just want to get it from the supermarket (you want REVERSE-OSMOSIS, not distilled, not de-mineralized, not spring water).. It will have it on the label.

Just remember to use it WITH your tap water, as R/O water is PURE water, no minerals, no nothing, and fish and plants both need the minerals and elements present in tap water..

You can also put this stuff in your filter:


Though note this WILL darken your water, somewhat..

ANOTHER method that will probably work for you is to add some baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). It will raise your KH and pH.

One teaspoon (about 6 grams) of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) per 50 liters of water will increase KH by 4 degrees and will not increase
general hardness. Also, two teaspoons (about 4 grams) of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) per 50 liters of water will increase both KH and GH
by 4 degrees. Different proportions of each can be used to get the correct KH/GH balance dictated by the fish and plants in the tank.

What kind of filter do you have?

04-26-2008, 12:43 AM
thanks, for the great reply but on the product http://www.bigappleherp.com/Hagen-Fluval-Peat-Granules-500-Grams
How do i add that into the filter? I have a fluval Filter , and its a 305

Also i dont get the KH and the GH, wut they mean?

04-26-2008, 12:46 AM
Test strips are notoriosly innaccurate. Your water may be softer than you think. I would get a quality master test kit from a pet store, the liquid kind.

Also, trying to continuously alter the pH of your tank could cause a lot of stress. If the store that you bought them from has a simmilar pH to you, they may have already adapted to your conditions.

04-26-2008, 12:55 AM
umm who said i was altering the pH?

doug z
04-26-2008, 12:59 AM
How do i add that into the filter?

You get a permeable bag (the same that houses media like carbon, etc) and just put the peat in the bag and place it inside your filter.


You change it out when you see your hardness and pH levels changing (you will need to keep an eye on this).

Like I say, you may want to try adding the baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and see if you can raise the pH and hardess to your desired levels that way.

I looked and found a good article on GH and KH, and how to modify the hardness of your water:


Check it out, and I hope that helps..

Welcome to the forum, btw!!

04-26-2008, 01:04 AM
Most of the time low pH=soft water, high pH=hard water. You are going to be altering your pH. They pretty much go hand in hand.

04-26-2008, 02:09 AM
drum is right I wouldnt mess with anything, and If your water is really hard Peat wont do anything for you becuase the natural buffers in the water will keep your hardness up. The best solution is to use RO water which you can buy at walmart for like 37 cents a gallon, but keep in mind you will want to mix some of your own water with it, maybe around 75% ro and 25% of your tap water.

doug z
04-26-2008, 02:34 AM
and see if you can raise the pH and hardess to your desired levels that way.

Whoops, you want to lower it.. LOL

04-26-2008, 03:01 AM
Severums are pretty adaptable fish. They will thrive in high or low pH water, as long as it is not extreme. I would just leave the pH alone, unless you are trying to breed them.

04-26-2008, 03:32 AM
yea i achually want to breed them, and recently they were lip-locking. But now i havnt seen then done it in a while, they did it for a good amount of time one day. But now i havnt seen em doing it.

I have a thread on it in "breeding".
I jus wanted to know wut to do, if they plan on doing it anytime soon.