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  1. #1

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    Question Can my home water softener harm my betta?


    0 Not allowed!
    I might be freaking out unnecessarily because it's my first betta, but...

    I've been reading everything I can find on bettas and one article mentioned that water softeners are not good for fish, but it was a bit hazy as to why. Because my previous fish have had no problems with the water, I'm not sure what to make of it... So, is it bad for my fish?
    Last edited by LittleFox; 01-17-2017 at 03:37 AM.
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    "I just wanna have coffee and pet my dog."

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  2. #2

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    2 Not allowed!
    what type of water softener do you have? Some water softeners add sodium chloride (salt) to the water which has obvious negative effects on freshwater fish (and long term human consumers too).

  3. #3

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    1 Not allowed!
    Yes it can harm fish. It removes all traces of calcium and magnesium from the water, which fish need. The harm done to fish can take months to show.

  4. #4

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    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by madagascariensis View Post
    what type of water softener do you have? Some water softeners add sodium chloride (salt) to the water which has obvious negative effects on freshwater fish (and long term human consumers too).
    I honestly didn't know there were different types...

    It looks like large rock salt in a bag. The landlord takes care of the system, but my husband refills it occasionally. Even with it, our water is a bit hard.
    ~~~~~~~~

    "I just wanna have coffee and pet my dog."

    5-gallon & 2-gallon:
    3 male guppies

    ~~ ~~

  5. #5

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocksor View Post
    Yes it can harm fish. It removes all traces of calcium and magnesium from the water, which fish need. The harm done to fish can take months to show.
    So do I need to do something to my tap water to keep my fish healthy long term?
    ~~~~~~~~

    "I just wanna have coffee and pet my dog."

    5-gallon & 2-gallon:
    3 male guppies

    ~~ ~~

  6. #6

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    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFox View Post
    So do I need to do something to my tap water to keep my fish healthy long term?
    Get water before it goes into the water softener. Water that goes into the yard is typically not connected to the water softener. Change about 25% of the water at most for the next week using the same water source. Eventually you can do 100% water change if necessary after that time.

    What size is the tank for the betta?

  7. #7

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocksor View Post
    Get water before it goes into the water softener. Water that goes into the yard is typically not connected to the water softener. Change about 25% of the water at most for the next week using the same water source. Eventually you can do 100% water change if necessary after that time.

    What size is the tank for the betta?
    It is a 5-gallon.

    So what is the difference between the salt in a water softener and salt people suggest adding to their aquariums to keep their fish from getting sick?
    ~~~~~~~~

    "I just wanna have coffee and pet my dog."

    5-gallon & 2-gallon:
    3 male guppies

    ~~ ~~

  8. #8

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    3 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFox View Post
    So what is the difference between the salt in a water softener and salt people suggest adding to their aquariums to keep their fish from getting sick?
    Chemically speaking, none. The difference lies in duration of exposure. Salt is added to an aquarium with sick fish to help them heal, but once the fish gets better (ideally) the addition of salt is discontinued. Chronic exposure to salt will harm most freshwater fish.

  9. #9

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by madagascariensis View Post
    Chemically speaking, none. The difference lies in duration of exposure. Salt is added to an aquarium with sick fish to help them heal, but once the fish gets better (ideally) the addition of salt is discontinued. Chronic exposure to salt will harm most freshwater fish.
    So, what if you had a saltwater aquarium? How does a water softener affect keeping fish then?
    Last edited by LittleFox; 01-19-2017 at 06:33 AM.
    ~~~~~~~~

    "I just wanna have coffee and pet my dog."

    5-gallon & 2-gallon:
    3 male guppies

    ~~ ~~

  10. #10

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    2 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFox View Post
    So, what if you had a saltwater aquarium? How does a water softener affect keeping fish then?
    People who have a salt water aquarium use reverse osmosis water, and recreate the correct amount of minerals needed for salt water tank. The ocean doesn't only just contain salt. A water softener doesn't make keeping a salt water tank any easier.

    A water softener either uses sodium from the salt to replace the Calcium and Magnesium or it uses potassium. The chloride ion then becomes free to bond with other ions in the water.

    Those who have to watch their sodium intake due to health reasons are better off using Potassium Chloride for their water softener.

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