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  1. #1

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    Question How to soften water


    0 Not allowed!
    I have been wondering the best way to soften water. I am aiming to breed my german blue rams, and I've heard that harder water will make the eggs less likely to hatch. I have really hard water, but I also have a water softener. How soft does a water softener make the water and what is the best way for softening water?

    I tried boiling at one point, and it worked great, but I was banned from taking over the stove with all my pots, so I'm looking for a different way .
    Also, I would use driftwood, but the stuff in the pet store is like $13 per piece, which I am not prepared to spend. I'm really bad at identifying driftwood, so that's not a good option because I don't want to introduce a poisonous wood.

  2. #2

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    Well, I'll say that trying to reduce your pH via DW or IALs won't have much of an impact. Your kh will hold the pH stable. I'm not familiar with water softeners, but there are some members here that use softened water I'm pretty sure.

    I'll page him @luke77
    GiVe Me sHrEd TiLL i'M dEaD
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  3. #3

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by angelcraze2 View Post
    Well, I'll say that trying to reduce your pH via DW or IALs won't have much of an impact. Your kh will hold the pH stable. I'm not familiar with water softeners, but there are some members here that use softened water I'm pretty sure.

    I'll page him @luke77
    DW or IALs?
    do those stand for something?

  4. #4

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    0 Not allowed!
    DW = Driftwood
    IAL = Indian Almond Leaves

    I mentioned them in your GBR thread ;)
    GiVe Me sHrEd TiLL i'M dEaD
    -Kat

  5. #5

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    1 Not allowed!
    I've been using a water softner forever. Never had an adverse effect on fish. My angels when I had would law but they would eat them. Never did anything with rams.
    220g Frontosa tank.
    210g monster fish tank.
    125g planted wild altum tank
    55g grow out tank.
    29g quarantine tank.

    Video of my 125
    https://youtu.be/-ELr8DgX4BY

    Video of my 220.
    https://youtu.be/aqZU9NV-ykQ

  6. #6

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    2 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent S View Post
    I have been wondering the best way to soften water. I am aiming to breed my german blue rams, and I've heard that harder water will make the eggs less likely to hatch. I have really hard water, but I also have a water softener. How soft does a water softener make the water and what is the best way for softening water?

    I tried boiling at one point, and it worked great, but I was banned from taking over the stove with all my pots, so I'm looking for a different way .
    Also, I would use driftwood, but the stuff in the pet store is like $13 per piece, which I am not prepared to spend. I'm really bad at identifying driftwood, so that's not a good option because I don't want to introduce a poisonous wood.


    A water softener does not truly soften water for the the fish by lowering the total dissolved solid levels. All it does is replace the calcium and magnesium in your water with sodium or potassium. Real soft water will not only have less calcium and magnesium, but also less dissolved solids overall. Reverse osmosis water mixed with your tap water is the best way to soften your water for your fish.

    I've known folks who have used water softeners to the detriment of Central American cichlids and even their angel fish over the course of 6 months. Once they started to supplement their "softened" water with calcium and magnesium, their fish did better.

  7. #7

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    1 Not allowed!
    The only way to truly soften water is an RO unit, or buy the water. The internet says water softener water is bad. That may be so but I and others I know locally use it in some tanks with success. My water is hard enough that sufficient calcium and magnesium still remains. If you need a softener it happens to be 100% efficient at removing calcium (doubtful) it is simple to add calcium back in the bypass mode. I've never seen a softener that didn't have that feature. You are definitely spiking sodium or potassium though (sodium most likely). That said my ram tanks get mostly RO with a bit of well water. No softened water.

  8. #8

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    0 Not allowed!
    My eventual plan is RO, but I haven't gotten one yet. I'm just looking for a short term plan.

  9. #9

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocksor View Post
    A water softener does not truly soften water for the the fish by lowering the total dissolved solid levels. All it does is replace the calcium and magnesium in your water with sodium or potassium. Real soft water will not only have less calcium and magnesium, but also less dissolved solids overall. Reverse osmosis water mixed with your tap water is the best way to soften your water for your fish.

    I've known folks who have used water softeners to the detriment of Central American cichlids and even their angel fish over the course of 6 months. Once they started to supplement their "softened" water with calcium and magnesium, their fish did better.
    but. . . isn't hardness only the calcium and magnesium? I thought sodium/potassium wasn't hardness.

  10. #10

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by luke77 View Post
    I've been using a water softner forever. Never had an adverse effect on fish. My angels when I had would law but they would eat them. Never did anything with rams.
    "would law?"

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