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View Full Version : Can my home water softener harm my betta?



LittleFox
01-17-2017, 03:26 AM
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?

madagascariensis
01-17-2017, 06:10 AM
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).

Rocksor
01-17-2017, 02:22 PM
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.

LittleFox
01-17-2017, 09:56 PM
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.

LittleFox
01-17-2017, 10:07 PM
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?

Rocksor
01-18-2017, 01:36 PM
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?

LittleFox
01-19-2017, 01:31 AM
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?

madagascariensis
01-19-2017, 02:53 AM
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.

LittleFox
01-19-2017, 06:26 AM
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?

Rocksor
01-19-2017, 01:33 PM
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.

LittleFox
01-20-2017, 02:47 AM
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.

I'm going to try to get more information from my landlord about the water softener...

What if the outside water access is also connected to the water softener. Let's assume turning it off is not an option--given the fact that it's not mine and I'd rather not have to pay for anything that might happen to it. What, then, are my choices for providing my fish with healthy water conditions?

Rocksor
01-20-2017, 01:20 PM
I'm going to try to get more information from my landlord about the water softener...

What if the outside water access is also connected to the water softener. Let's assume turning it off is not an option--given the fact that it's not mine and I'd rather not have to pay for anything that might happen to it. What, then, are my choices for providing my fish with healthy water conditions?

I highly doubt that the garden faucet is connected to the water softener. It would be just a waste.

You're options are

1. making or buying reverse osmosis water, and then putting the minerals back in using Seachem Fresh Trace (http://www.seachem.com/fresh-trace.php) or something similar.

2. Simply buying Seachem Trace by the gallon

3. Buy pure Epsom salt (manganese sulfate), food grade gypsum (calcium sulfate for home brewing), and a GH/KH kit so that you can add the calcium and magnesium back in to the water that you are adding to the tank. The kit is used to make sure the GH past 5 degrees.

4. Using bottle water