Can I really not use my inside tap for water changes?

devsi

Context: When I bought my tank ( 180 Litres), my LFS told me that I shouldn't use any of my inside taps because I have a water softener, which removes all of the "good stuff" from the water.

When doing water changes, if I'm restricted to only using my outside tap (cold water only), I either have to leave it for a number of hours with a heater in, or I have to deal with numerous kettles to bring it up to the correct temperature.

If I could use my inside hot water tap to bring the temperature up, it would be SO much easier; I could just fill up a bucket with hot water and drop it in.

So, my question is can I really not use my inside tap?

If I tested it, using the API Master Test Kit, and it was the same pH/Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate as my outside tap, what is the harm?
 

BigManAquatics

Minerals exist in water that are necessary for fish and any aquatic plants. Water softeners tend to take a lot of that stuff out.
 

devsi

Minerals exist in water that are necessary for fish and any aquatic plants. Water softeners tend to take a lot of that stuff out.

Oki Doki, so not a good idea, even if it's only a small proportion of the water going into the tank?
 

BigManAquatics

Oki Doki, so not a good idea, even if it's only a small proportion of the water going into the tank?
I have never tried it myself, but i don't know that i would want to risk it myself. Might try spring water from the grocery store so maybe it doesn't start as cold, though
 

devsi

I have never tried it myself, but i don't know that i would want to risk it myself.
Thanks :) I'll stick with the kettles, the last thing I want to do is upset my fish just to make my life easier.
Might try spring water from the grocery store so maybe it doesn't start as cold, thougg
That's alright :) I'll stick with the kettles, until I can find a better way to heat up a bucket full of water haha.

Thanks :)
 

PAcanis

Add a spigot and valve before your supply line goes into the water softener so you can bypass it.
 

leftswerve

I wonder, I haven't done research, but I wonder if the pH might change in the softened water over time, since it has had the good bits removed.
 

devsi

Add a spigot and valve before your supply line goes into the water softener so you can bypass it.

Thanks, but, honestly, I won't do this :) While it would be easier for water changes, having my water softened/filtered is better for every other scenario.
 

PAcanis

Add a spigot and valve before your supply line goes into the water softener so you can bypass it.


Oh, and I've taken to not adding any hot water when I do a water change. If the tank drops a few degrees it does so slowly and gets right back up to temp. But I don't do massive WC's. Usually 30% or thereabouts.
 

devsi

I wonder, I haven't done research, but I wonder if the pH might change in the softened water over time, since it has had the good bits removed.

Ah, is that what the removal of minerals would do?! That's interesting, thanks!
Oh, and I've taken to not adding any hot water when I do a water change. If the tank drops a few degrees it does so slowly and gets right back up to temp. But I don't do massive WC's. Usually 30% or thereabouts.

I would imagine that would be different in my case, because the water comes out of my outside tap VERY cold (I have to brace myself just to put my arm in it, when adding the heater).
 

PAcanis

Thanks, but, honestly, I won't do this :) While it would be easier for water changes, having my water softened/filtered is better for every other scenario.

That's why the valve. You would only use it when doing a WC. Otherwise it's business as usual and runs through the softener.
 

devsi

That's why the valve. You would only use it when doing a WC. Otherwise it's business as usual and runs through the softener.

Oh, I see! I'll look into it! Thanks!
 

Bgreen82

Instead of just using one or the other, just do a 50/50 with your soft and tap water, you will have the mineralization from the tap and can add warm soft water to it to raise the temperature. At that point you can still add equilibrium in if you need to add minerals but it likely won’t be necessary. I have used this method successfully in the past when my tap was too hard at my old home.
 

LowConductivity

Easy here.... water coming from a "softener" isn't really softened. All the softener doing is taking the calcium and magnesium out, and replacing it with salt.
 

devsi

Easy here.... water coming from a "softener" isn't really softened. All the softener doing is taking the calcium and magnesium out, and replacing it with salt.

Which is bad, right?
 

scubasteve80

I've had my 75gal running for 18 months with discus/cardinals/angels, and I have a whole house water filter and softener system. No issues other than one sick fish i am currently treating, that is unrelated (afaik). I do not have live plants though, so can't speak to impact there.
 

LowConductivity

Which is bad, right?
Correct. Calcium and magnesium are important.
 

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