I keep neon tetras, cherry barbs, and shrimp in a planted aquarium. Thanks for the info on the bypass valve! I'm just going to do that from now onwhat fish do you keep?
most water softeners have a bypass valve. if you have a python that attaches to your faucet, you can turn on the bypass valve and run the water for a few minutes to flush out the softened water in the pipes, then fill your tank. if you need a certain level of softness for a specific type of fish, you can mix softened water with the bypass unsoftened water.
also, most water softeners are plumbed to the pipes inside the house, and not connected to the outside spigots. the main water line T's off, one side goes into the house, and the other side to the outside spigots. i use the backyard water hose to do water changes.