Soft water - how do I correct this issue?

  • #1
I've been told that I had soft water. I never thought anything of it until I actually had problems :-\

My GH is 30
It was done on API 5 in 1 dip test read immediatley. I know how much we all love these tests but it's what I had on hand. I do know my house has a water softner attached to the hot water tank.

My question is how do I correct this issue?
That is safe for my pleco.
Someone suggested aquarium salt but I was also told not too with a pleco.

In the tank
3 assorted platy
1 molly
1 L201 pleco
Chicken farmer
  • #2
I have a water softener also. What I do is put it on bypass the day before a water change to get the salt out.

I have never used the soft water in my tanks before. I don't know what would happen.
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
How do you do that?!
Mine is attached to the tank no way around it

nevermind gotta love google!
Chicken farmer
  • #4
I have heard of some people just keeping it on and using the soft water, no problems.

I have African Cichlids so I have tocturn it off. Kind of a hassle when u try to take a shower or run the dishwasher.
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
someone said my male platy is overly aggressive because of this issue.
So now I've spent the day stressing about it
Chicken farmer
  • #6
I have no idea about that. I wouldn't think that it would make a platy mean. Hmm.

It everyone else acting fine with the water softener water?
  • #7
If the water softener is attached to your water heater then it sounds like only your hot water is softened. If that's the case then it should be ok since you are mixing cold (hard) and hot (soft) water for water changes. But I wouldn't add any salt to your tank since the water softener replaces calcium with sodium and too much sodium is bad for your fish. If your water softener doesn't have a bypass valve on it then you could also use water from an outside spigot since those are normally tapped off before the water softener. You just need a large container to hold the water until it can be warmed up to the proper temp.
  • #8
Your softener should either have a bypass valve built in to the back of it. Usually a little round handle that you either push or pull.

Or it will have a series of valves in the plumbing leading up to and out of it...Usually 3 valves close together.

There are other bypass setups but these are the most common. It is also possible that someone improperly installed it without a bypass. If this is the case, you can set the softener to regenerate and do your water change while it is in regenerate mode. During regeneration the softener will automatically bypass. Of course you would have to flush the hot water tank out, wasting all that preheated water. Then the hot water tank would have to reheat the new, unsoftened water back up to temp. This would all have to be done within the 2 - 2.5 hours it takes for the softener to complete the regeneration process.

You could also setup a vessel to preheat and pretreat your water with a separate heater. This is also good because it lets your water gas-off and oxygenate before you put it in the aquarium. I do this, and on my brackish vessel I actually filter the water through aragonite to add KH to my extremely soft water...And in addition I still have to add sodium bicarbonate to it.

To clarify, a water softer doesn't just replace hardness with salt. It has a tank that contains fine resin particles that filter out the hardness(minerals). It then uses salt to clean the minerals from that resin and flushes it all down the drain. This is the "regenerate" cycle/process. But; there is a little residual salt left behind from this process.
Chicken farmer
  • #9
My bypass is on the back of the softener. To flush my water heater before a w/c I run the dishwasher, or take a shower, but I usually don't do showers cause the water feels icky.

You could also get a trashcan and a heater and use that for water changes. That works good if you don't have lots of big tanks.

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Locked
  • Question

Top Bottom