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Old 04-11-2012, 06:32 PM   #21 
kfish
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Originally Posted by Sakura8 View Post
Is that one of the reasons why my plants struggle? The softness for my indoor water is 0. Not even 1, it's 0. I'll have to look into that because I just ordered a bunch of plants in my last stand: if they don't grow this time, I'm switching to plastic. And yeah, it's a saalt-based softener. :/ So far, everyone's been doing okay in it. I'm worried because I'm not sure I can use outside water for anything but the koi/goldfish, since it's next to impossible to heat and it comes out of the hose at about 65 F.
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My parents have a salt-based softener and my mother's fish are fine (as were mine when they were there)... she primarily keeps tetras so they love that softness (GH is absolutely 0 at their house, too... one drop and the water is the end color). She has a black skirt tetra that is at least 8 years old, and others that are around there. I couldn't grow plants AT ALL in that water, though. They either didn't grow at all or died. So that's probably your problem. Get some crushed coral!
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:40 PM   #22 
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I've seen the products that raise GH at my LFS so I can pick one of those up or I can maybe do a 1:2 ratio of hard water/soft water. Now that it's mentioned, it makes sense that plants wouldn't grow in soft water because all the good minerals are taken out.

EDIT: Just tested my carbonate hardness and that is 8. According to the little pamphlet with the test kit, I should make deionized water using API Tap Water Filter. According to Seachem's website, I should have a GH that matches my KH, which ideally should be 3-6. Suddenly keeping fish and plants got a lot more complicated.

EDIT 2: So an API Tap Water Filter is a $50 glorified Brita filter. I just tested the KH of the water from my Brita pitcher and it's 6. Maybe put a Brita filter on the faucet . . .

Last edited by Sakura8; 04-11-2012 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:10 PM   #23 
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Ya. No hardness at all means no minerals for plants. My GH is 3 and my plants still struggle. Byron uses Seachem Equilibrium to bring up the hardness because it won't raise the pH like crushed coral will, but I think I just found another problem. I did a little searching because I remember Byron saying something about most domestic water softeners being bad for fish. If you read this article and scroll down to "Domestic Water Softeners" he gives a full explanation of it. http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-97842/
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:21 PM   #24 
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I have GH of 9 out of the tap at my apartment and the plants seem to absolutely love it... kH out of the tap is 3, but in my fish tank it's 7-8. I suppose that's close enough to being equal?! Lol. I do not miss my parents' water softener and being paranoid about the salt ions. Seems like certain types of fish are fine in it (like my mother's tetras, lol) and others probably not so much.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:53 AM   #25 
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I'll check out the article, Izzy, but this definitely sparked a conversation in the house. My mom has type 1 diabetes and all the complications that come from having it for 40+ years, so we're now concerned that the sodium is adversely affecting her kidney and heart. I have a feeling we'll be getting a new water softener system of some sort soon.

I was thinking of Equilibrium because it doesn't have sodium or potassium like other buffers. I've got to try to figure out how to equalize my KH and GH, though. Ay yi yi.
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