Jump to content
amedublu1

Softened Water

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone, I am just setting up my first tank and have a question that seems really basic but haven't found a good answer in my research.  All the taps in my house have water softened by the system in our basement. The cold water tap in the kitchen is the only unsoften source of water. Does it matter if I use softened water or should I look to use the water as is arrives from the City (SE Calgary).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That depends on what kind of tank your setting up,  If you have live plants a slightly softer water is going to be beneficial. If your setting up a cichlid or fish only live bearer tank than your not going to want to reduce the hardness of the water.  Either way the only major difference that could do your livestock harm is if the water coming out of the system has a major difference in ph than the water out of the one tap you have that is untreated and you use that tap for a water change after using the other source of water,  If there is significant difference use what your live stock/ plants will benefit from most.  cichlid's and live bearers love hard water.  a lot of asian species like soft water.  Keep in mind most of the fish regardless of region in your local stores will be captive bred and most likely used to whatever the tap water conditions are.  So if you do reduce your ph be sure to drip acclimate your livestock appropriately so you don't stress them.  

 My advice in a nutshell is test your water out of both sources for ph at the very least.  Than make your choice depending on what kind of fish your stocking.  Most people with planted tanks would love a system that could give them 6.8-7.0 ph water right out of the tap, because that range is optimal for plant growth and nutrient uptake.  Captive bred fish for the most part should if given time to adapt be fine in most water conditions between 6.5-8.0 ph, a lot of fish won't breed in water if the ph/tds isn't optimal for the species but they will do just fine otherwise.

Edited by Percilus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info.  I will be having plants so good to know my water softener may actually help and it's not a cichlid tank.  Will start testing pH as soon as I get everything set up and then make some decisions from there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is only/mostly the Rift Lake cichlids in Africa that like hard water. All South American cichlids and many/most West African cichlids like soft water.

Water softeners replace calcium and magnesium with whatever counterions are on your softener's resin. But since the softened water is meant for human consumption it seems a safe assumption that your fish will be fine with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, biodives said:

It is only/mostly the Rift Lake cichlids in Africa that like hard water. All South American cichlids and many/most West African cichlids like soft water.

Water softeners replace calcium and magnesium with whatever counterions are on your softener's resin. But since the softened water is meant for human consumption it seems a safe assumption that your fish will be fine with it.

Thanks for clarifying the cichlid preferences I should have mentioned that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×