how to make water softer? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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post #1 of 14 Old 11-10-2013, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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how to make water softer?

i have a 55g south american community. it currently houses barbs, angels, cories, peacock eels, and a bgk(6 in). im having to do multiple water changes bc my fish are dying from what i think may be dropsy. well when i finish i will need to lower my kh,gh, and most likely pH. what are my best options for doing this and having stable results?

Fish tanks are like potato chips, you can't have just one!!!

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post #2 of 14 Old 11-11-2013, 12:01 AM
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Seeing that most folks don't have RO water, use a could of gallons of distilled water from the store. It has zero hardness.
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-11-2013, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pennyls9332 View Post
i have a 55g south american community. it currently houses barbs, angels, cories, peacock eels, and a bgk(6 in). im having to do multiple water changes bc my fish are dying from what i think may be dropsy. well when i finish i will need to lower my kh,gh, and most likely pH. what are my best options for doing this and having stable results?

First high pH is not a sign of hard water. KH and gh are the hardness parameters.

my planted tank always have a ph of over 8 (api high range test kit) yet fish like neon tetras and hatchetfish that require soft water live for years and years.

IME having some peat moss in the substrate keeps kH and gH from rising.

my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-11-2013, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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i know the difference between the 3, but i do need a lower pH for my angels and black ghost knifefish. but thank you for the suggestion i will get some in a few days

Fish tanks are like potato chips, you can't have just one!!!

my work in progress http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...ascape-287018/
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-12-2013, 04:01 AM
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What is you pH & hardness now, and what are you aiming for? I've seen RO units as cheap as $50 on sale, depending on what you pay per gallon for water at a shop as well as your tap this may be a cheaper option.
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-12-2013, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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what is RO water? everything is still changing since im doing wc every other day to get rid of the nitrates but ph is about 7.2 and everything else is neutral. i have access to ground water wells for free so will that work? i guess i would have to get some and test it to see tho

Fish tanks are like potato chips, you can't have just one!!!

my work in progress http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...ascape-287018/
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-13-2013, 02:53 AM
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I have it on good authority that "distilled" water these days is actually reverse osmosis (RO) water. What was your pH before you started doing frequent pwc's ? If it was lower, what were you doing to keep it acceptably low? How critical is the pH level for those guys?

What do you consider unacceptable nitrate? Commercial aquariums with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of livestock frequently measure nitrate >100ppm

Last edited by Hallyx; 11-13-2013 at 02:55 AM.
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-13-2013, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pennyls9332 View Post
what is RO water? everything is still changing since im doing wc every other day to get rid of the nitrates but ph is about 7.2 and everything else is neutral. i have access to ground water wells for free so will that work? i guess i would have to get some and test it to see tho
reverse osmosis.... a prosess in which the water is forced though a membrane to remove unwanted minerals and salts ( most not all.. the final process can be finished with a DI cartritge )... some caution is needed when using distilled ( which containes no buffers) and R/O water .. you need to know KH and GH... or you possibly could make matters worse...

have you had any tests donr on the well water? ... sometimes city tap water ( once the chlorine is removed) can be a better choice...
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post #9 of 14 Old 11-13-2013, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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my nitrates was upwards of 80 and i have 3 fish die so its what the fish want and not me lol
my pH was around 7.0-7.2 and they were perfectly fine but it is suggested that they have lower pH seeing as they are south american to be at optimal health right? but i was mainly concerned about the gh and kh bc the bgk is more sensitive to those than ph i believe, but i could be wrong i guess...

Fish tanks are like potato chips, you can't have just one!!!

my work in progress http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...ascape-287018/
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-17-2013, 02:34 PM
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lowering the dissolved nutrients and such in the water through water changes is one way, ... are there any other options ?
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