Softener salt water safe to use for fish? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-23-2011, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Softener salt water safe to use for fish?

I told my mom I would need distilled or RO water to make the water in my new aquarium softer, as we have very hard tap water. But she said she could get softener salt to put in our water tank or something like that, and use that water instead. I'm pretty sure that'd be deadly to any fish... but she insists that it's the same thing.

I've read Byron's guides on water hardness and PH, and after researching distilled and RO water, the big difference I'm sure is that the softener salt water would be very impure as opposed to using distilled or RO.

But yea, is my mom right that we could use that water... or should I tell her she's trying to kill my fish? lol
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-24-2011, 08:42 AM
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In short, no she won't kill your fish. You two should compromise though. Just be sure she buys something 99% or better pure. Morton®Salt - Frequently Asked Questions Morton® White Crystal® Solar Salt

Basically, she won't be adding enough to alter the salinity of the water.

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post #3 of 6 Old 08-24-2011, 12:17 PM
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I myself would not use softener salts. While some are fine, others are not. They remove mineral hardness (caused primarily by calcium and magnesium salts) by adding other "salts" [which are not the same as sodium table salt, just so that is clear]. These other "salts" can be worse than the hardness, depending upon what they are and the fish.

Using pure water to dilute the tap water is still the safest method. The less "stuff" that goes in the water the better.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-24-2011, 01:13 PM
A kit my indicate the remove some hardness, but the total dissolved solids stay the same. I've used water run through a softener for tanks and for the fish I was keeping I would rather of just had the regular tap water.

.... I'm probably drunk.

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post #5 of 6 Old 08-24-2011, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, thanks guys.

And also, since plants absorb some of those minerals, would that in turn make the water noticeably softer?
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-25-2011, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OddballFishCoveter View Post
Alright, thanks guys.

And also, since plants absorb some of those minerals, would that in turn make the water noticeably softer?
Not really. The mineral uptake by live plants is not great, and I have never heard of anyone experiencing softer water. I doubt the level would be detectable with our basic test kits. Consider that as little as half a teaspoon of Flourish Comprehensive can provide sufficient minerals--and all of them--for a week, and yet have no impact on hardness.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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