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Who has soft water?

This is a discussion on Who has soft water? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Interesting! How often to you exchange how much water? Do you have the same problem in all tanks or just some tanks as far ...

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Old 11-04-2009, 05:45 PM   #11
 
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Interesting!
How often to you exchange how much water?
Do you have the same problem in all tanks or just some tanks as far as plant growth?

Tap water you're using is there any Fe traces in it?

Cause I think that may be the key cause all my tanks that were treated with plain water and poo...The tap water already had a very small amount Fe in it, maybe that's the key?

That really makes me wonder now how this will work here with pretty much R/O water that I have...Cause you gotta bare in mind all my experiences are solely built from the harder water I was used to. But I think once mine here are up & running us 2 will have good talking grounds / exchange ideas.

And yes you're absolutely correct I admire natural habitats that are set up to pretty much naturally regulate themselves rather then plastic plants, no light and all sorta of chemicals for 'possible' sicknesses etc pp. that just never has been my world
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Old 11-04-2009, 05:57 PM   #12
 
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Here's some other random shots from my old tanks, enjoy
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:21 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel079 View Post
Interesting!
How often to you exchange how much water?
Do you have the same problem in all tanks or just some tanks as far as plant growth?

Tap water you're using is there any Fe traces in it?

Cause I think that may be the key cause all my tanks that were treated with plain water and poo...The tap water already had a very small amount Fe in it, maybe that's the key?

That really makes me wonder now how this will work here with pretty much R/O water that I have...Cause you gotta bare in mind all my experiences are solely built from the harder water I was used to. But I think once mine here are up & running us 2 will have good talking grounds / exchange ideas.

And yes you're absolutely correct I admire natural habitats that are set up to pretty much naturally regulate themselves rather then plastic plants, no light and all sorta of chemicals for 'possible' sicknesses etc pp. that just never has been my world
The tests were doen in both the 70g and 90g tanks last year (they are the "Former" tanks in my photos). There is no mineral whatsoever in my tap water. Both GH and KH are zero, the water couldn't be any softer. Fine for my selection of fish and plants, but aquarists with livebearers have them dying all the time as the water is so soft, unless they harden it with calcium and magnesium or something. As I think I mentioned, somewhere, I have about half a cup of dolomite in my filters to maintain a GH of 1 and it buffers the pH so it won't fall below 6 (never has yet in 15 years anyway). You will likely have to use a balanced fertilizer with your soft water.

Saw the subsequent post with photos. Cute, the corys all lined up for their picture. Lovely little fish.

B.

Last edited by Byron; 11-04-2009 at 06:24 PM..
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Old 11-05-2009, 01:36 AM   #14
 
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Your not the only two! I've got RO water in three tanks...including a swordtail tank! I salt it a little more than the average bear but all hardness is zero. Kinda glad I ran across you two chating... I've been contemplating "hardening" the swordtail water, was just a little hesitent cause it's been running for a year with no real upsets. Swordtail inhabitants growing and colorful...? I know... another contrary fish story.
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:51 AM   #15
 
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and I started thinking Byron and me were the only 2 softies

Swordtails are indeed VERY adaptable fish which is why they make great beginners fish really. Also not to neglect the fact they have been breeding 'indoors' over many many years and they needs by now slighty changed from the original wild form.

IF you want to harden their water to meet their needs better I'd definatly go for any of Byron's tips with using dolomite or crushed coral within your filter. I'd personally not try adding chemicals (as you then will need to achieve this x amount chem's each water exchange).

Why are you adding salt? How much in what size gallon tank?
I had mine for many yrs and they never had a grain of salt; matter of fact all my tanks were ran pure nature style: fish, water, plants - nothing more.

There's plenty of things that sometimes don't make perfect sense to us in the fish world, BUT they work. So if you have figured out what works for you with your set up's ~ Why change it?
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Old 11-05-2009, 12:22 PM   #16
 
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BerkB33, I definitely agree with Angel, forget the salt. This is another area where there are two opposing sides, but from my research the majority of authors recommend no salt in freshwater aquaria as a general basis thing. I won't go into the why's unless you ask.

African rift lake cichlid salt is different, that is a water hardening substance to create appropriate water for those fish. I wouldn't bother using it for livebearers, as there are cheaper and better methods. Using a calcareous rock in the filter or mixed in the substrate is preferable. When I had livebearers I used a dolomite gravel. Livebearers should not be maintained in acidic water long-term. Dolomite or crushed coral or marble chips will slowly harden water and thus raise the pH. Mid-7 pH is fine, anything up to 8, with moderate hardness.

Byron.
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Old 11-06-2009, 03:48 PM   #17
 
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I went ahead and added some de-chlorinated tap water to the 45 gallon sword tank. Our water in the central valley of California is "pretty hard", farming and all, I am just trying to bring the GH to about 10-20. The salt addition was mainly for the 4 or 5 molly residents in the tank...the mollies do not do well, for me, without a little salt. The other reason was for gill function. I've read that it improves the "operation" of livebearers gill functions. My understanding was that ALL livebearers "preferred" a little salt, as opposed to none. My pH is 7.6 to 7.8. Thanks for you entries...it's helpful to hear what others are doing.
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Old 11-07-2009, 11:14 AM   #18
 
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Originally Posted by BerkB33 View Post
I went ahead and added some de-chlorinated tap water to the 45 gallon sword tank. Our water in the central valley of California is "pretty hard", farming and all, I am just trying to bring the GH to about 10-20. The salt addition was mainly for the 4 or 5 molly residents in the tank...the mollies do not do well, for me, without a little salt. The other reason was for gill function. I've read that it improves the "operation" of livebearers gill functions. My understanding was that ALL livebearers "preferred" a little salt, as opposed to none. My pH is 7.6 to 7.8. Thanks for you entries...it's helpful to hear what others are doing.
Mollies can tolerate salt because they can live in fresh or brackish water. Some other fish can also "tolerate" limited salt but long-term it is generally believed not a good thing. Here's a link to quite a good article:Frequently asked questions on using salt | Practical Fishkeeping magazine

It is interesting that all the authorities cited in this article state categorically that salt should not be added to freshwater aquaria unless for medicinal purposes; Dr. Peter Burgess says, "Unless the species has a natural requirement for salt, then we should not add salt to an aquarium (or pond)."

In an article in the December 2006 issue of TFH Laura Muha mentions that a fish has to work considerably harder to maintain its regular metabolism when exposed to salt. She likens this to driving a car up a hill; it takes more gas and more effort by the engine to achieve the same effect. Over time this may well have a detrimental effect on the fish.

Not long ago in another thread a member had been using salt and it was determined to be the cause of the skin literally burning off a fish. My own view is that if a fish in its natural habitat will never come into contact with salt, then it should not be subjected to it in the aquarium; the fish has evolved for a specific set of water parameters, and it seems logical that it will probably be healthier by being less stressed if those parameters are replicated as best as we can. The fish in the aquarium cannot escape from what we add to the water, it can only tolerate it.

Byron.
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Old 11-07-2009, 11:28 AM   #19
 
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My water is the same as your guys's. Soft and acidic. I live in a mountainous area, so yeah. My thing is though, I just buy a few gallons of purified drinking water to do my water changes. It's real cheap at 75 cents a gallon, however, I may switch over to using the tap and just dechlorinating it...I don't know any practical means though...
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Old 11-07-2009, 11:35 AM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by npjpkac View Post
My water is the same as your guys's. Soft and acidic. I live in a mountainous area, so yeah. My thing is though, I just buy a few gallons of purified drinking water to do my water changes. It's real cheap at 75 cents a gallon, however, I may switch over to using the tap and just dechlorinating it...I don't know any practical means though...
I'm a bit confused here. If your water is soft and acidic, is there a reason for buying drinking water for partial water changes? The purified drinking water is probably devoid of anything, and there may be more mineral in your tap water, and some mineral is good for fish to maintain their mineral balance (depending upon your fish this varies).

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