07-23-2011, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tylbeck
Byron - I am also having issues with high GH/KH levels, and I see you indicated using 75/25 mix (RO/Tap Water) Also, you wrote that the GH can only be lowered by diluting the water with pure (soft) water. Are you saying to use RO soft water or soft water from a water softener?
The only way in my opinion to safely
lower the GH in an aquarium is by diluting the water with what I'll call pure water. This is completely natural, no chemicals, salts or whatever substances are being added. This means either RO or distilled--both of which have no mineral content--or with "softer" water such as rainwater. The reduction in hardness will be in proportion to the mix, so half tap and half RO/distilled will result in water that is one-half the hardness of the original tap water. Rainwater will do much the same thing, though there might be some mineral depending upon what it has "picked up" falling to the ground.
If fish are present in the aquarium, the change must be gradual to avoid shock. When the hardness lowers, so too will the buffering capacity and the pH will lower, and this also must be done slowly. This is why I suggested a 25/75 dilution, and that took into account the initial hardness and what would result. If the initial water is very hard, less of a dilution should occur to avoid too great a drop at once.
As for water softeners, it depends. I've never used one, some other members here have with varying problems/results. If the softener "softens" by replacing mineral salts with other salts, this can be just as bad for the fish.