Plants suddenly in poor health - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 24 Old 03-25-2012, 04:47 PM
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Sorry if my response came across as harsh, my issue was not with what you said, but with what you had read - my understanding of hardness and water softeners is not at all what is described in that quote (it is possible I am wrong, though I have never read anything similar to what was described).

You are correct that the altered water from the softener (at least the ion exchange type I described) is different than what would be encountered in natural freshwater - due to the high Na. Usually Ca will be most prevalent, then Mg, then others in lower concentrations (water chemistry will vary greatly, but this is fairly typical), Ca and Mg are what is removed by the softeners and replaced with Na.
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post #22 of 24 Old 03-25-2012, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum View Post
Sorry if my response came across as harsh, my issue was not with what you said, but with what you had read - my understanding of hardness and water softeners is not at all what is described in that quote (it is possible I am wrong, though I have never read anything similar to what was described).

You are correct that the altered water from the softener (at least the ion exchange type I described) is different than what would be encountered in natural freshwater - due to the high Na. Usually Ca will be most prevalent, then Mg, then others in lower concentrations (water chemistry will vary greatly, but this is fairly typical), Ca and Mg are what is removed by the softeners and replaced with Na.
I didn't think you were harsh at all...I knew that you knew I didn't write the article! :) The author very well may be all wet on the specific point he was making! A practical approach to freshwater aquarium water chemistry is the whole article.

I keep having to remind myself not to go overboard as far as what I need to know. If my plants die, I can buy more. I don't expect watersprite prices to go the way of gasoline prices. :) My fish are all healthy and seemingly content, so it's okay for me to chill, watch things unfold, and learn what I need to know as I go along.
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post #23 of 24 Old 03-25-2012, 11:21 PM
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OK good, wasn't quite sure
Looking at the link, the info on GH and KH is good, so it would seem unlikely that he would go off the tracks regarding the water softener and permanent/temporary terminology. I've never heard these terms applied this way, but maybe I just haven't come across it, I'll look into it further. Home water softeners generally are used to remove calcium and magnesium since this is what makes it difficult for soap to lather, causes soap scum and if present as carbonates can clog pipes and develop scale deposits. What he said didn't seem to address this, but it just may be that he is describing a different type of softener than the ion-exchange type I mentioned.
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post #24 of 24 Old 03-26-2012, 01:29 AM
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OK, sorry to take the thread off topic, but a few things to add.

I've only heard the term 'temporary hardness' when referring to the ability to remove bicarbonate hardness via boiling, e.g. when heated, the bicarbonate changes to carbonate and carbon dioxide, the CO2 is driven out of solution and, assuming it was calcium bicarbonate to begin with, the carbonate and calcium form CaCO3, which can then precipitate out of the water, lowering both GH and KH, maybe 'temporary hardness' applies to bicarbonates independent of this process. This can't occur when Ca/Mg is present in the form of chlorides or sulfates, thus 'permanent' hardness (which is, as always, from Ca/Mg not from the chloride as it seemed to be suggested in the quote) rather than temporary. However, exchanging Ca/Mg carbonate with Ca/Mg chloride/sulfate, doesn't soften the water the Ca/Mg is still there though I guess it would help to reduce scale deposits.
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