Water softener vs Naturally Soft water (or RO) - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 1 Old 11-12-2010, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Water softener vs Naturally Soft water (or RO)

I keep wild discus.

In SoCal, the water is extremely hard, so all weekly cleanings are with RO water. I add buffers to keep KH up, but I use very little tap (5% or so).

Last week, we put in a water softener and when I test hardness, it is at 0. However, I understand that water softeners don't really soften water per se, but change the Ca and Mg ions for K or Na (I am using KCl). Since the hardness testers don't test for K, the readings are 0, but this does not mean the water is pure.

So my question is: since the water hardness test kits only test for Ca and Mg, am I OK to assume that high levels of K are OK (yes, I do have a planted tank, but I cannot measure how high the K is, since the water is very hard, I would assume it is quite high), or should I stick to RO which is closer to the real rainwater they see in the wild? What about 50/50?

Anyone have any luck with softened water with Discus? Do you think they will notice the difference?

Next cleaning is tomorrow so thanks in advance.
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