Originally Posted by LucaBrasi
I live in NJ where we have slightly hard water out of the tap (7-8 dGH). Just hard enough to cause annoying scale on my tank!!! So, we had a water softener installed about 3 weeks ago. So, today I came up on my first water change since the installation of the water softerner. I used to add aquarium salt (1 tablespoon per 5 gallons) with every water change. Now that I have a water softerner in place, should I discontinue adding aquarium salt?
Also, I have 3 large sevrums and 3 bosmani rainbows. Does anyone know if they these fish prefer hard vs soft water?
Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping. Melanotaenia boesemani
, Boeseman's Rainbowfish, prefers basic, moderately hard water; pH 7.0 to 8.0 and hardness up to 20 dGH. In their habitat, three lakes in the Ajamaru (Indonesia), the water has a pH between 8 and 9 so it is very hard and alkaline. However, they are also found in a few tributary rivers having a pH around 6.5 so they may be a bit adaptable. However, my understanding is that they do better in harder basic water, as Mikaila31 mentioned.
The severum Heros severus
occurs in generally different water in South America, soft and acidic. Its preferred parameters are pH below 7 and hardness below 8 dGH. One of its habitats, the Rio Negro, has a pH of 4-5 and no hardness at all. If kept with the earlier fish, a balance of pH around 7 and hardness 10 dGH would seem to be best.
I second the caution on salt. This would likely have more detrimental effects on the severum, long-term especially. Personally, I would never add salt to a freshwater aquarium except as a medication for a specific health issue, and then being careful to ensure the fish species in the aquarium could tolerate it. Generally speaking, no soft acidic water fish have a tolerance for salt and continued use has been linked to developing internal health problems.