Chemicals for Water Hardness
Hello! Does anyone know a good, safe chemical that lowers water hardness? The hardness of the water where I live is extreme,and it has killed most of my fish so far.
Hello and Welcome!
Nope, there is nothing that does it in a safe manner.
The method this is safely done is by mixing RO/DI water with your tap water (for example a 50/50 mix would give you half the water hardness). Rain water can also be used if you have a means to collect and store it.
Your other option is to get hard water fish, like livebearers or you could try an african lake cichlid setup.
Agree. This article will explain hardness and pH and why adjusting them is not so easy:
Would pictus catfish be able to live in very hard water, are they compatible with the african cichlids?
No, they need a pH below 7 and a GH under 12 dGH (medium-hard).
The site here has fish profiles that list this for a lot of the common fish out there in the hobby, you can find them on the blue bar at the top of the page, second link.
If you type out their name on the forums the same as it is listed in the profile, like you've already done with the Pictus Catfish, it will copy in a link to the profile you can click and highlight the word.
Another way to change the hardness mixing RO/DI water and tap water is by using what is known as the ‘Pearson’s Square’. It is a ratio, in this case, tap water to RO/DI water.
For example let’s say you are looking for a GH of 7 in your tank and your tap water is 12, RO/DI water is O. Subtract the value of the GH you would like from the value of RO/DI and you get 7. That is how many parts of tap water you will need in your ratio. Next, subtract the value of the GH you would like from the value of your tap water and you get 5. That is how many parts of RO/DI water you will need in your ratio. The ratio is 7:5.
Now let’s suppose you are putting together a 40 gallon tank. So, we start by dividing the 40 gallons by 12, which is the total of the parts. The answer is 3.33 gallons per part. Now multiply 3.33 by 7, the amount of tap water needed. The answer is 23.33 gallons of tap water. Subtract 23.33 from 40 and you get 16.67. So you will need 23.33gallons of tap water to 16.67 gallons of RO/DI water to come up with an approximate GH of 7.
If you have fish in the tank then adjust the hardness incrementally. I haven’t used this yet to adjust the hardness in my tank yet so I would check with others as to how to proceed. I was planning on lower or raise the GH on more then 1/2 dH per day. Check with others on this site for a recommendation. Good Luck!
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