Impacts of a Water Softener
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?
I don't know (others will) but I wanted to welcome you to TFK. Luca Brasi as in "sleeps with the fishes"? LOL, good one!!
HA! I am glad you caught it. I was not sure if anyone would pick up on it. I see it took about 30 seconds :) Thank you for the welcome!
Water softener adds salt to the water. It will not bother fish, except possibly cories. I would not add any more salt. Plants will not like it after awhile. My plants grew like crazy for 8 months then I had major issues with them. I've gone to using straight well water and that has helped a lot with the plants. I think the main issue was the tanks used up all the available calcium and magnisum since the softener removes that stuff. Plants got pretty sick looking and my snails shells kept dissolving.
IDK my GH since that kit expired and won't give a reading:-(. My kH is 7-8 though. My boesemani and emperor tetras spawn all the time in both the softened and unsoftened water. I think the softened water isn't good for the eggs though...
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.
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