Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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SinCrisis 09-16-2010 09:41 AM

countering water softener salt
I have water softener salt in my water system and its really bothering my snails since their shells are getting dissolved. Is there a way to counter the effects of water softener salt? ie, have soft water but still have enough calcium? I am not sure if the leftover sodium in the water is eating away at their shells or if its just the lack of calcium in the tank.

Romad 09-17-2010 08:14 AM

You can add buffers (like Sea Chem or shells) but I guess it depends on what type of fish you have in the tank with the snails.

You're going to have to find a good balance or ultimately, move the snails to a better suited tank for them.

I don't have snails at the moment but am starting to do some research bc I'd like to add some to my community tank.

Good luck.

1077 09-17-2010 09:02 AM

Try using water from faucet outside. Water softeners remove calcium and magnesium and replace these minerals that fish need and that help buffer the water with sodium salts ,which aren't all that healthy over the long haul for fish.
Some companies that make these water softeners, even suggest that the water not be used for aquariums.
Might google... "effects of water from water softeners on tropical fish" or google info on your particular system and see if they OK the use with aquarium fishes.

SinCrisis 09-17-2010 11:31 AM

Well my fish seem to be doing ok, apparently the system includes water outside. I would literally need to run to a neighbors to get unsoftened water, which i want to avoid since running back and forth once a week with a bucket is gonna be troublesome for them and me.

I use morton's solar salts for the system and according to their FAQs, its ok for ponds and freshwater as they have no additives but they recommend only to use fish that want soft water, obviously. I have tetras, otos and snails. The snails are not doing well, their shells are clearly very thin and the back ends of the MTS shells are all dissolved, so instead of beautiful cone shaped snails i get stumpy shelled snails. Other than that the MTS still breed actively and i know i have hundreds in my substrate.

One things I am worried about is what would happen if I just added calcium like crushed coral or seashells, would the salt in the water react and create that brown sediment i see in my softening system? Also, how do i re-add magnesium to the water?

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