How to efficiently soften water
I am planning on starting a 65 gallon discus tank, and I was curious what the best way to go about softening my water would be? I'm not sure what the exact gH of my tap water is, but I know it's nothing below 3 degrees which is where I'm going to need my water to be for discus. I have looked into several methods of efficiently softening my water:
Using a "WaterStick" -- http://www.watersticks.com/index.htm
Using a water softener pillow -- http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_Aquari...ceuticals.html
The WaterStick seems more practical for me. It looks like it can filter much more water, and I need something that can soften a lot of water. The pillow, as I understand it, simply sits in the filter and gradually softens the water. I will need my water to be instantly soft as I pump it into my tank. Any ideas, comments, or suggestions?
I don't see why you should soften the water just to keep discus. Discus are tolerant enough even to hard water as long as they are acclimated properly. Are these wild discus?
You could use driftwood/bogwood as a long term solution to soften the water.
No, they are not wild discus. I just want to replicate their natural environment as closely as possible. I'll also be putting some silver dollars in with them.
If you want a constant supply of soft water then get a R/O filter and be done with it. This will make the water super soft and you can adjust the water to whatever levels you want them at. Remember also that both pH and GH swing can be bad for your fish and it is rumored that GH swings is more harmful to fish than pH.
I can not think of a better way to maintain soft water but you need to check and see what the GH andpH is from your LFS where you are getting them from. If it is not ideal then you need to match what the LFS has and slowly change it to what the fishes natural habitat would be so you don;t wind up causing pH or GH shock and killing them. Drip acclimation will help but if the difference is too high even drip acclimation might not be enough.
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