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    Question about tropical fish and soft water.

    Hi just a quick question for anyone who knows about tropical fish tanks. I have a tropical fish tank and was just wondering if using softened water from a water softener will affect the fish? (good or bad)

    Current pH from my tap is around 8.0 (kind of high) and the tank itself is around pH 8.4.

    The softener takes sodium tablet and it is fitted so it only mixes with my hot water. So far, I have been using only cold un-softened water from my tap.

    Any advice?

    6 Comments

    Any reason why you'd want to change the water you are using?

    Original Poster

    Fish seem to only last about 2-3 months, even with 20-30% water changes every 2 weeks and a 50% water change and filter clean around 4 weeks.

    pH slightly high
    Ammonia is 0
    NO2 is 0ppm
    NO3 is 20ppm

    I think it may be my water, I live in a built area and my water is very hard, so was wondering that maybe if I used softened water that it may be beneficial to them.
    Edited by: "krazie2004" 19th Dec 2010

    I am no expert but that seems like a lot of changing of water.

    That sounds like quite a high PH to be coming out of the tap. Is it definitely what you get from the tap, not just after you have added it to the tank? If you have ornaments like shells or even sometimes the gravel can cause the PH to rise. Make sure it is the tap water and not something in the tank causing the increase.
    I'm not sure about water softners but I would be unsure of putting anything in my tank that didn't come directly from a fish shop. I know adding driftwood can often help lower PH a little.
    Rather than changing the water it might be worth considering changing the type of fish you are trying. Some are better suited to higher PH tanks. African cichlids prefer a higher PH and Sailfin Mollies can manage up to 8.5, although they will probably require salt adding as they prefer brackish water. I'm sure most fish shops would be able to advise what would be most suitable for you.

    Original Poster

    senda_letter

    That sounds like quite a high PH to be coming out of the tap. Is it … That sounds like quite a high PH to be coming out of the tap. Is it definitely what you get from the tap, not just after you have added it to the tank? If you have ornaments like shells or even sometimes the gravel can cause the PH to rise. Make sure it is the tap water and not something in the tank causing the increase.I'm not sure about water softners but I would be unsure of putting anything in my tank that didn't come directly from a fish shop. I know adding driftwood can often help lower PH a little.Rather than changing the water it might be worth considering changing the type of fish you are trying. Some are better suited to higher PH tanks. African cichlids prefer a higher PH and Sailfin Mollies can manage up to 8.5, although they will probably require salt adding as they prefer brackish water. I'm sure most fish shops would be able to advise what would be most suitable for you.



    Thanks for your reply.

    Yeah it's strange. I test my water every time before I add it to my tank. From the tap it has constantly been between 7.8 - 8.0. I have all plastic plants in the tank (130litres) and plastic ornaments.

    I may add some driftwood, does it need to be soaked before I can add it?

    If you buy the driftwood from a pet shop it should not need to be soaked. Occasionally they have sand or debris on them that you may wish to rinse off, but they shouldn't need to be soaked.
    Have you tried from a different tap in your home? Might be worth checking one that feeds nearer the main supply, to see if your pipework is adding the extra PH.
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