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what can my water softener do for my water?
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angry monkey
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Joined: 04 Jun 2006
Location: madison, wisconsin

PostPosted: 2007.01.21(Sun)10:13    Post subject: what can my water softener do for my water? Reply with quote

aloha from sunny wisconsin!
I own a home with a water softener.
it has always been a mysterious device that I can ignore pretty easily.
onse a month I put 50 or 100 lbs of salt pellets into the drum and thats
about all.
I've reacently started testing hardness and pH and I'm wondering if my water softener can have a profound effect on the tap water I use for water changes. I've never dinked around with its settings in the past.
maby I shouldnt start now.
if my wife does 15 loads of laundry before I change the water in my tank, will that have and effect on the hardness of the water I'm using?

also, is gh the same as dh?
this is confusing stuff to a simpleton like me.
any help would be appreciated.
small words might be best.
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fishlover888
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Joined: 20 Dec 2006

PostPosted: 2007.01.21(Sun)12:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

the household softener will not do anything for the fish. It simply exchange the hard water with salts.
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125 g discus tank 13 discus, 5 Sterbai cory, 3 clown loaches, 1 Albino BN pH 6.3 50% WC x2/wk
2 g nano tank 3 Danio, pH 7.6 80% WC/ 2 days
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Thalas'shaya
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Joined: 18 Jan 2007
Location: Dallas, TX

PostPosted: 2007.01.22(Mon)11:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

the water softener is going to affect your hardness test results. I'm an environmental engineer, and I STILL don't completely understand the alkalinity chemistry stuff, so I'm not going to try to talk about the differences between KH and gH and all that.

I've never had a water softener, so I don't know what to tell you about how water use affects its output. generally, salt reactions are near-instantaneous for practical purposes, so residence time of water in your softener shouldn't matter. does it have a big tank like a water heater? or just a small chamber that the water passes through? assuming it's just a small chamber, you're getting the same hardness reduction no matter how much laundry your wife is doing.

the purpose of a water softener is generally to make your soap go further when cleaning (hard water inhibits sudsing), to make your skin and hair feel nicer after bathing, sometimes to make the water taste better, and to prevent scale buildup in your water heater and on your fixtures. some fish have hardness preferences, too, but I've just reached the limits of my knowledge. so I'll shut up now. Smile
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number6
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2007.01.22(Mon)14:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

water passes over a resin where the resin attracts (like a magnet) and holds calcium and magnesium. Usually once per day, the resin is backwashed with NaCl which forces Na in place of the calcium and magnesium. Now, the resin is ready to attract calcium again... as calcium is attracted to a spot on the resin, it bumps of the Na ion that is sitting there from the backwash. The Na now binds to any free chlorine in the tap water to make NaCl again... table salt.

NaCl increases conductivity of the water, but does not increase "hardness" as we think of it as it relates to fish. So eggs for soft water fish will usually be fertilized and therefore some "soft water"ill do better... some "soft water" fish actually need water with low conductivity, so those fish won't do any better, and may do worse if they are salt intolerant fish...

hopefully this helps you understand that any advice given will differ from fish to fish depending on species.

HTH
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angry monkey
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Joined: 04 Jun 2006
Location: madison, wisconsin

PostPosted: 2007.01.23(Tue)6:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the information ya'lls
I think I'm going to considder the settings perminant and
never speak of adjusting them again.
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fishlover888
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Joined: 20 Dec 2006

PostPosted: 2007.01.23(Tue)9:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like number6 said, the softner is adding salt to your water. If you have fish does not like salt in the water, it is not good for them. Some fish do like a bit of salt in the water, such as guppy. In most cases, these fish don't mind a bit hard water too.

Some other fish don't like salt, they also don't like hard water, such as Discus. In this case your water softner is not doing any good for them. You are just exchange ond bad thing for another for them.

It really depends on what kind of fish you are trying to keep.
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125 g discus tank 13 discus, 5 Sterbai cory, 3 clown loaches, 1 Albino BN pH 6.3 50% WC x2/wk
2 g nano tank 3 Danio, pH 7.6 80% WC/ 2 days
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