Hard vs. Soft Water F8

Tain't fresh, and tain't marine! Talk about brackish setups.

Hard vs. Soft Water F8

Postby Jagatorjake on Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:59 pm

Hello one and all,

It's been a while since i've posted so i figure i'm due for a question to the forum. Recently we had a slab leak in our house and had to repipe our entire house. in that process, our family bought a water softener. My question is, how will the softer water affect my tank? should i do small water changes initially? do i need a buffer to make the change to softer water a slower process? how will it affect my snail tank? I know its alot of questions, but right now i'm holding off on water changes just until i get a better idea of what to do. also, i live in florida and we have very hard water.

Thanks in Advance!!
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Re: Hard vs. Soft Water F8

Postby J-P on Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:42 pm

If you have a softener you must be on well water. If so you can always bypass the softener and heater and fill with straight from the pump. You can also adjust the softening levels on the machine. I would be worried about any new pipes they installed containing high amounts of copper and the like.
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Re: Hard vs. Soft Water F8

Postby Pufferpunk on Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:37 pm

Definitely use an aragonite substrate.
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Re: Hard vs. Soft Water F8

Postby By_a_coo on Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:54 pm

My tap water is very soft and when I mix the marine salt to make it low end brackish I get the right parameters for F8 (hard and alkaline water).

My snails breed in soft water with no problems.

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Re: Hard vs. Soft Water F8

Postby Jagatorjake on Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:25 am

I'm actually on city water, but the water here is very hard. i've never tested the hardness, but there's white scale on the tops of all my tanks. i have gravel in there now with an undergravel filter. how would u recommend taking that out PP? as for mixing marine salt, for now i'm using oceanic, and i'm not entirely sure how that affects the hardness. I can get aragonite, i'm just afraid of killing my bio filter by taking out all my gravel. so there isn't anything you know of i can add to the water to raise the hardness? maybe calcium? as for the new piping, its actually all c-pvc though i'm not sure about the valves and such.

Thanks Again
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Re: Hard vs. Soft Water F8

Postby RTR on Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:59 pm

Water softeners are not limited to folks on wells. there are plenty of public water supplies which are hard and alkaline.

You should have a bypass before the water softener. The water for making up your brackish water would be better draw before the softener - you want the hard alkaline water for F-8. It also must be warmed to tank temperature before adding it to the tank.

If you want to maintain your existing biofiltration, I would add another filter with either coarse aragonite or coral rubble. That media must also be rinsed regularly and routinely or it may lose its buffering effect.

How do you maintain the UG?
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Re: Hard vs. Soft Water F8

Postby J-P on Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:09 pm

ohh.. I had no idea. Here, no one that I know of, on city, water uses a water softener. See, you learn something everyday :D
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Re: Hard vs. Soft Water F8

Postby Jagatorjake on Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:01 am

Ok so i talked to our plumbers and there is a spicket outside of the house that connects to the water line coming in before the softener, so i should be able to keep the same conditions in my tank. as for the under gravel (i think thats what UG means lol) i vacuum it every water change. Thanks for the suggests everyone. i've been wanting to get rid of my UG and get aragonite or crushed coral in there for a while now.
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Re: Hard vs. Soft Water F8

Postby RTR on Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:09 pm

Slightly off-topic:

J_P: Get to know some hobbyists from the the American west and southwest. Some of that water is as hard as the Rift lakes, or worse.
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