1. jeanward623

    jeanward623 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Bellville TX
    :confused:Is using the water from a water softening system safe for fish in a freshwater aquarium? We have hard water with a bad smell in the summer and considering a water softner system but want to be sure I can use that water in my 55gal aquarium.
  2. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Yes, it's fine
  3. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,660
    Location:
    .
    Hi, I don't know what kind of salt water fish you have, but with my salt water fish it didn't bother any of them except for the Vulgarian Octopus. I had tangs, puffers, lionfish, small damels, everything was okay except for Otto. We had him in capitivity for 3 years and I still don't know if he died because of the softener or he needed his tank upped in size again. But, he started not to look well after the softener was added.

    oops, just saw yours is freshwater. Like Peter had said, it should be fine. Sorry.
  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I'd ask fish people with fresh water fish.
  5. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Hey Cookie, what in hell is a vulgarian octopus?
    I need a picture of that thing
    Can you eat them.... a little garlic butter, wrapped in bacon ;)
  6. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,660
    Location:
    .
    No, you can not eat him, lol.

    He is a small greyish white octopus, very friendly. He would flash colors accordingly to his emotion. If you knocked on his glass he would either turn very white because he got scared, or red cause he got angry. If he felt threatend he would ink the water. Same with a door banging he would flash, so he either heard it or felt the vibration.

    They have a little egg tooth and will wrap around your hand or arm. He would eat frozen food or a goldfish which I wouldn't do. He was pretty neat.

    He was a birthday gift to me.
  7. pulpfiction1

    pulpfiction1 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    s.w.ontario canada
    you do not and i stress NOT want to use water from a softener in your fresh water tank, the ph and softness will be low but the KH will be through the roof,if your wanting soft and low ph water say for discus or other similar watered fish you will need to RO the water first.i am a discus and african fish breeder and you will not fair well with that water from a softener
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Softening water does not decrease the pH, it slightly to moderately increases the TDS (total dissolved solids) and adds sodium to the water by 7.85 mg/l per grain per gallon of compensated hardness.

    IMO some/few? fresh water fish may be fine and others/most if I guessed may not. And it probably depends on how hard the water was before softening.
  9. pulpfiction1

    pulpfiction1 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    s.w.ontario canada
    the salt in a freshwater tank does not go well with fresh water fish.period.the KH will be to high for most freshwater fish the require a lower ph,other that can tolerate the higher kh will require a higher ph .i breed discus and angels as well as african cichlids and like i stated freshwater fish will be too stressed in a salt softened enviroment.if you need more info i can supply hundreds of links to state the same.and true enough that softeners dont effect th ph but it does effect the kh and very high i might ad,i have to use and ro after i soften the water to put in with my south american fish or they wont breed,its can be true most fish will adapt but will but stressed the whole time shortening life span and higher risks to diseases
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,226
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    fish

    The chlorine in domestic water supplies is usually worse on the fish than the sodium in soft water. I would use reverse osmosis water to get rid of all chemicals, then add whatever the fish like.
  11. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Hmmm

    I add salt to my fresh water tank:rolleyes:
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,226
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    fish

    You can also get a good flavor if you smoke the fish.
  13. wallygater

    wallygater New Member

    Messages:
    133
    Location:
    long island
    Fish

    My fresh water fish likes a little salt in his tank. He told me just a little bit though.
  14. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
  15. pulpfiction1

    pulpfiction1 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    s.w.ontario canada
    id call that brackish not freshwater,what freshwater fish gets triggered into breeding by adding salt to the water?i realize there is lots of controversy as to adding salt (the marine type) to the water temorarily to help kill off some bacteria but have never heard it trigger spawning in freshwater species of fish.but if a person is addament about puttting salt in a freshwater enviroment, they are gonna,(the enviromental peeps actually call that polution,and have even outlawed softeners from entering a septic system in many juristictions for the same reason,harmfull to the enviroment)some people do confuse minerals in fresh water to the same as salt content but ill bet if you test any rainbow trout hole for salt (NaCI)you wont find any except on the table after it has been cooked.freshwater plants dont do well with salt in the water either.i could go on and on but i wont,its obvious some know very little about the hobby.
  16. zl700

    zl700 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    237
    Location:
    Texas
    What the salt does is change the osmotic pressure within an organism. If you think back to your school science classes, maybe you'll remember the idea of diffusion - that molecules want to be spread out evenly. This is true, even when there's a membrane (cell membrane in this case) in between. Water can move freely to either side, but salt cannot. So for the concentration of salt in the water to be the same on both sides of the membrane, it's the water that has to move.

    In freshwater, there's not a lot of salt in the water. All organisms need some salt to be healthy (it's used to produce stomach acids, to conduct nerve impulses, and to move other minerals in and out of cells). Fish have specialized cells on their gills specifically from removing small amounts of salt from the water, and they're capable of storing this inside of their cells. Parasites and fungi (what salt is generally used to treat) don't have the same mechanisms. So when they encounter salt, the water is pulled out of their cells to try and make the salt content inside and out balance. What literally happens is that these organisms dehydrate in a tank full of water because the salt pulls the water out of their cells.

    In saltwater, you can do the same for parasites by lowering the salt concentration so they fill with water and burst.

    Another benefit of salt in a new tank is that it eases stress from nitrite exposure by binding to the sites where nitrite is absorbed - nitrite interferes with the uptake of oxygen, so when nitrites are high, fish will be at the surface looking like they're gasping for air.

    For most fish, a tablespoon per 5 gallons is enough. Some species (especially livebearers) can tolerate much higher levels, while others (tetras, scaleless fish, catfish) are more sensitive, but all can tolerate the amount listed above.

    That said, if your softener is raising the salt level in your drinking water more than a minuscule and measurable amount, there is something wrong with the softener, sodium is rinsed to drain, as it is the chlorides that is desired in sodium chloride that is used for the exchange process.

    Ive filled and refilled my freshwater tanks with softened water for ever. RO water is actually bad to use since untreated the PH level is lowered when processed through the membrane.

    Yesterday while at my favorite fish store I couldnt help noticing the packages of freshwater tank salt for sale and a dispensor in 1 or 2 tanks.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009

Share This Page