Water softening pillow

ukgoffer

Candiru
Original poster
MFK Member
Aug 3, 2012
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Westport, CT
The water in my tank is very hard. Not exactly sure why - out of the tap it is not but it definitely is in the tank. I thought I’d try throwing a water softening pillow in one of my filters. Is there any known sensitivity for Dats, Pbass or Rays? The package says I’ll need about 900g for my 240gal. Looks like I’ll need to order more but I thought I might go ahead and start with what I got. It may affect the PH so I’ll want to monitor that. Anything else I should be worried about?
 

esoxlucius

Redtail Catfish
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Dec 30, 2015
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I think the more pressing question here is, why is your water ok out of the tap but once in your tank it turns very hard? Address that problem first and, if solvable, you may not need any band aids to make your water softer again.
 
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Ulu

Giant Snakehead
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Dec 13, 2018
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The Sunny San Joaquin
For decades I've had to add minerals to our water. No calcium, low everything except sometimes chlorine.

IMO You have the wrong rocks, gravel, sand leaching lots of minerals into the tank.

Take them out & test them before replacement.

Hard water is usually "absorbed" more easily. Freshwater fish can become sort of dehydrated inside leading to kidney failure.
 

Rocksor

Blue Tier VIP
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Nov 28, 2011
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A water softening pillow doesn't really soften the water by reducing the amount of total dissolved solids (TDS). All it does is replace the calcium and magnesium with sodium. If you truly want soft water, get a reverse osmosis system to reduce the TDS levels, and remineralize the water with the proper mineral amounts found in soft water.

Get a GH/KH liquid test as well as a TDS meter if you want to truly make the water softer for your fish.
 
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ukgoffer

Candiru
Original poster
MFK Member
Aug 3, 2012
388
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46
Westport, CT
Turns out the culprit is my town water. My tank is mature (6+ years) and the water has been hard for a long time. I lost two large fish for no apparent reason over the last few months and I can find nothing else abnormal about the water parameters so I thought I’d address it. Any thoughts?
 

Rocksor

Blue Tier VIP
MFK Member
Nov 28, 2011
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San Diego
Turns out the culprit is my town water. My tank is mature (6+ years) and the water has been hard for a long time. I lost two large fish for no apparent reason over the last few months and I can find nothing else abnormal about the water parameters so I thought I’d address it. Any thoughts?
Could be a number of things from ammonia spike, fatty liver disease (heart attack), agression, to osmotic shock. Without a baseline of your tap water parameters, what test kit you are using, numbers from your tank, tank mates, etc. it's a guessing game.
 

ukgoffer

Candiru
Original poster
MFK Member
Aug 3, 2012
388
73
46
Westport, CT
I am trying to get get a ppm equivalent - the hardness for my location is 3.7 to 5 grains per gallon according to the water department. I’m using an API GH/KH testing kit. You are supposed to count the drops necessary to change the water color in the test kit - the chart stops at 12 drops. I can count to 30 drops and the color still hasn’t changed.
ph at 6.5 (rays, dats, p bass, barbs).
Ammonia is nil.
Nitrites are nil.
Nitrates slightly elevated at 5 ppm.
I run a continuous drip plus 30% every 2 weeks.
Every other wc i’ll Run my diatom filter for a few hours.
3 separate filtration loops on a 260g - Eheim 2262 canister, 20” 100 micro sock filter, and a fluidized bed filter that I mostly run with Purigen.
The fish that died several months apart were very large Barbs. The last was a slow process over 3 days - the fish started tumbling and swimming in loops.
 
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