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Old 12-10-2011, 08:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Methods of softening water.

Anyone have a DIY method of softening water that really works? No reverse osmosis, a real cheap way to lower PH, GH and KH? Missouri water is full of lime and calcium, I know I will eventually have to buy a RO system, but maybe someone has a method that works. My plants seem to be growing fine, but it is hard to grow some species without using chemicals such as acid buffer. The CO2 content of my water is very low, so I add about three 2 liter bottles of DIY CO2 about every 10 to 12 days. 2 cups sugar and 1 tsp. dry yeast, sealed tight to a 55 gal. tank. Acid buffer seems to lower the KH but the GH lowers very little. I use a tetra test kit for GH and I think the lowest I've ever got it was about 17 drops, but it generally takes 20 to 25 drops to change the color. So just thought I might try a last resort and see if anyone has any solutions.
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Old 12-11-2011, 05:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Methods of softening water.

you can use peat
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Old 12-11-2011, 07:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Methods of softening water.

I think the leaching of tannins from driftwood may or may not lower Ph and soften the water a bit (that is if you can tollerate tea colored water for a bit). Where I live we have hard water or so I've been told I have been meaning to get the test kits I need. Good luck let us know what works and what doesn't ill be sure to check back later.
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Old 12-11-2011, 07:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Methods of softening water.

where i live its very hard water, about 21 GH, so i use R/O the best i found, i used peat for a while, but R/O more practical for water changes and more efficient.
for Peat, if your tap water is very hard, it wont affect it much, or using a large quantities, but you have to tolerate the tea color.
i recommend R/O water, and beware of ion exchanger, that produces sodium instead of calcium, with affect the tank as a whole.
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Methods of softening water.

From my research on the same subject it seems as though RO water is the way to go. I am about to start using a mixture of RO and tap to bring down my ph and soften it up. I have seen no noticeable affects from driftwood, but your starting water will probably come into play there as well as with peat. I've tried the buffers with no success as well as black water extracts and neither helped.
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Old 12-11-2011, 04:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Methods of softening water.

I think I have tried just about everything, just wondering if anyone had any different ideas. I even use sphagnum moss ( peat moss), picked up a bag at my local hardware store. under a thick layer of eco complete.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Methods of softening water.

I wish there was another way that actually gave good results, but I believe you've tried it all then.
I've always have wondered if those little kitchen sink filters like the Brita or PUR do anything that would be good for an aquarium. I doubt they would soften or change ph though.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Methods of softening water.

you can get the Tap Water Filter, foster and smith carry them. But in the end, RO is the cheapest way to go.

I've had mixed results with peat, placed in a filter bag, and changed often was the only effective way I found it to be beneficial.

I've also tried "water softener pillows" but these also require frequent recharges.
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...fm?pcatid=4048
http://www.bigalspets.com/API-Water-.../dp/B002DW0GQQ

The kitchen brita filters won't soften your water, however the zerowater pitcher claims to make "pure" water, but once again, the filters will get expensive, depending on the size of your tank(s).

Another option is to buy RO water from your local fish store, many near me sell it $.50 a gallon.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Methods of softening water.

Check your local grocery store or even Wal-Mart. All of our local stores have those great big Glacier water machines and they sell RO water. Much grander scale than a home unit and in our case a 5 gallon container is only $1.35 to fill which is considerably cheap. I do have 1 gallon jugs as well I bought at Wal-Mart that are a heavy duty suitable for continuous refills which I do weekly. That only costs $.35 a fill but for me the 5g is a better value imho.
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Old 12-12-2011, 03:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Methods of softening water.

Ugh!!! Is it safe to use rainwater or melted snow?
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