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Thread: 428-479 parts per million hardness with 8.4 pH

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    Default 428-479 parts per million hardness with 8.4 pH

    This is my tap water, then it goes through a water softener. Do I need an RO unit?

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    Default Re: 428-479 parts per million hardness with 8.4 pH

    What are the readings after the water conditioner? If your TDS is much higher, I suspect sodium (unless you use potassium in your softener).

    Based upon previous threads, I would bypass the water softener and use your tap water. Your readings are very similar to mine and my discus are doing great!

    Now is you want to breed your discus, I would use RO after the softener. Since you would only be removing the sodium, your RO membrane would last a very long time...

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    Default Re: 428-479 parts per million hardness with 8.4 pH

    My well water is similar. I was able to bypass the softener, just would rather have calcium than sodium or potassium. The TDS of my water is about the same before and after the softener.

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    Default Re: 428-479 parts per million hardness with 8.4 pH

    Quote Originally Posted by jeep View Post
    Your readings are very similar to mine and my discus are doing great!

    Now is you want to breed your discus, I would use RO after the softener. Since you would only be removing the sodium, your RO membrane would last a very long time...
    This is what everyone always says - but I am running out of variables to determine why the fish are not more successful. pH and hardness are all I have left.

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    Default Re: 428-479 parts per million hardness with 8.4 pH

    Depends why the water is hard. My well water is very high in iron. If I bypass the softener everything is dead in a week. All you said is tap so im not sure if its a well or city water. If you have city water you should be able to get a report of exactly what is in the water. I would start there. If its a well bring it somewhere for comprehensive testing and find out what you are dealing with.

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    Default Re: 428-479 parts per million hardness with 8.4 pH

    Quote Originally Posted by CammieTime View Post
    This is my tap water, then it goes through a water softener. Do I need an RO unit?
    Have you been using tap or softened water?

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    Default Re: 428-479 parts per million hardness with 8.4 pH

    Quote Originally Posted by SNap0283 View Post
    If its a well bring it somewhere for comprehensive testing and find out what you are dealing with.
    The 428-479 parts per million hardness came from the city's water quality report. It is city water they get from a well. The 8.4 pH is my measurement after the water sits for 24 hours. I don't have a bypass valve so all the water runs through the home water softener before I can access it out of the tap for the fish tank. I always age my water 24 hours to remove chlorine, mirco-bubbles, and stabilize pH (it's 7.6 out of the tap).

    If the consensus is that this water is fine for discus then something else is going on that I'll have to figure out.

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    Default Re: 428-479 parts per million hardness with 8.4 pH

    Does your water company use chloramines? If so aging alone won't remove them. Sorry if you've covered this before...

    Although I have no personal experience with this, I've read in that past that some people haven't had good results using water from a softener because of increased sodium and not enough trace minerals.

    Another option would be to fill your aging barrel from an outside spigot because those lines usually aren't run through the softener...

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    Default Re: 428-479 parts per million hardness with 8.4 pH

    I had to do some plumbing to bypass the softener. The higher the hardness of the source water, the more sodium there will be in the softened water. Have you measured the TDS? TDS isn't the same as hardness, it can be higher or lower than hardness depending on the kind of minerals and other impurities. A TDS meter is a handy thing, and last time I looked they were only $13.

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    Default Re: 428-479 parts per million hardness with 8.4 pH

    428-479 parts per million hardness with 8.4 pH - Will discus live in this?

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    Default Re: 428-479 parts per million hardness with 8.4 pH

    Quote Originally Posted by CammieTime View Post
    428-479 parts per million hardness with 8.4 pH - Will discus live in this?
    Yes! Mine do...

    Aging your water to avoid a ph swing is important. I would test the ph straight from tap vs. aged. I fill my barrels in the morning and use the fill pump to circulate the water for around 4-5 hours and it's ready. No micro bubbles and steady ph...
    Last edited by jeep; 01-24-2019 at 02:06 PM.

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    Default Re: 428-479 parts per million hardness with 8.4 pH

    I wanted to add that if you do consider this approach, you may want to try mixing straight tap with the softened water for a few water changes and then increase the amount of tap. This may reduce any shock due to a change in water TDS that may occur.

    Another option is to use straight RO and then add back trace minerals to achieve whatever desired hardness you choose. There are many options available...

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    Default Re: 428-479 parts per million hardness with 8.4 pH

    Update: Discuss seem to live in 428-479 parts per million hardness with 8.4 pH

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    Default Re: 428-479 parts per million hardness with 8.4 pH

    “Another option is to use straight RO and then add back trace minerals to achieve whatever desired hardness you choose. There are many options available...”

    I’ve found, for me, mixing 4 parts RO w 1 part tap creates a nice constant GH of 3-4 and a KH of 4-5 with a steady PH of 7.6 to 7.8. I mix this in my aging can which is aerated and heated to one degree above tank temp. It also has a pump so I can merely fill up the tank w this water which is the same as the tank water from prior WCs. I tried the Seachem Equilibrium, but found my method to be easier and with less initial cloudiness. My TDS levels are fine.

    Try mixing and testing to find your desired water parameters. Yes......there will be frequent testing, but as you get your system established, that will lessen as well. Btw....I do have a large RO setup w a booster pump for all the RO water used. Putting my 45 gallon Brute plastic heavy duty garbage cans on wheel dollies really helps and prevents the dreaded bucket carrying back and forth from the RO faucet in the kitchen to the fish room. Put a thin flexible hose on the RO outlet into your can. Mine fills up 13 gallons every two hours.

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