hi i just bought a water softener and it uses salt to make the water over here in guelph, canada from hard to soft, i was wondering if it harms the fish at all to use this water or should i use a by pass so it doesn't use the soft water
depends on the fish your keeping... africans? you will have to use a buffer to harden the water back up. south americans? you're probably better off with the water softener than without it.
If it's the salt that you are worried about... don't worry about it... it shouldn't hurt them... you will just have to get the right paraments in the tank for whatever kind of fish your keeping. you can find/make additives/buffers that will help in either direction.
i am running a water softner too for about 7 months and my africans are doing fine. probably better then fine they breeding like guppys......... and i cant keep up to all the fry i was up to 220 fry roughly 2 weeks ago... so i dont know i dont think my africans are minding the soft water :fish: :dancing:
Commercial water softeners replace carbonate in your water with salt. Your fish likely cannot live in salt water. Eventually, that salt will build up and kill your fish. They call it a water softener, because, to you, it is softer. To your fish, its like being dumped in the ocean(ok, its not that bad, but still, your fish likely do not appriciate the salt). This is the same method used in those aquarium store water softening pillows.
If you want soft water for south american cichlids, you need to get pure water from an RO system or similar.
It wont kill your fish, I have a water softener and it hasnt hurt my africans one bit. I did use crushed coral as a buffer however, I had gravel in there for a month or so and it was fine. I wouldnt be afraid to use it, it wont kill your fish, but if you are worried about it fill your tank with an outside hose, that shouldnt be hooked up to your softener.
I would think that you are better of WITH the water softener with that fish list.
However, I don't know how often you do water changes but for a while make sure that you do smaller more frequent changes because the new water going into the tank will be drastically differnet from the water that they have grown accustomed to...
Like if you have been doing 30% water changes every 2 weeks... try doing 15% changes weekly... the goal is to slowly acclimate them to the new water chemistry... if you do it too quickly... it might be a shock for them.
The goal is slowly acclimating to the new water chemistry.