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Hard and Soft Water In an Aquarium

Updated on February 27, 2011

What is hard and soft water?

Hard and soft water is described mostly by the content of minerals level in the water. Hard and soft water is also closely related to pH levels. What is pH for an aquarium?

Soft water: Soft water has less Minerals than hard water. The sofer the water, the lower the pH will probably be. Water from lakes and rain dosen't contain mant minerals so then it would be softer water.

Hard Water: Hard water contains many more minerals than soft water. the harder the water, the higer the pH will be. Well water with a lot of lime stone (calcium) is usually harder than soft water because it contains more minerals.

Water softener system
Water softener system

Changing hard and soft water

To make water softer you must pass it through a water softener, or a filter with peat in it. You can also add distelled water, or clean rain water to your aquarium.

To make water harder add sodium bicarbonate or magnesium sulphate in little ammounts to gradually change the water.

To measure hardness of water you can use a DH or a KH scale. DH measures calcium oxide and KH measures the quantity of carbonate and bicarbonate salts.

Fish and Hard or Soft water

 Many fish prefer hard water, and many others prefer soft water. For example, Discus fish and angel fish prefer softer water, and fish that enjoy a bit harder water are oscars and bettas. But, some of theese fish can be raised in either soft or hard water that they can tolerate.


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