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Matt

soft water

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This is MAtt again and i have a hevily planted 10 gallon tank with 8 neon tetras. The water out of my tap is naturally a little harder than needed for the neons. I was wondering what i can do to soften the water in the tank? thank you for your time.

MAtt

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The easiest way is probably to run a little peat in your filter or boiling peat and adding the water to the tak.

 

Adding driftwood also decreases pH but at a less predictable rate. Some pieces have virtually no effect while others really make a differene.

 

You can also suppliment your water changes with RO, rain, or distilled bottled water although each of those has its disadvantages.

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I currently have several pieces of drift wood in the tank but they have had no effect on the water. I am going to try adding peat to my filter but i was alos wondering about rain water. I live in the Mid-west USA and i was wondering what down side there is to using rain water. thank you

MAtt

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Rain water has no hardness so you cannot use 100% rain water. Like distilled water, it lacks many nutrients and minerals your fish need. You'd have to experiement with what combination of rain water and tap water provides the desired results.

 

The biggest downside to rain water would probably be the whole collections process. You need to have a way to collect it into a fish-safe container. Collecting several gallons could take some time and its not always going to be there when you need it. After its collected, it needs to be boiled to steralize it. Boiling water makes it "flat" and you will need to get some oxygen back into it. You can put it in something and run an airstone in it or, my personal favorite method, stick it in something that has a lid like a tupperware container and shake it around for a little bit. All the spashing around reaerates it nicely and it takes a lot less time than running an airstone.

 

If you live in a really heavily populated area, you might have questionable rain water too. Like if you lived in Mexico City, I would say under no circumstances let rain water enter your tank...if you lived in Alaska, go at it.

 

I've never used rain water on my fishtanks. I live in Seattle and my old house had a pH under 6! My new place is like 6.5. It would be awesome if I could afford Discus. My parents collect rain to water their gardens with and they're capable of building up a pretty good sized reserve (several hundreds of gallons) but they have a system thats connected to their gutters that collects their roof runoff and I wouldn't trust that water in my fishtank.

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