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How to reduce water hardness in an aquarium

maintenance, care, compatibility

What is the rigidity of aquarium water, how to reduce it

HARDNESS (hD) – due to the presence of soluble calcium and magnesium salts in water. Their concentration in aquarium water is the GENERAL HARDNESS, which can be divided into TEMPORARY – CARBONATE and PERMANENT – NON-CARBONATE.

Temporary hardness (CN) is the concentration of bicarbonate calcium and magnesium salts, formed from a weak, unstable carbonic acid. Such rigidity can vary during the day.

For example, in the daytime, aquarium plants during photosynthesis absorb carbon dioxide that accumulates in the water. If carbon dioxide is not enough for consumption by plants, they will start to produce it from the bicarbonate composition, as a result of which the temporary hardness of the water will decrease.

Permanent hardness (GH) – is the presence of stable calcium and magnesium salts, formed from strong acids – hydrochloric, sulfuric or nitric.

Water hardness is essential for the life of the aquarium world. Firstly, calcium and magnesium salts are used in the construction of the skeleton and have an impact on the construction of the whole fish organism.

For different types of aquarium fish, the indicators of water hardness are different and failure to comply with them can lead to a deterioration of the health of the fish, a violation of the function of reproduction and fertilization of eggs.

The total hardness of the aquarium water is measured in German degrees (hD). 1 ° hD is 10 mg of calcium oxide in 1 liter of water.

Aquarium water with hardness parameters:

from 1 to 4 ° hD – is considered very soft;

from 4 to 8 ° hD – is considered soft;

from 8 to 12 ° hD – average hardness;

from 12 to 30 ° hD – considered to be very tough;

Most aquarium fish feel comfortable with hardness of 3-15 ° hD.

How to change water hardness:

1.) Increase stiffness.

– KH hardness can be reduced by adding 1 tsp of baking soda to 50 liters, which will increase the performance by 4 ° dKH.

– 2 teaspoons of calcium carbonate to 50 liters of water at the same time will increase KH and GH by 4 degrees.

– Another measure for a smooth / gradual increase in water hardness is scattering and decorating the aquarium with seashells.

2.) Reducing stiffness (everything is more complicated here):

– use / add distilled water, which is sold in stores;

– use / add rain, snow, melt water from the refrigerator (must be clean, without turbidity and impurities).

– filter the water through an osmotic filter;

– filter water through peat (peat is added to the filter) or into a tank where water is settled;

– KN hardness is reduced by boiling water in an enamel pot for 1 hour, followed by settling for 24 hours;

– The natural water softeners are fast-growing plants: healer, hornpole, nayas, wallisneria.

HOW TO MEASURE the overall water hardness at home without specials. equipment and preparations (sample titration with soap solution):

The peculiarity of this method is that 10 mg of calcium oxide in 1 liter of water is neutralized with 0.1 g. clean soap.

1. 60-72% of household soap is taken, crumbled.

2. In a measuring cup (or other measuring vessel), water is poured (distilled, snowy, water melted from the refrigerator) – then distillate.

3. Soap powder (counted in grams) is added to the water so that it is possible to calculate the portion small in the resulting solution.

4. Pour 0.5 liters of the tested aquarium water into another dish and gradually add portions of the soap solution (0.1 gr.), Shake.

At first, gray flakes and quickly disappearing bubbles appear on the surface of the water. Gradually adding portions of the soap solution, we are waiting for all the calcium and magnesium oxide to contact – stable soap bubbles will appear on the surface of the water with a characteristic rainbow overflow.

This experience is over. Now we count the number of consumed soap portions, multiply them by two (the aquarium water was 0.5 liters, not 1 liter.).

The resulting number will be the rigidity of the aquarium water in degrees. For example, 5 servings of soap * 2 = 10 ° hD.

With careful experience, the error can be + -1 ° hD.

When obtaining a stiffness result of more than 12 ° hD, the measurement accuracy decreases, it is recommended that the experiment be re-diluted with aquarium water with 50% distillate, double the result.

❶ How to reduce the rigidity in the aquarium :: Equipment and accessories

Water hardness in the aquarium and methods for its normalization

Here are a number of options:

  1. To increase the stiffness will help pieces of marble ounce or a fraction of known limestone, spiked to the ground flooring in the form of crumbs. In particular, natural marble raises soft water to a level of 2-4 degrees. But the subsequent control of stiffness will be difficult, so it is best to make a filter channel of marble crumbs. Water will be supplied through it and it is easier for an aquarist to monitor the level of hardness in the entire volume of the aquarium.
  2. Not bad, you can increase the level of hardness through the enrichment of water with calcium chloride or magnesium sulphate. The usual solution of 10% sold in pharmacies will be quite enough. But for a balance close to natural, it is necessary to enrich the liquid with magnesium sulfate. To prepare it is simple: 50 g of dry sulphate (“bitter” or “English” salt) add 750 ml of water. To 1 liter of water, 1 ml of any of the solutions is added, which raises the level of hardness by 4 degrees. So proceed from these calculations.
  3. Reduce the rigidity will help evaporation. The conditions of an ordinary apartment are not always suitable for the procedure, but distilled water can be bought. But the use of water of such softness is not popular.

If your aquarium plants need water of strictly defined parameters, and there is no possibility to lower the available liquid, do this: the base is distilled water, and calcium chloride or salt in the English will help bring it to hardness.

And a little more about water softening options:

  1. Boiling. This is a great way to reduce salt levels. Boil water to cool and collect only surface 4/5 of the total volume of water. Do not mix layers! The bottom layer just collects all unnecessary salts, but the water from the surface has the desired softness.
  2. Slightly less effective, but applicable additive from decoctions. For example, a decoction of alder cones. Not a good option, as well as the enrichment of liquid peat extract. The biological balance of water can be disrupted to a significant degree, which will affect algae growth, fertilization and spawning.

With a certain negativity of the latter method, it is necessary to mitigate and stimulate the spawning abilities of the haracinids.

Reduction or increase in water hardness must be calculated individually, based on the characteristics of the content of fish and plants. Any types and methods are averaged.

But having on hand a few affordable drugs, you can still make your pets comfortable. The main thing – do not forget to clean the bowl, as a rule, any biological changes occur due to the presence in the water of food residues, waste and dead pieces of plants.

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