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Re: Ion exchange water softener

     >Could some one, please, explain to me why water softened by ion 
     >exchange water softener should not be used in fresh water aquarium. 
     >Even at 440ppm hardness, the process adds only about a tea spoon of 
     >salt per five gal of water, about the same amount recommended by some 
     >to add anyway!? A clear explanation will be much appreciated.  
     First, a water softener exchanges ions required by plants (Ca and Mg) 
     with an ion that is NOT required by plants (Na).  So , if you wish to 
     have a planted tank, you will need to add back some Ca and Mg. 
     Otherwise, your plants could become Ca and Mg deficient.  However, it 
     has been discussed here before about using KCl instead of NaCl. Plants 
     need K, but you would still need to add Ca and Mg.
     Second, the addition of NaCl is recommended by those who raise 
     mollies.  Other fish don't need it, and neither do plants.  Mollies 
     would do quite well in your hard water, if that's your goal, without 
     adding salt.  Most plants and fish will do just fine in unsoftened 
     Using softened water won't be detrimental to your aquaria, but there  
     isn't any advantage to using it, either.