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Ion-exchange Softener for good skin?

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  • Ion-exchange Softener for good skin?

    Around my region, there is a very strong opinion among hobbyists that soft water is very good for koi. It promote good growth and improve the quality of the skin - more lustre, thicker mucus to prevent parasites and better overall health.

    So a big number of us installed ion-exchange softener (as I undestand it, to get rid of Ca and Mg, which are replaced by Na), and feel satisfied that now the water is 'soft'!

    In one of the thread in this forum last year, if I remember correctly, several people pointed out that ion-exchange softener is actually useless, and water should be softened only by lowering TDS. I tend to agree with this, but not very sure.

    Would board members of this forum give clarification. The more the better, to support this opinion, as among my friends, I am really going against the tide. Thank you all.
  • #2

    Hi Kiky, have a look at this write up....

    Col 8)


    • #3

      while your checking out that particular one of Mike's articles, you might want to read other ideas of his on water care. he's contributed a lot to learning. ( don't tell him i said that, don't want it going to his head )
      Dick Benbow


      • #4

        just read a very intresting article in koi keepers from anne telford who says that the japanese water is not soft but is on the hard side and this is better for koi so who is right ?



        • #5

          Hard as compared to where?
          Brian Sousa
          Koi-Bito Forum


          • #6

            hi brian hard as compared to what people are trying to achive in england have not got a copy(koi keepers) here at home will borrow from work on wed and post more.



            • #7

              Interesting...water in Japan tends to be relatively soft compared to many other places. Do you know what type of hardness Anne was referring to?

              I've got pretty good records from gov't water reports on many places in Japan, and can use these as a reference. Wonder if Mike Snaden is snooping around the forum today, as I'm sure he'd pick up on this post and throw his 2 cents in. :mrgreen:
              Brian Sousa
              Koi-Bito Forum


              • #8

                Mr Snaden isn't snooping around the forum, having just spoken to him.

                I have an article here somewhere that appeared in Nichirin and contained water analysis across a number of breeders, mud ponds and concrete ponds, i'll try and dig it out.

                Mark Gardner


                • #9

                  Ha, Anne does not like soft water. She does not sell any equipment to make soft water, so it can't be any good!

                  User of soft water.


                  • #10

                    Always the man of few words. Glad to see you posting. Your presense on this board is appreciated. I was pulling for you that you'd get over the heartsick of your loss and redouble your efforts to control your destiny in raising high quality domestics. my bets are on you!
                    Dick Benbow


                    • #11

                      even more confused, just been reading in koi doctor the japanese water is soft and you get better growth rates but not so good for the sumi. I will get more info on tuesday.



                      • #12

                        Just my two cents worth. IMO soft water is good for color (esp beni) but makes fish keeping an much more exact and less forgiving hobby. Hard water on the other hand is most likely better for a fishes all round health but will not benifit the color development of show fish and can in fact be detrimental to fish you wish to show.

                        Any comment on this hypothosis?

                        Semper in excreta, sumus solum profundum variat


                        • #13


                          Well that wouldn’t surprise us any; we don’t have any real information one the subject and are as confused as the most replaying on this tread.

                          All things been equal and Mother Nature one the team it looks like we in general is on really soft side (German HD vice). Have about on ton of data to scam through so the Norwegian description based one more then us is a bit delayed.

                          Don’t SMG have any interesting trail for us to follow on the subject?
                          Tone - Truls -Petter
                          Vogata NI


                          • #14

                            Hmmm... I am 'snooping' about now!

                            Anyway... I am not sure what Ann is talking about, as she keeps talking about hardness, and the amount of oyster shells breeders use? Shells don't buffer hardness, they simply dissolve on demand if water is producing large numbers of hydrogen ions (acid). Excessive use of shells will buffer KH to a degree, but a high KH doesn't mean that the water is 'hard'. Anyhow, all of the water that she tested was in breeders premises... places used only for 'holding' Koi, not growing them! The high stocking densities of holding ponds, means that many hydrogen ions are being produced, and hence, KH buffering is needed. But, mud ponds are a different matter entirely!

                            Anyone remember this pic from Koichat last Summer? The meter is showing the TDS level of one of Momotaro's best performing mountain mud ponds. The TDS reading of 36ppm represents the combination of KH, GH, and organics in the pond, and yet the pond is brown! The brown colour is just stirred up mud, which isn't dissolved (but suspended), and hence, doesn't show up in the TDS reading.

                            What I have been harping on about in all my articles, is making efforts to 'safely' try to emulate 'near' mud pond water, in an attempt to get mud pond results, NOT to emulate a breeders holding ponds!!!

                            Another point, whilst on a roll... I think that RO plants can be very usefull for people in hard water areas, but I have NEVER EVER encouraged anyone to use only RO water. Untreated mains water MUST be mixed back in, to make a mix of water that is safe for keeping Koi.

                            It is argued that soft water effects Sumi development. I feel that this is only partly true. I think that soft water will to a degree slow down Sumi development, but if hard water is necessary in order to make sumi show on a particular Koi, then the chances are that the sumi is very low quality anyway. Good Sumi will show regardless, in time. Temperature is a good tool for controlling Sumi development.

                            A little bird told me a couple of weeks ago, that the aforementioned lady is claiming that I sell RO plants, and that is why I am promoting the use of them. As anyone who knows me will no, I have NEVER sold an RO plant, or taken any kind of 'kickback' from RO plant suppliers. In fact, one could argue that the use of an RO plant would negate the use of purifiers for metals removals, etc. So, could this be why I am so heavily frowned upon?

                            BTW... I am in a good mood as I type this


                            P.S... 'Craig A' uses RO water, and Bakki Showers (for those who asked)


                            • #15

                              B.Scott makes the important point, I think. Soft water is said to be preferable, keeps whites clean, intensifies reds, allows the koi's body to exude metabolic wastes more rapidly, etc., etc. But, soft water is much more difficult to manage without continual in-flow of fresh water or very low stocking. The nitrification processes in a typical hobbyist pond will lead to pH crashes etc much more rapidly in soft water. The koikeeper with soft water is more likely to become dependent on using baking soda, oyster shell, etc. Soft water "wants" to become acidic, while hard water "wants" to be basic.

                              So, relatively soft water seems to be superior, but should be monitored more carefully.

                              ...... DickB has convinced me that soft water is the key to Asagi success. I am sure he has good practical experience on maintaining soft water. ......Dick??


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