No announcement yet.

Is WATER SOFTENER safe for Koi?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Is WATER SOFTENER safe for Koi?

    I live in California where water is pretty hard (220ppm). I want to install a WATER SOFTENER-one that uses Salt to regenerate- to soften the water. But the company I am dealing with told me WATER SOFTENER water will kill my Koi, but they can't tell me why or what chemicals from the SOFTENER would kill the koi.

    Any of you out there live in the same area and safely use WATER SOFTENER to soften the water.

    I am NOT looking for a lecture on GH, KH and TDS here, so please restraint yourself from doing so. I understand water chemistry very well.
  • #2

    The water company doesn't understand KH apparently. The softner will remove the minerals and the water will need to be rebuilt.

    Is this an RO softner too or just salt based?


    • #3

      Water Softener

      Hi Jason,

      Thanks for the reply.
      This is just a regular salt based WATER SOFTNER, not a RO unit.

      as I understand, WATER SOFTENER doesn't strip KH from water but RO would. Am I not right? Even if it does, I have oyster shells for buffer.

      all I worry about is if the water from the SOFTENER is safe to use as far as it doesn't put any harmful chemicals into the water from the Softening process (the company I am dealing with would not know). I know the process will slightly increase the salt level of the water due to the ion exchange.

      I completely understand GH, KH(buffer) and PH balance as well as TDS. I just want soft water right now!

      I just wonder if someone out there in my area is safely using water from a SOFTENER for their koi and if they have any problem or not.

      Thanks again.


      • #4

        What area? Have you asked around at a local koi club meeting?

        I think trace minerals are the main concern. Need some minerals even though koi are very good at ion scavaging. Here is a quote from the bottom of a very long article talking about TDS, KH, and primarily GH at
        This unit uses ion exchange resins to remove the GH ions, and substitute them for Sodium ions. In practice, this unit will completely 'zero' the GH, so it is essential to allow some water to bypass the unit in order to obtain the desired GH level.


        • #5

          I think Erwinsan uses a water softener. Suprised he did not see this yet..

          You may want to PM him. What area in Cal are you?

          It's a living creature (chit happens)


          • #6

            Water Softener

            Hey Joe,

            It's me, Benny. I was setting up an appointment for them to come and install the WATER SOFTENER, then they called me up and say the water from the SOFTENER will kill the koi
            and they dont' tell me why, lol.

            So I posted this thread to see if anyone in our area use a water softener for their koi.


            THANKS GUYS!


            • #7

              Ben, I can't get rid of you. LOL anyhow talk to Kev about it. he will know.

              It's a living creature (chit happens)


              • #8

                Water Softener


                You Are The One Who's Following Me

                Anyway, I Talked To Kevin Briefly Just About Soft Vs. Hard Water. Nothing Was Discussed About Water Softener Units.

                If You Know Anyone In Our Area Using Water Softener For Koi And Has No Harmful Result, Let Me Know.

                Hey, I Just Bought A Nice Azalea From A Guy In Castro Valley. Are U Any Good At Repotting Joe?


                • #9

                  Does it need to be repotted? Its kinda a little late to repot. But if it needs it. It needs it.

                  as for the water softner I don't know anyone. Erwin lives in brentwood. So I cant say...

                  It's a living creature (chit happens)


                  • #10

                    I'd like too see a definitive answer too this question also.

                    All I can tell you is that I recently installed a softener on my house because of my natural Gh reading of 250 ppm. As far as I understand all a softener will do is exchange sodium ions for calcium and magnesium ions.
                    I have tested my water and it does not affect the KH at all and the salinity out of the tap is lower than .01%, so I don't see how the sodium would be a problem at those miniscule levels.
                    I feed a good variety of food and hikari wheatgerm as my staple food so hopefully they are getting the trace elements that they need. I also started added koiclay at a reduced rate for mineral replenishment.

                    I hope I'm doing it right and would love too hear what others think about this.


                    • #11

                      Water Softener

                      Hey Rob,

                      So you are using water from the SOFTENER UNIT for your koi? and they are still alive and healthy? Is your SOFTENER just a regular salt based one? What is your GH and KH reading.

                      As far as it goes for me, if you are using the softened water and it doesn't kill your koi. It's good enough for me. About KH and TDS, I know how to care of those parameters.

                      Let me know and Thanks for the post.


                      • #12

                        Water Softener


                        How Are Your Koi Responding To The Softer Water?

                        Do They Seem Happier?

                        Any Change In The Hi Yet?



                        • #13

                          I just started using it 2 weeks ago so I can't really tell you how things are going. I am using 100% softened water on the pond for all of the water I exchange. All I can tell you is the fish are still alive and doing well. It is a regular type of water softener that exchanges sodium for hardness.

                          My Kh has not changed at all since installing the softener and still reads at 10 dh or 179 ppm from the tap. The gh has declined from 14 dh or 250 ppm to 4 dh DH(71.6 ppm). I thought that number would be around zero and I am wondering if the test kit is picking up the sodium content as a GH reading. I'm still searching for answers on that one.

                          My only concern with using 100% softened water is that it will strip out all trace minerals. That is the reason I am starting too use some clay albeit a greatly reduced dosage level.


                          • #14

                            Water Softener

                            Glad to hear that it's been 2 weeks and they are still doing good. I don't think you should worry about minerals missing. After all, W.S. only strips Calcium and Mag.

                            With a Gh at 4, I'll be happy for now.

                            Did you buy the SOFTENER and install yourself? or some company is leasing it to you like in my case?

                            Let me know what brand W.S. u are using?



                            • #15

                              I got a kenmore 480 and had Sears install it. It is the second biggest unit they sell and I lucked out because they had one left on clearance. I'm also running my water through a large carbon filter before the softener that automatically backwashes every 3 days.

                              Before the softener was installed my water test kit read salinity at less than .01%. After the softener was installed it still reads less than .01% so I don't see how the sodium addition can be a problem. Most water sources are higher than that from the get go.

                              My only concern is that if my Gh reading of 71 ppm is strictly coming from sodium or other minerals that the softener is not getting. If it is strictly reading the sodium content than I am a bit worried that there is no calcium and magnesium in the water and that is the reason I am adding a bit of clay. At least that is my hunch since the softener should be stripping all of the calcium and magnesium out of the water. I can tell you this....showers have never been more pleasant and the coffee pot is not scaling up.

                              I'll figure it out someday and that is why I hope some of those here with more experience can help us along.


                              All content and images copyright of: