HELP!!! Really bad hard water stains. - Aquarium Forum

Q. Can I use BRITE and CLEAN Ultimate Hard Water Stain Remover™ on aquarium glass?
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In fact, aquarists are divided on whether the resultingsoftened water is safe for keeping fish at all. The odd balance ofminerals in softened water is not typical of any of the environmentsfrom which tropical fish are collected. While the chloride levels aremuch higher than those soft water fish are adapted to, the levels ofcarbonate hardness are too low for the health of hard water fishes likeRift Valley cichlids, goldfish, and livebearers. So the safe approachis not to use it in any aquarium, and instead draw water from theunsoftened drinking water source in the kitchen.
Scrape away large areas of hard-water stains with your aquarium razor scraper. You do not need to remove your fish while scraping the tank.
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It is also important to avoid using anything thatpromotes acidification. As a general rule, the soft water aquariumneeds to be as chemically inert as possible, containing nothing thatwill either raise or lower the pH and hardness. Bogwood, peat andcoconut shells are best left out of the soft water tank because theyproduce tannins and remove hardness. To avoid problems with carbonicacid, understock the tank and use aeration do drive the carbon dioxideinto the air. Likewise nitric acid is best managed throughunderstocking the tank, feeding the fish only sparingly, and performingregular water changes to dilute the nitrate. While plants can be usedin the soft water aquarium, it isn't a good idea to use largequantities of rapidly growing species, particularly species thatextract bicarbonate from the water. This test kit includes everything you need to measure the general and carbonate hardness of your aquarium water.
Photo provided by FlickrVery hard water can cause an ugly white crust (scale) to form on the hood, on glass walls, and on other parts of the aquarium.
Photo provided by FlickrIt is important to understand how water hardness affects pH in your aquarium
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So, that's why water is hard; what doesthat mean for the aquarium? Besides raising the pH, hardness saltsaffect the animals and plants in the aquarium in a number of otherways, too. For some small fish adapted to soft water conditions, theminerals in hard water are thought to cause blockages in some of theorgans. Dissection of neon and cardinal tetras has revealed damagedkidneys in specimens kept in hard water aquaria. That said, themajority of soft water fish generally do tolerably well in hard wateraquaria. The problem doesn't tend to be that the fish dieprematurely, though some do, but rather that it becomes impossible toget the fish to spawn or to raise the fry. Some species simplywon't breed at all in hard water, while others, like Kribensis,will spawn, but the resulting fry invariably show a preponderance of asingle sex within the brood. Another big plus to hard water is that someaquarium plants can use the carbonate salts as a fertiliser. Plantsadapted to soft, acidic waters like many and some rely on dissolved carbon dioxide as carbon sourcefor photosynthesis. They effectively take the carbon dioxide and turnit into sugars and all the other organic chemicals they need for energyand growth. This is essentially the same thing as land plants do whenthey absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, some aquaticplants can absorb the carbonate salts and strip away the carbon fromthem, and use that as their carbon supply. Another problem is that carbonate saltsquickly latch onto any dissolve carbon dioxide in an aquarium, makingit unavailable to any plants in the tank. In soft water aquaria, thesmall amount of carbon dioxide released by the fish is often enough tokeep the aquarium plants happy, but in a hard water aquarium, thiscarbon dioxide is quickly neutralised by the carbonate salts. Carbondioxide fertilisation therefore becomes much more important to makegood the losses, and aquarists that don't fertilise this way oftenfind that their plants only grow indifferently, if at all. Livebearers that are more unusual are theGoodeids. Whereas poeciliids are ovoviviparous, Goodeids are trulyviviparous. What's the difference? Ovoviviparous fish merely retaintheir eggs inside the body, whereas viviparous fish actually supply theeggs with food via an umbilical cord. Though certainly not asfrequently seen as guppies or mollies, at least two species, and , can be obtained easily enoughfrom the larger aquarium stores. , the butterflyGoodeid, is a peaceful and hardy fish that is often said to be theideal Goodeid for the beginner because it slots into a community tankvery well. As its common name suggests this is a pretty fish, with aspeckled, silvery body and, on the male, a black tail edged withyellow. is also a pretty fish and one that doeswell in hard water, but wild specimens in particular can be persistentfin-nippers. Tankmates should be chosen with care, and be sure andchoose species that do not have long, trailing fins.