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How To Soften Aquarium Water Easily!

With the softening of your aquarium water being an essential part of maintinaing you water paramters for your pet fish in your aquarium, we have noticed a number of people reaching out to ask how to soften aquarium water recently.

There really are a large number of different methods and techniques that you are able to use to your advantage to soften your aquariums water with some being very beginner friendly and allowing you to keep your water hardness as safe as possible for your fish.

Due to people having access to different methods of softening their aquarium water as well as different people having different levels of water hardness, we have decided to include a number of different options that you have available for softening your aquarium water.

This should ensure that our article includes something for everyone no matter your situation to ensure that you are able to quickly and easily soften your water hardness.

As we are planning on covering a wide range of different methods that you are able to use to soften your aquarium water as well as sharing our thoughts on some methods we see people asking about, we have added our table of contents below.

It should ensure that you are able to quickly and easily skip to the specific sections of the article with ease.

The Best Aquarium Water Softener On The Market!

The best aquarium water softener on the market has to be API Tap Water Conditioner as it offers a quick, easy, and cheap way to soften your tap water prior to adding it to your aquarium.

API Tap Water Conditioner is also beginner friendly with a huge number of fish keepers all around the globe using it as their water softener of choice.

If you are looking for a quick, easy, and cheap way to soften your aquarium water then we would highly recommend that you give API Tap Water Conditioner a try.

It has an excellent reputation amongst the fish keeping community and is much easier to use than some of the other methods that we will be talking about later in our article while also workout to be much cheaper too.

API Tap Water Conditioner has the proven ability to quickly remove chlorine, chloramines and other chemicals that can cause damage to your fish from your tap water.

This allows you do carry out any water changes for your aquarium much quicker than some of the other methods that we will cover below too.

Why Should You Soften Aquarium Water?

You should soften your aquarium water if you use regular tap water for your tank water changes due to the chlorine, chloramines, calcium, and magnesium that is commonly found in regular tap water.

The softening process removes these chemicals from the water making it safe for your fish, amphibians, snails, and shirmp or anything else that you keep in your tank.

More and more people are switching over to trying to use rainwater for their tank changes as there is no need to soften rain water.

This is not an ideal year round solution for all of our readers though due to rain levels fluctuation depending on the season.

Even a large number of the people who try to use rain water for their water changes will have to soften aquarium water from a tap at some times of the year when rain fall levels are low.

Some fish species are particularly hardy and may be able to live in water that has not been softened with minimal issues.

Most of the common fish kept in an aquarium may end up having issues if you don’t actively take steps to soften the water you use for your water changes though with symptoms ranging from toxic shock and lethargy to more serious issues and even potential death.

How To Soften Aquarium Water Easily!

The three most common ways to soften aquarium water involved deionization, chemical filtration or natural water softening such as peat moss with each method having their own advantages and disadvantages.

There is no one size fits all method for softening water for your aquarium as your own needs and situation will come into play making some options better than others.

The majority of our readers will be fine using a high-quality water softener product like API Tap Water Conditioner but we know more and more people are wantingto use natural methods to soften their aquarium water.

This is where the peat moss water softener products come into play allowing you to naturally soften your aquarium water but it does tend to take longer than using a chemical solution.

There are also a number of other home remedies that people recommend on social media for softening aquarium water. Some of these methods work very well where as others do little to nothing and a small number can actually make your water parameters worse.

We will be touching on some of the methods of reducing water hardness that we see people asking about later in the article though.

How To Reduce Water Hardness In Aquarium Naturally!

The two main ways to naturally reduce water hardness in your aquarium are to use peat moss softeners or driftwood with both being valid options.

You can also remove the need to soften your water if you use a natural water source for your tank water changes such as rainwater too.

In our opinion, peat moss water softener products are probably the best way to naturally reduce water hardness in your aquarium naturally.

The tend to be easier to use, more reliable, quick, and cheaper than using the driftwood option making them a better option for the majority of people who want to use a natural method of softening their aquarium water.

Although driftwood can be a good option to narually reduce your water hardness, it is not as reliable as peat moss as most commercially available driftwood has been treat and had the natural acids it produces removed.

This means that a large amount of the driftwood people try to use to soften their aquarium water is doing little to nothing. The easiest way to tell if your driftwood is having any effect is to look for the natural water color change as if its is a very weak tea.

This color change only occurs during the neutralization process indicating that the driftwood is softening your water to some level.

The Most Common Methods Of Reducing Your Water Hardness!

There are a number of very common methods that you are able to use to soften the water hardness in your aquarium ranging from chemical solutions to reverse osmosis, to softening pillows, to peat moss.

Each method has their advantages and disadvantages over each other with some being much better than the others.

We often see people reaching out about random water softening methods too due to seeing people on social media recommending them.

We will also be covering a number of those methods in our list below to try and help as many of our readers avoid the less useful or potentially harmful ones as possible.

For the most part though, the methods to reduce water hardness in your aquarium listed below are solid options and can work well for the majority of our readers.

If you have particularly hard tap water in your area then you will often be limited to a chemical solution if you need to get your aquarium water change done quickly though.

API Tap Water Conditioner Review!

API Tap Water Conditioner is probably the best option for the majority of people who need a quick, easy, and cheap way to reduce the hardness of their tap water for an aquarium water change.

It is one of the quickest methods allowing you to get your tank water change done quickly while also still being effective on particularly hard tap water where other methods may struggle.

The lower price of API Tap Water Conditioner when ordered online helps to keep your costs as low as possible too.

The dosing instructions on the lable are very easy to follow ensuring that it is one of the more beginner friendly methods of reducing the hardness of your aquarium water too.

Seachem Water Conditioner is a very close second when it comes to commercial, chemical based solutions for softening your aqaurium water though.

It can be a great alternative to API Tap Water Conditioner if you are unable to find the API product in your local area but the price tag of the Seachem products does tend to be slightly higher while essentially doing the exact same thing.

Using Rainwater As A Water Softener For Fish Tank!

Using rainwater for your aquarium water changes is becoming more and more popular as you dont have to soften it due to there being no chlorine, chloramines or other chemicals in it that are common in tap water.

Some people will dilute rainwater with tap water to help reduce the harness of the tap water prior to adding it to their tank too.

Although rainwater is not strictly a water softener for your fish tank as it is more of a replacement for tap water, if you do live in an area with low levels of rainfall, you are able to mix the rainwater with tap water to reduce to overall hardness.

Keep in mind that this is not an ideal option to take as there will still be some chlorine, chloramines, calcuium, and magnesium in the water but the levels will be much lower.

You also have to factor in that due to pollution, some areas can have problems with the chemical levels in their rainwater too.

This is why we would still recommend that you use a water test kit on your rain water prior to adding it to your aquarium to make sure it fits your required water parameters.

Using Driftwood As A Water Softener For Fish Tank!

Driftwood is a more controversial method of reducing the hardness of your water as it can be difficult to ensure that it is working correctly.

More commercial aquarium grade driftwood has had the natural acids that your need removed from it and most self-found driftwood has a bunch of other chemicals on it that needs to be removed prior to use.

This is why we generally only recommend the use of driftwood as a natural water softener to the more experienced fish keeper.

It is no where near as effective as some people suggest online with peat moss water softeners being a much better natural option for the majority of people.

As we touched on earlier in the article, if you do see your aquarium water slightly changing color as if it was a weak tea then this can indicate that your driftwood is breaking the chemicals in the water down and reducing its hardness.

What most people on social media do not mention is that it is difficult to work out how effective the driftwood is at this process due to different levels of acid being on the driftwood.

Just because you see the color change in your aquarium water does not mean that it is working effectively and the water may still pose a threat to your fish.

Using Reverse Osmosis To Soften Fish Tank Water!

Reverse osmosis systems can be an excellent way to soften the water in your fish tank but it is usually more suited to larger tanks and for intermediate of more experienced fish keepers.

The process of installing the system can be difficult and is usually not worth the effort for aquariums under 40 gallons.

If you do want to use a reverse osmosis system to keep your aquarium water soft then the Aquatic Life system is one of the better options available. It tends to be cheaper than what the competition offers while also being slightly easier to install and operate.

Although some people do use a reverse osmosis system just to reduce the hardness of the water in their aquarium, they can be used to reduce a wide range of common impurities.

The majority of the entry level reverse osmosis systems for aquariums will work on a four part filtration system with the more expensive ones being able to work up to a sixteen part filtration system to ensure that your water is as pure as possible.

For the majority of our readers the entry-level, four part filtration systems should be enough, especially if you only need it to soften your water.

Are Water Softening Pillows For Aquariums Worth It?

Water softening pillows can be a quick and easy way to reduce the hardness of your aquarium water by simply adding the pillow pouch to your water to let it do its work.

There are a number of different ways that you are able to use water softening pillows depending on exactly what you need with all methods being very beginner friendly.

We would consider the API water softening pillows to be the best water softening pillows for aquariums on the market right now.

They are very cheap for their performance level while also being very easy to use keeping them as beginner friendly as possible.

Some people will put the pillows in their actual aquarium where as others will place them in a separate container with the water from their tap that they plan to add to their main aquarium for a water change.

Both methods can work well with both use cases usually depending on your setup and exactly what you need from the water softening pillows.

Using Peat To Soften Aquarium Water!

Peat moss water softening products are probably the best natural option available with a large number of people using them.

There tends to be different types of peat moss water softeners on the market depending on exactly what you need but they all tend to do a great job of softening the water in your tank.

The better peat moss water softeners can usually reduce the hardness of your water level within a few hours while others can take considerably longer.

This is generally due to the natural water softening methods taking much longer than their chemical counter parts.

That said though, most of the people who specifically look for a natural method to reduce the harness of the water in their aquarium are fine with the process taking longer.

The usually want a natural process to help the environment and if you are in this school of thought then we would highly recommend you look into harvesting rainwater for your water changes if possible.


That brings our article going over how you can soften your aquarium water to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the various methods that you have availabl to soften your aqurium water and reduce the water hardness. Each method tends to have their own advantages and disadvantages that have to be factored in though so you can fit the method to your needs.