Aquarium water hardness is generally classified as either hard water or soft water. Depending on which types of fish that you have in your tank, each individual species has different requirement that falls within certain range limit. For ease of reference, I’ve come up with a table below that indicates which group of fish belongs to what level of water hardness so that you can use it as a guide when setting up your aquarium tank. The task become trickier when it comes to community aquarium because basically what you need to do is to find out and establish a range of hardness level whereby all species can tolerate well in it.
Water Hardness Chart for Different Aquarium Fish Species
|Hardness (dGH)||Hardness (ppm)|| Definition||Types of Fish|
|1 to 3.5||17.1 to 60||very soft||-|
|3.5 to 6.7||60 to 120||soft||Angelfish, Neon Fish, Goldfish|
|6.7 to 10.0||120 to 180||hard||Discus, Hatchet Fish, Oscar, Betta, Swordtail, Guppy|
|10.0 and above||180 and above||very hard||Demasoni Cichlids|
Nowadays adjusting aquarium water hardness is a breeze because basically there are many options available. Based on the reading and measurement obtained earlier, all you need to do when you find out that the water is too hard is to purchase some water softener pillow from pet shops and place it on your aquarium filter media. Basically what the pillow does is that, it will lower the water hardness level by absorbing and then removing the calcium and magnesium content from the water using the ion-exchange concept. On the contrary, if you find that the water is too soft, then all you need to do is to add in mineral salt, which is easily available in your local fish center. However, I do not recommend using crushed corals for the purpose of adjustment because the fluctuation in levels and release of minerals can become uncontrollable and instead ended up with water that is too hard.
Further reading: Using pH test kit to maintain perfect water quality