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Best way to soften water; RO, driftwood, ws pillow?

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Hello everyone,

I am considering getting an Aquatic life RO Buddie 3 stage reverse osmosis filter and I was wondering if anyone has one and what do they think of it. I live in Oregon where I have around 30-60 Gh and 80 Kh. I have gotten into the habit of buying distilled water at Safeway, but with the plan to be completely changing 2 of my aquariums, almost all of my current and new fish preferring or needing soft water, a RO filter seems the best option. I have tried driftwood, and I got a huge quantity of tanis in my aquarium. Granted, RO filters are a bit spendy, I am sure that I will have been able to pay it back with distilled water. How do people like their RO filter? Is it hard to maintain? Or is an api water softening pillow better? What is the way that you soften your water? Thanks for any recommendations!

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Hi, my water is very hard out of the tap and personally I use RO. The only tank that requires it is small (5.5g/21L) so I purchased a very inexpensive (~60USD) unit. Personally I only went this route because I wanted to keep crystal shrimp and felt I'd have better results using remineralized RO vs trying to change my tap water in a different way.

In the past I've attempted driftwood but it tended to only have much impact on water that had lower KH.

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