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Old 02-01-2016, 08:01 PM   #1
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Change to RODI...feedback wanted

Couple of questions I'd be interested in hearing a bit of feedback...Although I've known for the past 4 years I should be using RODI, I was not and using tap for a 65 gallon. Least to say, I've not had the best luck keeping up with the more delicate corals. I've had some of livestock in the tank for about 3 1/2 years - few fish and inverts and they seem to be doing OK - as with the coral, the more delicate type fish did not do so well. A few months ago, I put a whole house water filter and even after that, TDS was about 38 or so....

So last week after finally seeing the light, I purchased a 4 stage AquaFX Barracuda RO/DI Aquarium Filter, 100 GPD and set up 2 37 gallon storage tanks, one to mix salt and the other to store fresh water.


Is it better to start from scratch or will the tank recover if I use RODI from here on out? Obviously taking everything down, cleaning it out, and restarting is a pretty big project. I'll do it if it is necessary but hoping this way will work. I did a 30% water change on day 1 and for the last 4-5 days, have been doing about 10% water changes. I've been testing frequently and here are the most recent tank parameters which have been stable.
  • Salinity: 1.025
  • Temp: 79.2
  • PH: 8.1
  • ALK: 8.00
  • Calcium:475
  • Magnesium: 1200
  • Ammonia / Nitrite / Nitrate: 0
I also understand that lighting is a factor with corals, but for the discussion, assume the PAR I have is about 3 watts per gallon.


If the initial feedback is to start over, then the rest of this is moot. However, assuming the answer is that it is OK for doing water changes daily for a few weeks....
  • How long should I continue doing the 10% water changes until the tap water affects are gone?
  • I have some coral that did OK with the tap (xenias, green polyp's) but I always thought they looked drab compared to other tanks. How long do you think it would take for them to recover to give them that "pop"?
  • A couple of the other corals have basically disintegrated but there are patches that seem to be alive. Will these generally recover or are they more likely than not a lost cause?
  • I've heard several opinions on additives when using RODI water since TDS is 0. Salt mix I'm using is Red Sea Fish Pharm ARE11230 Coral Pro Marine Salt. Any opinions?
  • Any other suggestions of what I should dose? After the tap water is replaced and I no longer do the 10% daily water changes, I plan on sticking to a 15% water change every 2 weeks.
  • Any other suggestions to do or to look for?
Thanks in advance for the feedback!
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:29 PM   #2
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If it were me I'd just keep doing water changes with your new RO/DI. I've found out in this past month actually..more people then I originally thought use Tap water for their tanks. Yeah tap water isn't ideal but you've had some success even though not the best so I wouldn't say it should be game over and clean out the tank at this point. I think doing frequent water changes will suffice. But I'd wait a good while before you add any new fish/corals.

I can't say much for how quickly things will recover because so many factors go into healthy corals but keep all of your parameters in line for the best chances. People have literally had corals die out of nowhere for no apparent reason. On the other side I've had and have heard of dying corals bouncing back. Sometimes you can only do so much but I think your making a really good move with RO/DI.


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Old 02-01-2016, 09:56 PM   #3
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Just do it over time through water changes. Doing it all at once, like all sudden changes in this hobby, end up with poor results.


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Old 02-02-2016, 09:49 AM   #4
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Your corals not having the pop they should would be the lighting factor.


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Old 02-02-2016, 10:55 AM   #5
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Unless browned by excess nutrients in the water column.


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Old 02-02-2016, 11:19 AM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback so far. Plan is to take one thing at a time. I'll give a few months to see if the coral comes back and pops. If not, I'll start looking at the lights. I definitely tried to cut some corners and find that it's probably made things more expensive in the long run. But for lighting, I have 2 TaoTronics® 120w Dimmable Led Aquarium Lights TT-AL09. Tank Dimensions are 48”L X 13”W X 24”H.
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Old 02-02-2016, 11:26 AM   #7
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Change to RODI...feedback wanted

Honestly those lights work pretty well. I have similar fixtures that I bought from someone on here. eBay 120watt LEDS with blue and white LEDs. My tank is 60" long x 24"deep x 18" wide.

My corals are full of color and have exploded in growth sense installing them. It could take awhile though and waiting a couple months before you make changes is a good choice. I had some zoas that looked terrible after shipping that made a full recovery after time and now are amazing.

Edit: And btw I spent $400 on lights before settling on these LEDs I have now which I got for $100. I ended up selling one of those expensive lights for $50 and trading the other for some nice corals. Overall they were a waste of money for me.

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Old 02-11-2016, 09:24 AM   #8
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Update on this thread. Been doing 10% water changes about every day or 2. Already seen a difference. Fish seem more active and hungry than they were before - seem to have actually gained a bit of weight and colors look sharper. I've even seem a few corals change a bit - no pop but did not expect to yet.

Also building a 10 gallon refugium - not online yet but expect to have it up in the next 2 weeks.
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Old 02-11-2016, 02:30 PM   #9
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That is great to hear. As I just said in the other thread, get a pump rated higher than your overflow and use a ball or gate valve to dial back the flow to match the overflow.
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