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Old 09-11-2006, 08:20 PM   #1
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Store Bought or Home Made????

I finally have my 120 gal tank with 30 gal sump set up in my house. Im ready to fill it! Now, what do you think would be the best way to fill it up. I have an ro/di unit (i think its a water general) its at least a year and a half old and I have never changed any of the filters. A LFS said the person who fills his tanks can deliver ocean saltwater (filtered, so he says and who knows what exactly that means) for about $250 (for 250 gal).

Should I use my R/O unit and fill it myself (I have a 5 gal bucket of Instant Ocean Salt mix. Also about a year and a half old)? I would have to get some extra hose for my R/O unit and make it work for where the tank is in my house. Or should I get it delivered and pay for it? Which is the better deal? Using all that water and waiting for it to fill up or just spending the money?[/list]
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Old 09-11-2006, 08:51 PM   #2
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I'd say mix it yourself. Who knows whats in that water that you buy. As far as the unit goes, I'd probably change out the filter if its that old. The salt should be fine but I remember a while back having a discussion on here about the shelf life of salt. I don't remember the out come of it though. Maybe someone with a little better memory can help out. Congrats on the new tank!
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Old 09-11-2006, 10:05 PM   #3
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I agree with ntswift. The ro/di unit would need all filters replaced if you have been using it that whole time. The ro membrane will last longer if you replace the prefilter and carbon block reguraly(like twice a year depending on use).
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:58 AM   #4
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You can purchase a TDS Total Disolved Solids meter for pretty cheap... it will tell you how well your RO is working... a good quality RO/RI unit should get dow to 0 parts... which is pretty clean water...
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Old 09-12-2006, 02:14 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies so far. I have decided to just do it myself. I have 50 ft of garden hose running through my house and the R/O unit hooked up in the kitchen near the sink. Here we go! My friend also has an R/O unit and is making water for me so hopefully it won't take too long. I should get the TDS meter and check to see how well the unit is working. I am kind of in a hurry to get the water and sand in the tank b/c my friends are giving me a ton of LR. They have a 50 or 75 gal tank filled with it from when they took down their 100 gal tank. Only thing is it hasn't been lit for a while so its not really colorful. I think I'm going to buy 40lbs or so and that will hopefully seed the rest.
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Old 09-12-2006, 12:25 PM   #6
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Important question, is the garden hose going to or from the filter? if its FROM the filter (your filtered water is runing through the garden house) then this is bad!

Garden hoses have anti-fungals and anti-bacteria agents in the rubber to combat algae and mold build up. You DO NOT want that in your tank water. It can destroy your bacteria and cause a cycle.

If the house is running TO your filter you may be ok, depending on how thurough your RO filter is.
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Old 09-12-2006, 08:10 PM   #7
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its running to the filter and its a brand new/never been used hose (hope that doesn't make it worse!). I will only be using the hose for the initial fill up. I wont be usinng it for top off water or water changes. So, if it causes a cycle right off the bat im assuming thats a good thing because thats what I want anyway right? I never used a hose when I had my 39 gal so I'm not sure how its going to work out.
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Old 09-13-2006, 09:57 AM   #8
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It's hard to say. If you're only doing this for the initial fill up then you should be fine. Worst case scenario, the anti-fungals will just delay the initial creation of the bacteria you want when starting your cycle. So if your cycle gets off to a slow start, the hose may be why, so don't panic. (considering my first sw tank I filled with straight tap water and just used the FW chlorine remover 8O ) yea.. i had algae problems in the beginning!
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Old 09-13-2006, 04:34 PM   #9
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True you dont know whats in the water you buy but my lfs usually sells SW for 2.50 for 5 gallons. I bought 10 gallons yesterday for 4 bucks but the cost of driving back and forth will probably be just as expensive.
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Old 09-13-2006, 10:50 PM   #10
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I concur mixing it myself would be the answer. If the RO unit is a good one the mebrane is probably fine(TDS meter will tell you for sure, just replace the other cartridges($20). A common error is that membranes need to be replaced yearly. If you have a good unit your membrane should last years (5-10). Get a 200g bucket of oceanic salt($50) and purchase a 40g holding tank with float shut off and water spigot for RO holding ($85 installed by professional) and you will be set long term for pwc and you inital fill for less than you would spend buying water.

Depending on how big your RO unit is another option would be to call around on having RO delivered. Around here it is like $.50/gal delivered. That might be worth it for your inital fill up.

HTH,
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