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Old 01-20-2010, 11:59 AM   #1
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Water quality issues

I need a second opinion on the advice that I am getting from someone on the Reef Tank site.

My problem started just before Christmas. All my water tests have been off. I have a 110g reef tank with approx 200 lbs of live rock. I am using the Fluval FX5 canister filter. 2 power heads, Coraline protein skimmer and Coraline 9 w UV sterilizer.

My biggest problem is with my nitrates. They are around 250 ppm. My daughter works in a waste water treatment plant had has taken water samples in for testing. The first set of results came yesterday.

Alk-106 mg/l
PH- 7.88
Salinity 1.025
Temp 80

I'm hoping that I get the rest of the results later today.

I was using tap water for WC and top ups adding a little prime each time. So with this problem I installed a 5 filter RO system. I have done several WC's since the end of Dec one being a 50% change. I did another WC yesterday. No luck the nitrates are still off the chart. I've python-ed the sand bed each time. The sand bed is about 1 1/2 in depth.

The advice from the other site is that I should get rid of my canister filter. I wondered if anyone else agreed with this.
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:08 PM   #2
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maybe not get rid of but clean/change the sponges at least weekly. Also grab a TDS and check what's coming out of that RO too. If there's not DI it probably won't be 0. Check your feeding (too much , too often) and the quality (flake is the worst).

If you were really at 250 it will take a very long time to get into an acceptable range (30 or less). 250/2 = 125.. if you did another 50% that only gets you to 62,, another 50 to the 30's.. Not counting all the nitrates that are still being added.

If you have a sump, get some macro algae..

Some starting suggestions
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:25 PM   #3
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So is a DI unit an addon to the RO system. I am using flake food. I am using the Formula Two brand. I feed 3 pinches every other day. In the off day I feed a chunk of frozen mysis shrimp. The problem with the nitrates is that even with the WC's the nitrates are not dropping. They are still reading at aroung 250 ppm. I was using the Red Sea test kit, then I bought the Seachem test kit with same result. I took a water sampe to my LFS and they used the Tetra test kit with the same result. I will get a TDS sample done as well.
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:32 PM   #4
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250 is sooooo high, perhaps the reading is incorrect? or even worse.. perhaps higher than the test can read?
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:39 PM   #5
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Yes that is what is happening. The Red Sea kit has 2 scales. 0-50 and 50-300 ppm. For the 0-50 range you use 5 ml and let the color develop. If it is over you then do another test this time using 1 ml add reagents and top up to 5 ml with distilled water. It is this second test that is giving me 250 ppm result.

The other test kits only go to 50 mg/l and the color is much darker than kit chart. That is way I sent samples with my daughter to check level at the water lab she works in, so I have very accurate results.
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:48 PM   #6
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Are you testing the water from the faucet too? or from the RO system? Might not be the tank or any filters. Just wonderin'.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:12 PM   #7
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No I haven't tested the tape water or the RO water at this point. I am testing the tank water. I did do a test on just distilled water that I raised the salinity to 1.025 and temp 80. I did this to see if my test kits were bad. The result for all test they came back normal.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:22 PM   #8
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would still benefit to know what the tap or Ro water reads
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:40 PM   #9
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Will have to get my daughter to do a test on the water later tonight as I am vacationing in Florida. So I will get back to you when I have the results.

Question I'm not sure if my RO is also a DI unit. What is the difference between the RO/DI system and a plain RO system. Can you add a DI unit to a RO unit and what would the cost be if you know.

Thanks
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:57 PM   #10
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the DI unit just adds on the the RO unit and does not cost that much.
Here is a link to where I got my unit:
www.bulkreefsupply.com . search for RO/DI units..
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