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Old 02-11-2008, 11:38 AM   #11
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Sounds like you have a whole house filter with the first parts of a RODI system. You have the sediment and carbon filters that come before the RO membrane. This is hopefully dropping your tds to the 10 micron or so range. Do you know what size pore you are using in the last stage?

You should probably test your tap water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and phosphate. You should also check the tap water for pH. The tests should be run on a fresh sample and one that that has been sitting for 24 hours .

The flow for a tank is in gph, so you are correct in that you want 550 -1100 gph flow in the tank.

LR in the amount of 1-2 pounds per volume of tank capacity is recommended togther with a protein skimmer for filtration. That elminates the need for a cannister filter. Cannister filters tend to become nitrate factories. Due to their design they can be colonized by the bacteria (aerobic) that convert ammoina to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate, but not the anerobic bacteria that convert nitrate to nitrogen. Algae feeds off nitrate which is why you idealy want zero nitrates in the tank. Many add macro algae to the sump/fuge to take up last few ppm of nitrates to prevent the bad algae from gaining a foothold.

This is my plastic netting thread. Egg crate is normally used for the covering as the openings are also quite small. I'm considering just painting mine black instead of getting the netting.
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:51 AM   #12
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This is my plastic netting thread. Egg crate is normally used for the covering as the openings are also quite small. I'm considering just painting mine black instead of getting the netting.
Now I understand what you were referring to I actually have that same netting at work(free) that I could use we use it for the Playground netting the kids room at work. The challenging part is I have a bowfront cutting the front angle would not be an easy task.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:27 PM   #13
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Make a template from oak tag or cardboard. Cutting it should not be hard. Use a razor blade and cut one piece at a time. Is there a lip around the inside of the tank rim or do you need this to sit complete on top of the rim?
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:36 AM   #14
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This is hopefully dropping your tds to the 10 micron or so range. Do you know what size pore you are using in the last stage?
I honestly don't know the sizings of the canister media. I wouldn't think that would have anything to do with tds, maybe the carbon (if it removed anything dissolved).

In my world I use conductivity, not TDS. I see many conductivity meters that flipflop to tds, I think there is a generic conversion used, something like 0.7 ppm = 1 uS/cm????? Good DI/RO will be under 1 uS/cm, I know that.

DIY'ers: Want a basic conductivity (and if using a generic conversion a TDS meter [actually I think all TDS meters are nothing but conductivity meters])? Take a good voltmeter, fix the electrodes a known distance apart, say on a popsicle stick, dip them in the water and measure the resistance. Divide this by the distance (in cm), reciprocate that and that is your conductivity. Ex: The tips are 3.0 cm apart and you measure 3 Megohm resistance. 3 meg divided by 3 (the distance) is 1 meg. Recip of that(1 x 10^6 ohms or 1000000 ohms) is 1 x 10^-6 mhos (or 0.000001 mhos [siemens]). The classic 'micromho' is really a microsiemen, which is a reciprocal ohm (get it? - ohm - mho). Conductivity is a linear measure - so the above is technically 1 uS/cm (1 microsiemen per centimeter). If my old brain is remembering correctly a TDS meter would call that 0.7 ppm.

So when I get going here I will test my water, of course. I expect a conductivity of at least 150 uS/cm, so I should have a min TDS of say 80 ppm. Probably more. Could be double.

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Originally Posted by cmor1701d
You should probably test your tap water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and phosphate.
Yes, all that and I believe one I forgot - Cu. I want some inverts, and I do have copper piping. I hope I don't have a problem w/ any leaching out. I presume any detectable level is a no go for inverts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmor1701d
LR in the amount of 1-2 pounds per volume of tank capacity is recommended togther with a protein skimmer for filtration. That elminates the need for a cannister filter. Cannister filters tend to become nitrate factories. Due to their design they can be colonized by the bacteria (aerobic) that convert ammoina to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate, but not the anerobic bacteria that convert nitrate to nitrogen. Algae feeds off nitrate which is why you idealy want zero nitrates in the tank.
That is interesting. Looks like I may be exchanging the filter pump for a powerhead setup. I hadn't even considered a sump setup but I guess I will have to now. I am looking at almost 20 GPM. That is a LOT of flow, can you point to a diagram or picture of a 'classic' setup using a sump/powerhead? This is going to be in my living room so I would like it as neat and dry as possible.

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Seems like a stainless mesh is going to get hot and reflect a lot of light.
I think if the mesh is modestly large enough there shouldn't be a heat issue.

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Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson
I have several LPS corals in my tank as well as my fish and I've been able to keep my nitrates below 1.0ppm (using DI water). And that's where I
So what is the max permissable NO3 for a coral/LR tank? Is that 1.0 ppm a good solid # or one that you prefer to keep on the very safe side?

Thx everyone.
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:09 AM   #15
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For a reef setup, I don't think there is any real "maximum" for nitrates. It's always "as near zero as possible" because no matter what the number, it'll always be less in the ocean and nitrates have far more negative effects on corals than fish. Same goes for phosphates. Here's a handy chart I've referred folks to...

Ideal Water Parameters for Your Marine, Freshwater, Brackish Aquarium, or Pond

Regarding copper tubing, here's an observation I'll pass on:

I don't use RO/DI, but I run my city supplied, municipal tap water through a Kold-Steril filter (google it if you want more info, but it's just a glorified water filter) and then through DI resin. The KoldSteril filter uses a product called a PolyFilter that changes colors as it adsorbs stuff. The color it changes varies with what it sucks up. I change mine every year, and those pads are always the prettiest deep blue color at the end of the year. Blue is the color the pads turn when they are taking copper out of the water.

Granted, many salt mixes have stuff in them that will "neutralize" the heavy metals supposedly, but it's nice to have the piece of mind that I know exactly what's in my water when I put my salt mix into it, and that it's the same every single time.
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:03 AM   #16
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For a reef setup, I don't think there is any real "maximum" for nitrates. It's always "as near zero as possible" because no matter what the number, it'll always be less in the ocean and nitrates have far more negative effects on corals than fish. Same goes for phosphates. Here's a handy chart I've referred folks to...

Ideal Water Parameters for Your Marine, Freshwater, Brackish Aquarium, or Pond
Thx for the chart, now I have a better idea. I also see that I am going to have to rethink things a little. One premise was that when things are stable and established, I would have a system that would have a relative static nitrogen load, at least over the time frame of up to two weeks. That would allow us to travel w/out having to worry about someone coming in and decanting. I gather this is still possible if NO3 converting organisms are plentiful, such as in a sump or refugium?
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:03 AM   #17
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From Are TDS meters really conductivity meters?
Yes. While EC and TDS are often used synonymously, there are some important differences to note. EC, when applied to water, refers to the electrical charge of a given water sample. TDS refers to the total amount of substances in the water other than the pure H2O. The only true way of measuring TDS is to evaporate the water and weigh what’s left. Since this is near impossible to do for the average person, is it possible to estimate the TDS level by measuring the EC of the water. Every digital TDS meter in the world is actually an EC meter.
All elements have some electrical charge. Therefore, it is possible to closely estimate the quantity of TDS by determining the EC of the water. However, since different elements have different charges, it is necessary to convert the EC to TDS using a scale that mimics the charge of that water type. The following are the most common water samples, and for the <A class=mainlinks href="http://www.tdsmeter.com/products/com100.html" target=_self>COM-100, each has its own conversion factor:
KCl: Potassium Chloride is the international standard to calibrate instruments that measure conductivity. The COM-100 is factory calibrated with a 1413 microsiemens solution is the default mode is EC-KCl.
442TM: Developed by the Myron L Company, 442TM simulates the properties of natural water (rivers, lakes, wells, drinking water, etc.) with a combination of 40% Sodium Bicarbonate, 40% Sodium Sulfate and 20% Chloride.
NaCl: Sodium Chloride is used in water where the predominate ions are NaCl, or whose properties are similar to NaCl, such as seawater and brackish water. Measurements in EC (S) do not have a conversion factor, but do require the correct setting for the proper temperature coefficient.
---------------------------------------------------
From What is TDS by Randy Holmes-Farley
"Can I Just Use a Multimeter to Measure Conductivity?"
No. Several factors make it impossible to accurately measure conductivity with a standard multimeter. The size and shape of the electrodes are significant, but more important is what happens at those electrodes. If a DC current is applied to seawater, numerous reactions take place when the ions hit the electrodes. Some ions will plate out on the electrodes, some may bubble off as gases, and the electrodes themselves may dissolve. These and other effects all serve to change the nature of the solution at the electrode, impacting the measured conductivity.
So how do conductivity probes get around this problem? They use an AC current rather than DC. Using fields that oscillate very rapidly, there is no overall movement of ions toward one electrode or the other. The ions move one way for a tiny fraction of a second, and then back the other direction for the second half of the cycle. Overall, the solution and electrodes stay unchanged and the conductivity is accurately measured. Modern conductivity meters use complex AC waveforms to minimize additional complications such as capacitance, which can interfere with simple conductivity measurements.
==========================
Copper pipes rarely leach enough to cause a problem, but testing is a good idea.

Checkout Melevs reef pages for sump/fuge designs and DIY ideas. Here is a 29g with a photo of the full setup.

The stainless mesh is going to get hot if you have enough lighting for corals and are not using LEDs for your lighting. If the mesh is wide enough to prevent that then it is probably too wide to prevent fish from jumping out, and is therefore not needed. If all depends on your list of livestock as to whether you need to cover it for jumpers or not.

1200 gph of flow would be ideal for your tank. Is that after taking head height of the returns into account?

Nitrates under 5 or 10 MAY not hurt. The ideal is 0 ppm of nitrate. I'm finally down to under 1 (using the Salifert test kit).
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:40 PM   #18
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[...]
Copper pipes rarely leach enough to cause a problem, but testing is a good idea.

Checkout Melevs reef pages for sump/fuge designs and DIY ideas. Here is a 29g with a photo of the full setup.


Thanks, that is most helpful.

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1200 gph of flow would be ideal for your tank. Is that after taking head height of the returns into account?
Just trying to see what flow at the tank I can get away with, I'll have to size accordingly for the head.

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Nitrates under 5 or 10 MAY not hurt. The ideal is 0 ppm of nitrate. I'm finally down to under 1 (using the Salifert test kit).

It sure seems that is attainable with a sump/refugium. If I can get a nice stable environment going, w/ skimmer, from what I am gathering here I can have a tank that can go 2 weeks w/out decanting. That would be very nice.

Assuming my NO3 is not outrageous from the well, if I have nitrate eaters present, even using the well make-up for periodic maintenance may not be a NO3 shock, I am hoping.

I checked conductivity and am at 380 uS/cm. Meter hasn't been calibrated in a while.
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Old 02-14-2008, 04:04 PM   #19
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From the What is TDS article... "Normal seawater has a conductivity of about 53 mS/cm. For reference, the conductivity of totally pure water is 0.055 mS/cm. . .

True TDS meters (that only give output in TDS units) . . . typically convert the conductivity reading into the ppm concentration of some salt that would give the same measured conductivity. For example, it might be set to give as its output the concentration of sodium chloride (NaCl) that would give that same conductivity. So if the device detected 447 mS/cm, it might display that as 215.5 ppm, as that is the concentration of sodium chloride that gives that same conductivity. "

Is your meter DC or AC?

My tap water is between 180 -230 ppm on my tds meter. My RO water is normally around 10 and the final output from the DI is 0.

Please define "decanting' for us. I'm not sure if you are referring to a PWC (partial water change) or skimming.

Two weeks is a very long time to go without maintenance. What will you do for top off water for the evaporation during that period. What about feeding?
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Old 02-14-2008, 04:45 PM   #20
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Assuming my NO3 is not outrageous from the well, if I have nitrate eaters present, even using the well make-up for periodic maintenance may not be a NO3 shock, I am hoping.
What are your nitrate and phosphate levels in your tap water, by the way? You're going to need those test kits anyway, so might as well buy them now and test your tap water so you know for sure what you have.

Also... cmore beat me to it about the stainless steel mesh. It WILL get hot, even with compact flourescents. And if the mesh size is big enough... well... what cmore said!
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