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Old 01-22-2005, 02:10 AM   #1
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Do you need RO/DI???

Is using RO/DI or distilled water totally vital to the health of a reef aquarium? Will the fish/coral die with using treated tap water? Could you just use like one of the tap water purifiers? like Britta or Pur? They remove alot of stuff from the water, like calcium, heavy metals etc....They use carbon to filter the water, and i know that carbon filters are a step of RO process....

Thanx Zach
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Old 01-22-2005, 02:35 AM   #2
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Short answer: no. You can have successful reef aquaria with tap water, but:

Long answer: depends on your local water supply. If your water supply is very basic (high PH), full of nitrates, etc etc, then you can have bad algae problems and poor coral health. If your tap water is good, then you're good to go.

Me? I have water which comes out of the tap at pH 8.4 20 dKH. After mixing with salt I'd end up with solid rock. RO+DI (or at least DI, since it demineralizes well) is essential for me.
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Old 01-22-2005, 03:12 AM   #3
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It makes things alot easier and your make up water more consistent.
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Old 01-22-2005, 03:25 AM   #4
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r u shure that your water comes out at 8.4? or is that after you mix with salt? 8.4 is way to high for tap water. and you might want to report that. i just find that a little hard to belive
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Old 01-22-2005, 03:48 AM   #5
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Nope, 8.4. Weighted avg 8.1, range 7.7-8.4. Its perfectly legal, just means there is enough CaCO3 in the water that you don't need to drink milk for your calcium (not really, but fun to think of)

Its VERY common to have high pH water out of wells in CA. The Colorado river water (Los Angeles area uses some) also suffers the same fate and is actually worse than well.

http://www.city.davis.ca.us/pw/water/pdfs/waterquality2003.pdf
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Old 01-22-2005, 04:34 AM   #6
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that is crazy. i just took a look at my countie's water report, (and i dont mean to sound like one of those crazy creepy people) but my water is slightly radioactive, and contains arsanic. im really considering a ro/di now
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Old 01-22-2005, 02:40 PM   #7
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Using Tap water is going to cut your success rate in half. You just can't get consistent results in most municipalities. I use a DI unit only and have gotten great results.
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Old 01-22-2005, 07:35 PM   #8
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Ok...so after giving my RO/DI unit from Ebay some break in time and ordering a TDS meter, I decided to run around the house with my TDS meter to see what I came up with. HTH My tap water is about 158 on the TDS......after getting water from my PUR filter that is connected to the same tap it came out a SMOKING 156...yee ha! Good to see that the carbon was doing it's job...taste good though I must say. Anyway...waste water from my RO/DI......which goes throught everything but the DI and polishing stage (cause fish care what water tastes like right?)...came out in the low 100 range. After DI and polishing a SOLID 0...zero...nada...zilch...nothing. If I mixed waste water and the RO/DI I receieved a 90 TDs reading. I have come to several conclusions from this.

First...the Ebay RO/DI's are solid....at least so far. Will report back in 6 months to see where we all stand with our TDS readings then.

Second....using waste water in FO...NO live rock no inverts...can't be that bad (obviously this will depend on your waste water quality). You must be open to cleaning up algae and the like though...cause this will occur.

Third...I am throwing out my PUR water filter attachment....only water I drink is usually mixed with barley and hops.....or blazing hot from the coffee pot.

Fourth...I am not taking my TDS meter to my families house in West Virginia we we get water from a spring because the tap water is really hard....I don't want to know the readings....

HTH....would love to hear what other people are showing...

IMO....a RO/DI is necessary whenever running a reef tank or inverts....or both (as most have it). Unless you are getting water from water stations.

My 4.5 cents
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Old 01-22-2005, 08:26 PM   #9
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My TDS reads 350-400 from the tap. You're lucky TDS is going to be more sensitive to some compounds than others. Your carbon might be stripping things which the TDS can't read. At it will remove chlorine (if your water is chlorinated).

I need to change my DI resin out since I'm starting to creep up (15 TDS after DI)
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xenia, mushrooms, wels. open brain, fungia radiata (orange), green eyed zoos

flame angel, mated pair of false perc, 6-line, firefish

20gH electric yellow cichlid
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Old 01-22-2005, 08:50 PM   #10
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I highly recommend RO. I used tap the first time I tried SW and I lasted less than a year. Three years later I started again with RO and things are still going strong 15 months later. If you still want to consider using Tap water take a sample to the LFS and test for everything and see what you have.

The biggest issue I had with tap was I that I constantly did pwc with no success. Well after learning a little after the fact the problem was the pwc and what it contained which I was oblivious to at the time. It was fine for my FW setup, but not for SW.

Good luck,
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