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Old 06-08-2012, 08:24 AM   #1
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Questions about RO water

Hi everyone,

I have always wanted a salt water tank, but until recently i figured it would be a ton of work and one simple mistake could cost hundreds. When i was at our local aquarium shop (who are very good and i trust), they recommended that i consider salt water aquariums.

I gave it some though, and some research and im actually considering doing it. I do weekly water changes and tests on my fresh water tanks anyway, so i don't think i would be over whelmed by the work.

Here are my questions:

I heard you need to put RO water in SW aquariums. Some people say you can just go and buy RO water from the store, but is it the general consensus that you pretty much want an RO system set up in your house some where? I would just put it under the sink in my bathroom. I'm just asking because to have it installed by someone who knows what their doing I'm probably looking at around $500.

Secondly, i have a 20 gallon tank in storage that has a standard florescent hood (t8), and i heard that you wont have much luck with a nice looking live rock with t8. The tank is a tetra 20 high and i was wondering if anyone new of a HO t5 system that i could fit right in/over the existing hood?

Thanks everyone!
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:05 AM   #2
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Yes invest in a RO/DI system. You don't need an installer. It is easy to put in. I bought mine from Bulk Reef Supply. Mine is the 6 stage system. They have videos on how to install everything. Didn't need my husbands help at all. Lol.

Now on the light, check the different vendors to see what light will work for you. I run T5 lights but a lot of people are starting to go to LED lights. Just make sure you also get some moonlights. Salty Supply has a good selection of products to choose from. But there are a lot of very good vendors. Just compare your prices. Also check Amazon. I buy some things through them. I bought a fluval fx5 filter for a whole lot less than anybody else wanted for he filter.

Good luck on your system. Once you get it up and running, just do your regular maintenance and everything will be a breeze. But do all your research first. Learn about the process of setting up a saltwater tank and all the equipment you will need. Read forums, watch videos on U Tube, read about what fish and corals you are interested in and see if they will all get along together. And above all else, don't impulse buy. Think about what you are putting in the tank. You don't want your fish killing each other or the fish to eat your corals.
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:26 AM   #3
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Thanks! Great info.

I would install the RO, but I heard you need to buy a bunch of little thinks like high pressure cut off valves and stuff like that that don't come in your standard $200 RO kit. But if the kit is all you need I would do it my self.

Interesting thought on the LED. Do you think I would be better to go led, or do a DIY compact fluorescent bulb job? Would those bulbs be good in a reef tank, and if so how may for a 20g tank. Standard height.

Thanks
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:30 AM   #4
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My RO unit came with everything. Although I needed to buy a booster pump cause we live on a hill and have a special pumping system for our water. Look at the systems at bulk reef supply. You. An submit a question to them if you need to. They are very prompt about answering your questions.

On my 29 gallon SW tank, I have a LED light that also has moon lights and also a dual T5 light. My corals are very happy with that. Hopefully I can post new pictures soon of all my tanks.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:49 AM   #5
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RO units are not ABSOLUTELY necessary. I've never used one with my saltwater tank. The only problems I had were a diatom bloom and algae, which has since been controlled. It all depends on the tap water in you area though. just my 2cents
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:32 PM   #6
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No you don't have to have an RO unit. I used distilled water before I had my unit. It is advisable NOT to use tap water in a saltwater tank. Do your homework. If you don't use purified water then you take a chance whether you have a successful tank or not. You may even lose livestock. I for one, would not like to take that chance after all the money is spent on them.
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:38 PM   #7
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Here is what I did last night in about an hour. Have the 5 stage plus system from bulk reef supply and a 35 gallon brute. Bought a $4 float valve at Lowe's and I am good to go. The plus system already have the shutoff valve and all that is needed to do this. All you have to do is buy the float switch. ATO will be installed on my 75 gallon this weekend!


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Old 06-08-2012, 12:53 PM   #8
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IMO it`s best to have at least an RO or RO/DI unit. As someone that works at a large water municipality I can tell you that the chemicals that are added are good for us humans but bad for our reefs. For people that use tap nothing will happen right away but I have seen where yrs down the road all of a sudden there is a crash and folks wonder why. All these heavy metals and ammonia and silicates will stay in your tank. Treatments do not remove them they just bind them to make them less lethal but they do remain. After a certain period of these heavy metals collecting there has to be consequences. I have seen it happen before. BTW our water is rated the third best in the country so water quality is not the problem.
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:54 PM   #9
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I have the exact same ro/di unit that spoonman has above and it was a snap to install. I use the conector and hook mine up to my gardenhose on the backyard. If the $180 is too steep of a cost then you could start with this unit

0PPM Portable 100GPD Reverse Osmosis RO+DI Filtration | eBay

It's $66 and works just fine. I had it for over a year before I upgraded to the BRS plus model. I changed filters after about 6 months which ran me $20 something dollars. That cheap one also hooks right up to a garden hose or your kitchen sink and is portable so you can put it away when youre done.

RO/DI water is THE BEST thing you can do for your tank next to water changes.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:42 PM   #10
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Hmmm, I like that portable one. Mind me asking why you upgraded?

Also anyone know if two of the compact fluorescent bulbs would support a 20 gallon reef?

Thanks
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