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Old 10-04-2006, 02:02 PM   #1
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RO vs. Distilled Water

Would there be a difference between using RO water vs. Distilled water for my PWC? I'm more concerned with eliminating silicates and phosphate, as I've been battling brown algae which has been clouding my water clarity.

As for info: My 45 gallon FO has been up and running for over 2 years now. I have a cannister filter (Fluval 305) and BakPak protein skimmer. Fish are fed once every 2-3 days, and never overfed. PWC is performed every 3-4 weeks.

I've been using a combo of distilled and tap water for the PWC, and recently learned through research that the brown algae could be a result of the silicates in my tap water. An RO might not be an option for me at this time, which is why I was wondering if going 100% distilled would have the same quality as RO water.
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Old 10-04-2006, 02:21 PM   #2
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I believe the RO will remove close to 90-95% of the phosphates and the DI should get rid of the rest. I believe those numbers are close. As for the distilled, there are some that use it and have had no problems. Do you still have the sponges in the filter? I removed mine, two at a time and my algae problem is a lot less than it was. What are you nitrAtes and phosphates reading?
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Old 10-04-2006, 03:44 PM   #3
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I believe your brown algea is coming from two places. PWC`s need to be done IMO every week. Even if they are small. They remove DOC`s out of the water and add needed trace elements back in. The second is if you are using tap water in your PWC water then most likely you`re adding nitrates and silicates in your tank. IMO a RO/DI and frequent PWC`s will help get rid of the fuel source for your algea.
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Old 10-04-2006, 04:36 PM   #4
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I agree with mel, how old are your lights?
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Old 10-04-2006, 05:07 PM   #5
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I've been battling brown algae which has been clouding my water clarity
firstly...about the algae..you say brown algae, but then you say its clouding the water...so is the water actually changing color? if so, i'd get a UV sterilizer to eliminate all the stuff in there, or at the very least, try running carbon..that usualy helps rid of color in the water.

But what are your nitrates and phosphates at right now? Those are what feed the algae. And if those are good, what is your cleanup crew?

But i agree w/whoever posted above and said that water changes should be done once a week...even if the nitrates/phosphates/whatever are good, you gotta replentish the trace elements for corals and stuff.

As for the RO/DI vs. Distilled...i believe distilled is a bit more expensive for one...isnt it the stuff thats like bottled water? Even the walmart brand's gallon jug is like a buck or something, where if you go to the lfs or some water store, you'll pay like 25 cents for a gallon of RO, plus i'm not sure on this one, but i think RO is more pure than just distilled.
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Old 10-05-2006, 02:16 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for pitching in with your insights for my frustrating situation.

My nitrates are reading below 10, and I have to pick up a phosphate test kit (though I use 1 Phos-Zorb in my cannister filter, and replace the pack every 3-4 weeks with my 2 carbon packs).

My lights (50/50 and 10,000 degree K bulbs) are about 5-6 months old, and operate 9 hours a day.

My aquarium water isn't a different color but just appears a slight bit cloudy, meaning it isn't crystal clear like it should be. I rinsed off some of my dead/frozen coral pieces which had brown and green algae, and the rinseoff water was brown, which is why I feel the algae is the cause of my clarity issue.

I only have 2 water sources in my apt., being my bathroom and kitchen. At this time, I don't think I can set up an RO/DI anywhere, and honestly, they seem a bit complicated to install and maintain. Is there anything else on the market that can filter out silicates? I'm 99% sure now that this is the cause of my problem (silicates in the tap water used for PWC).

Also on a side, and though this may sound silly or ridiculous, I read somewhere that drinking RO/DI water is not recommended as many minerals are filtered out which the body needs. Another reason I hesitate to have one installed.
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Old 10-05-2006, 03:09 PM   #7
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If you look closely (I know wal-mart is) most gal jugs of drinking water is RO. You can also water delivery companies (Culligan) will deliver RO water to your house, or you can check your lfs, they will sell it also.

hth
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Old 10-05-2006, 03:52 PM   #8
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OK, now I feel that I need to get an RO/DI unit. In searching around, I found this:

http://www.freedrinkingwater.com/ro-counter-detail.htm

What do the experts think?
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Old 10-05-2006, 05:27 PM   #9
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There's one on ebay that folks like. I believe devilishturtles has one and the link, she loves it and is it about $100. You my want to PM her....
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Old 10-05-2006, 09:19 PM   #10
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ro/di

The one that Devilshirts has from Ebay is from "filterdirect."

I hooked mine up last night and it seems to be good. It is about $120 through Ebay.
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