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Old 04-19-2012, 11:16 AM   #1
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Saltwater prep - do I need RO/DI?

I understand the concept of why it's best to use RO/DI, but I'm not at a place where I can afford $150 to buy a whole brand new unit and fwiw, I feel like going to the LFS to buy pre-made water is going to be just as expensive over time.

Can I use tapwater treated with prime and let it sit for a day?

Also I'm confused about when I need to add the salt mixture water vs. topping off with regular water.

If there's salt in the water already, and I do a water change, then add more salt water to it - I've increased the concentration/salinity, right?

So how do I mix proper amounts to avoid just making a complete salt solution?


Sorry if these are dumb questions, I'm brand new to SW and have been researching for a week and everything tells me to just go buy an expensive RO/DI unit
Nothing I've found has addressed the concentration question.

Please help?!?!
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:35 AM   #2
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get a refractometer... this will tell you the salt level in your aquarium and your salt level in your salt water mix for your water change. if your salt level is good in your aquarium just mix your water change water at the same level and you will be fine. there is instructions on the salt mixes. BUT when you top off your tank you want to top off with ro/di water only. Do not top off with salt water because this will increase your salt level over time since salt won't evaporate.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:38 AM   #3
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In my opinion, a ro/di unit is a must. It will pay for itself in a very short time. They are on ebay or from purewaterclub for as low as $65. when you do a water change, you take out saltwater and replace with saltwater. When you are topping off, you replace with ro/di water. Topping of is to replace water that has evaporated, the salt doesnt evaporate.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janky
I understand the concept of why it's best to use RO/DI, but I'm not at a place where I can afford $150 to buy a whole brand new unit and fwiw, I feel like going to the LFS to buy pre-made water is going to be just as expensive over time.

Can I use tapwater treated with prime and let it sit for a day?

Also I'm confused about when I need to add the salt mixture water vs. topping off with regular water.

If there's salt in the water already, and I do a water change, then add more salt water to it - I've increased the concentration/salinity, right?

So how do I mix proper amounts to avoid just making a complete salt solution?

Sorry if these are dumb questions, I'm brand new to SW and have been researching for a week and everything tells me to just go buy an expensive RO/DI unit
Nothing I've found has addressed the concentration question.

Please help?!?!
Hi janky,

Basically you have to use Rodi, there is no way around it. Now, you can either buy the system or buy it weekly or whenever it is needed from the lfs, as you already know. I see the only thing holding you back from buying the system is the price. There is a great rodi system on ebay, 60 dollars, works perfectly, 100gpd. Thats what you want IMO.

No...never use tap even if it is really clean, distilled, treated, or whatever.

When you do a waterchange you want to take out the same amout as you put in. That will keep your salinity the same. Likewise, if you want to raise the salinity just add more and take out less.

Not sure what you mean. There is no "complete solution." just make the salinity what you want it, using a refractometer of course.

These are good questions though!

I just want to add, topoffs are very important. Whenever the water level is dipping is because rodi is evaporation-not salt. Replace this rodi whenever the level dips, even slightly
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:41 AM   #5
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Wow...took me so long to type that all people already responded!:'( lol sorry
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:25 PM   #6
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Ok. $60 I can handle... I'll have to look on ebay. Is there a brand or something I should be searching for?

Also, the topping off makes sense, as salt doesn't evaporate. I guess my question was more directed at trying to understand how adding salt + water to salt + water does not increase the concentration of salt - but I'm probably just over thinking it.
Stupid college chemistry classes

I have a hydrometer and a 6 gal nano that I literally just set up. I'm letting it cycle so I won't be water changing for a while.
Oddly enough, everytime I test the water (premade from the lfs) it doesn't seem to really "read" - it just floats the needle all the way up to the water level.

I'm kinda confused there. Either the premade stuff is off the charts with salinity, or my hydrometer sucks ($13 one from Petco)
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:46 PM   #7
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Hydrometers do suck! They are not as accurate as a refractometer. You can also get them on ebay for about $30. With the hydrometer, make sure there are no bubbles on the swingarm, they will make it float and be innaccurate. I think you should be able to flick it with your finger to make sure the bubbles are off the arm.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:46 PM   #8
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here is the unit i first bought.

eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:06 PM   #9
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carey,

I am considering this ro/di unit also. I have a quick question however, what prompted you to upgrade from this unit?
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sim1killa
carey,

I am considering this ro/di unit also. I have a quick question however, what prompted you to upgrade from this unit?
I have the same thing, and im guessing since it is only 100 gpd, and carey has alot of tanks!!
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