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Old 03-28-2012, 01:39 PM   #1
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can you use tap water

I'm new to salt water tanks I keep reading I should use reverse osmosis water. Will I hurt the tank and future fish by using tap water? The tank is in setup mode now.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:00 PM   #2
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Simple answer ,YES...i would recommend getting it tested first..
I use tap ,but i have a whole house filtration system and my TDS's are only 40..I also don't keep a full blown reef,,if your planning on that just get an RODI unit or if your TDS reading is over 150..

A lot will say you'll get huge algae blooms ,but i disagree ...I know tons of people who run pure RODI water and still have huge algae problems ...There are many factors to algae growing ,,,yes RODI water "may" help avoid it ,but not necessarily .
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:06 PM   #3
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*Can* you use tap water? Sure. *Should* you use tap water? Absolutely not. Tap water contains a lot of trace elements and chemicals that you have no control over, and some can be difficult to test for.
I will admit that I used tap water for the first two months of my tank. Since then, I've been using the Glacier water machines outside my grocery stores, which is RO, UV, and double carbon filtered.
Sure, it's a bit more work, but it's worth it. Water is clearer, cleaner, and I can control all the water parameters much more easily.
Plus, some communities' tap water has phosphates. I have a customer who has been using tap water for her freshwater tank and it's always been cloudy. Her blood parrot cichlid had some fin rot and she couldn't figure out why. Turns out her tank's phosphates were off the charts. And read off the charts almost instantly rather than "wait three minutes for color to develop". A PWC with RO water and the cloudiness started clearing up.
Moral of the story, control what goes into your tank.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:18 PM   #4
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I would suggest not using tap water. I work for a large water municipality and I see what they add to water to purify it. Good for us humans but not for our reef tanks. I do have an article in the SW articles section about using tap water.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:53 PM   #5
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I am new to the scene also and I am attempting to use tap water for my tank because I simply can't afford to do it any other way. I bought a bottle of stress coat that is supposed to treat 946 gallons of water and it cost me around 8 bucks. Stress Coat is supposed to take out the chlorine and the copper that may be in your tap water and make the water safe for the fish. I do not have any fish in my tank as of right now because I too am in set up mode. The fellow I bought the tank from said his friend used tap water for many years with great success. It must be treated though.
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:56 PM   #6
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And yes it could be years but eventually the crash will come. I have known of some folks that experienced the same thing only to be asking later why did my tank crash. Stress coat can not remove heavy metals like copper, aluminum and others. It can only bind them but they remain in the tank.
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:15 PM   #7
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you can get a nice ro/di setup for $150 or less
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:31 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice I will most likely get one but now I am having problems with my alkalinity. I read that I could use baking soda to raise my ph. All it did was raise my alkalinity. It is now threw the roof any advice.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:22 PM   #9
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How does an ro/di system work? Maybe I will look into one
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davez79
Thanks for the advice I will most likely get one but now I am having problems with my alkalinity. I read that I could use baking soda to raise my ph. All it did was raise my alkalinity. It is now threw the roof any advice.
It should have raised your pH as well. Alkalinity is the water's ability to buffer itself. Having said that, if alkalinity increases, so should pH. In the future I would spend the money and buy marine buffer at your lfs. It has exact dosing for the pH increase you need.
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