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Old 06-05-2007, 05:56 PM   #21
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FWIW, I've used tap water for 4-5 years in my tanks and haven't had any problems. I run agressive filtration (phosphan, carbon, skimmer, purigen soon). I found that with just a skimmer, tap was causing me lots of problems. The chemical media has helped me a lot. Now, with the exception of some macros growing fast, I have hardly any algae and my corals are growing very well.

That's not to say that you will not have problems, like was mentioned all tap water is different and water is the biggest aspect of this hobby. Some will have problems, some will not. I tried an RO unit and the waste water was just too much. I kept running my well dry and it was really causing havoc on my regular water use, so I just stopped using it. I do have a singular DI unit I'm going to give a try, but for now tap, skimmer, and chemical filtration is working very well for me.
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:01 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Innovator
A DI alone will do just fine and save you some waste water in the process. If this is for a newly set up tank, no livestock, there would be no harm in experimentation in just using tap.
This is bad advice, tap water will burn right throught a DI cartridge in no time making it useless. Not sure where you get your facts from? Using a RO I used to burn up DIs fast and my TDS was under 200.

Agian its your tank and if you want to roll the dice then go for it. Just don't post here in a few months that you have a bad algae outbreak.
Have your tap water tested... nitrates, phosphates are in alot of tap water.
There are many more stories about the nightmare tap water caused a tank then good stories.
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Old 06-06-2007, 10:27 AM   #23
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I dont feel that RO/DI water is necessary for a marine aquarium. Also I feel that most people who have algae outbreaks have way bigger problems then residual phosphates in tap water. In addition to that I have used the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals brand DI unit that hooks to the tap and found that those cartridges lasted either a month or in some cases a good bit more doing weekly water changes. Most people will attest that the DI unit Aquarium Pharmaceuticals produces works quite well and is much cheaper at $50 or less then an entire RO unit.

The main thing that can harm aquarium water existing in water out of the tap is phosphates. Unless you have a very poor home filtration system or water supplier you shouldn't find nitrates or ammonia in your water. You may find traces of heavy metals but using an inexpensive de toxifier will take care of that. The one thing to monitor closely is phosphates in your source water. The DI unit I mentioned will help with that if it's a problem although using some form of phosphate absorption media is recommended. Phosphates can cause algae blooms and outbreaks of cyanobacteria if allowed to run unchecked.

I would recommend SeaChem's Prime as a water additive. I have used this with good success as it takes care of various compounds in the water and can help in the creation of a strong slime coat in fish.
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Old 06-06-2007, 12:04 PM   #24
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Most people will attest that the DI unit Aquarium Pharmaceuticals produces works quite well and is much cheaper at $50 or less then an entire RO unit....
As seaham noted earlier, using straight DI on tap water is NOT a cheap way of getting clean water. The original poster is trying to do this on the cheap... and using straight DI is NOT cheap. Yes - you don't have waste water, but depending on your intial water quality to start with, and how often you do water changes, you will spend waaaaaaay more money per year on consumables (DI resin) than you would with RO/DI (membranes/resin).
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Old 06-06-2007, 03:59 PM   #25
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I use the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals DI unit that macman7010 is talking about. I got it for ~$27 and going on 3 months of use with 5 gallon pwc each week and the color change has only affected about half the membrane. The water comes out with trace phosphates but I run phosguard to remove it. In my opinion it works well for me but it could be different for you depending on your tap water. For me it's better than just using straight tap.
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Old 06-06-2007, 04:16 PM   #26
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I use the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals DI unit that macman7010 is talking about. I got it for ~$27 and going on 3 months of use with 5 gallon pwc each week and the color change has only affected about half the membrane. The water comes out with trace phosphates but I run phosguard to remove it. In my opinion it works well for me but it could be different for you depending on your tap water. For me it's better than just using straight tap.
If your water is coming out of it with still something in it (trace phosphates), then I'd question how good of a job it's doing in the first place. Either that, or you're flowing the water through too fast for it to effectively remove everything. If it was a truly effective DI cartridge, that thing should be toast in 3 months - even with only 5g per week.

I run a dual full-size canister DI unit filtering water coming out of Kold-Steril filter unit. TDS of the water coming into the DI is about 80ppm. Coming out, the TDS is zero. I run at about 40 gallons/hour. Doing 5g PWCs per week, along with top off water, I get around 2 months per resin charge.

I guess my point is that while you've got a DI filter, it sounds like it's really not being effective. You end up with "semi-pure" water, which in my book is kinda like being "kinda pregnant". Granted... it's better than it was coming out of the tap, but for the money spent is it really worth it?
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Old 06-06-2007, 05:13 PM   #27
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I think $30 every 6 months is fine. It's better than nothing. I run it exactly as it says making about 5 gallons in 30-40 mins. It even says filters anywhere from 25 to 125 gallon per cartridge depeneding on tap. I guess my point is it is better then nothing. I could go using straight tap but I dont. O and on the phosphates I was meaning I have trace phosphates in my tank and I run phosguard to remove it.
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Old 06-06-2007, 11:41 PM   #28
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O and on the phosphates I was meaning I have trace phosphates in my tank and I run phosguard to remove it.
Gotcha. Sounded like you were getting Phosphates from the DI unit. Running the thing at 5 gallons per 30/40 minutes, I'd guess it's taking everything out. If you're getting 6 months out of it, you must have some pretty pristine water to start with. Ever tested it with a TDS meter?

Didn't mean to stray too far from mike3epanda's original question, but starting out a saltwater tank with minimal cash up front is a tough proposition. It's a tough decision on where to save money, but personally, source water would not be the place I'd do it at. And what works with some people with their water might not work for others and their own water. It's one of those areas you need to go in to with your eyes wide open, and really decide what level of filtration (if any) you need. Shoot... I owned six test kits before I even filled up my tank - just to make the decision of how to deal with source water!
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Old 06-07-2007, 01:50 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Innovator
A DI alone will do just fine and save you some waste water in the process. If this is for a newly set up tank, no livestock, there would be no harm in experimentation in just using tap.
This is bad advice, tap water will burn right throught a DI cartridge in no time making it useless. Not sure where you get your facts from?
My facts are from the fact that many professionals are using straight di instead of ro/di in order to save what would be wasted water. There are quality di's that will not be burned through excessively and, as I stated before, depends upon your city water supply.
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:01 AM   #30
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just to chime in, i must say this is a very interesting thread. A lot of varied opinions.
FWIW I use tap+aquasafe for topoffs/pwc and have never had a bit of algae, although I dont run that tank with corals and I will be using a ro/di unit (the same one roka linked on ebay) for my upcomming 150gal coral tank.
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