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Old 04-22-2011, 12:58 AM   #1
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Question RO filter or what

Hi guys, I am planning to buy a RO filter for my marine aquarium, my main purpose is to get the TDS IN MY TANK down to 10, not to filter the tap water.
However, it seems like you have to have 65PSI for the RO filter to produce the clean water. Since my idea is using a internal water pump to transport the water.

Anyway one who had experience about how to setup this system? or any other equipment can down shift the TDS?

thanks
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Old 04-22-2011, 01:05 AM   #2
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Either I'm misunderstanding what you're asking, or you're misunderstanding RO filters and TDS.

If you get the TDS *in your marine tank* down to 10, you will not have a marine tank. You'll have a tank full of nearly pure water that nothing will live in. TDS stands for "Total Dissolved Solids" and the salt in the saltwater will put the TDS up over 30,000 ppm.

You do *not* want to pump your tank water through an RO filter. It won't work, and even if it did... you wouldn't want to.

RO filters are meant to filter the tap water, before adding the salt mix. That way, you won't have any nasty stuff in your water to start with, and your source water (before adding salt) will be the same for every single water change. Consistency is the key to running a good marine tank.

The TDS of your tank water, really, is meaningless. All the dissolved salts in the water add to the TDS, and those things are good things. You want high TDS saltwater! Water quality is determined by things like the levels of nitrates, phosphates, ammonia, etc.

[Edit: Oh... by the way... welcome to AquariumAdvice!]
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Old 04-22-2011, 01:08 AM   #3
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R U referring to top-off water gradually? I use an RO system and i have a float that allows RO to come in when necessary as top-off. I also use a pressure solenoid to shut the inlet water off when not in use. This helps extend the life of the filter.

If you're going fish only i know Prime is good for removing dissolved solids. I forget who makes it, either kent or seachem.

Hope that helps a little.

J
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Old 04-22-2011, 01:11 AM   #4
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Prime (Seachem) doesn't do anything but bind up ammonia and nitrites into non-toxic compounds. It also does the same with chlorine and chloramines. It doesn't make water any purer, or remove dissolved solids.
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Old 04-22-2011, 01:18 AM   #5
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Which the filter can then remove... I'm not a fan of 'chemical cycling' a tank. I've grown patient over the years.

However, I must ask your concern over TDS? Unless you have the worst water known to man and no house filter, you should probably reconsider even setting up a tank. But under 'normal' circumstances, RO as top off with regular water changes and a good bio bed will suffice.
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:19 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson View Post
Either I'm misunderstanding what you're asking, or you're misunderstanding RO filters and TDS.

If you get the TDS *in your marine tank* down to 10, you will not have a marine tank. You'll have a tank full of nearly pure water that nothing will live in. TDS stands for "Total Dissolved Solids" and the salt in the saltwater will put the TDS up over 30,000 ppm.

You do *not* want to pump your tank water through an RO filter. It won't work, and even if it did... you wouldn't want to.

RO filters are meant to filter the tap water, before adding the salt mix. That way, you won't have any nasty stuff in your water to start with, and your source water (before adding salt) will be the same for every single water change. Consistency is the key to running a good marine tank.

The TDS of your tank water, really, is meaningless. All the dissolved salts in the water add to the TDS, and those things are good things. You want high TDS saltwater! Water quality is determined by things like the levels of nitrates, phosphates, ammonia, etc.

[Edit: Oh... by the way... welcome to AquariumAdvice!]
Thanks dude, I am totally clear now, i am sorry, its my first time step into the saltwater aquarium, I am always doing the freshwater aquarium. Can I ask you one more question, How necessary is this RO filter? my city's water is not bad, actually...150TDS. I mean the water conditioner is also mean to be eliminate the metal stuff. If I can save this money, I can buy some other equipments instead. thanks
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mr.Micro View Post
Which the filter can then remove... I'm not a fan of 'chemical cycling' a tank. I've grown patient over the years.

However, I must ask your concern over TDS? Unless you have the worst water known to man and no house filter, you should probably reconsider even setting up a tank. But under 'normal' circumstances, RO as top off with regular water changes and a good bio bed will suffice.
I think i misuderstand the concept of TDS in saltwater aquarium, TDS is useful only before the water going to the tank, right?
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:45 AM   #8
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TDS is a major concern on incoming water. Once your tank has cycled and the ammonia, nitrites have converted to nitrates, the goal now becomes to add the purest water possible (low TDS). That's were RO comes in, as a top off. Prudent in any aquaria, more so in a Reef as the introduction of 'tap' water will/can cause the re-introduction of ammonia, nitrites and phosphates, adding stress to the system. Not to mention accelerating unwanted algae growth.

In short, an RO system IMO is a necessity when doing water changes. Cycling your tank with tap water is the norm. However, if you have a small enough tank, you can buy pre-bottled ocean water or RO water, if your concern is that high. It may not be cost effective in larger tanks. If you decide to start with tap water to fill the tank, since you wont be doing any water changes immediately during the cycle period, an RO system is something that can be added later and you can buy more needed equipment immediately.

Hope that helps.

J
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:49 PM   #9
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...How necessary is this RO filter? my city's water is not bad, actually...150TDS. I mean the water conditioner is also mean to be eliminate the metal stuff. If I can save this money, I can buy some other equipments instead. thanks
It really comes down to personal preference. Do you *need* to use RO/DI water to have a successful tank? Depending on your water, you might not - many folks have had success with reef tanks using treated tap water. But the flip side of that is true too... depending on what exactly is in your water, you might have a heck of a time keeping a reef tank using tap water. Unfortunately, you won't know the answer until after the fact.

My opinion... half the battle with a reef tank is water quality and consistency. If you use tap water, you're not in control of your water - you have absolutely no idea what all is going in to that tank. You could be slowly pumping tiny amounts of copper in to the tank, depending on your household plumbing. You're definitely pumping nitrates and phosphates into the tank that wouldn't be there if you were using RO/DI. And even if you know exactly what's in the water this week, it could change next week. All depends on where you water company is getting the water, how they treat it, if they're suffering from budget cuts and decide to cut back on the amount of [insert chemical here] they normally put in the water, etc etc etc.
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson View Post
It really comes down to personal preference. Do you *need* to use RO/DI water to have a successful tank? Depending on your water, you might not - many folks have had success with reef tanks using treated tap water. But the flip side of that is true too... depending on what exactly is in your water, you might have a heck of a time keeping a reef tank using tap water. Unfortunately, you won't know the answer until after the fact.

My opinion... half the battle with a reef tank is water quality and consistency. If you use tap water, you're not in control of your water - you have absolutely no idea what all is going in to that tank. You could be slowly pumping tiny amounts of copper in to the tank, depending on your household plumbing. You're definitely pumping nitrates and phosphates into the tank that wouldn't be there if you were using RO/DI. And even if you know exactly what's in the water this week, it could change next week. All depends on where you water company is getting the water, how they treat it, if they're suffering from budget cuts and decide to cut back on the amount of [insert chemical here] they normally put in the water, etc etc etc.
Really appreciate your input, I think I will go get a RO filter, like you said, at least I can ensure the water I put in is not the reason that causing some problems. Do you mind answer one more question, how necessary is to obtain a RO+DI filter, rather than a RO filter alone. The research I did showed there will probably 10ppm difference. but cost more at initial and ongoing.
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