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Old 09-21-2008, 08:31 PM   #1
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Reverse Osmosis

I just purchased and set up a reverse osmosis system mainly for my green spot algae problem. As I read different articles I have a question. It seems it is necessary to add minerals back before using it. Is this absolutely necessary? My 75 gal tank has been established for 3 years and water conditions are perfect. If this is necessary what is the best to use to treat this water. Some articles mentioned Aquqrium Salt but I have about 6 cories in this tank and was under the impression that salt shouldn't be added with those fish in tanks. Also how much of a watewr change to do with this water..I usually do a 25-35 gallon change every week or two..Is there equipment to have this water automatically re-added as opposed to having to dump it in manually? Thanks
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Old 09-21-2008, 09:01 PM   #2
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Ro strips the water

A good RO Unit will strip your water of just about everything, including buffering agents that help to keep yor PH from crashing. When your PH Crashes, fish can die....and this can happen very quickly. Make sure you have a good TDS Meter to measure the dissolved solids in your water. I used to use Kent RO Right Powder to put some necessary minerals and such back into my RO Water, but now I just mix my RO water (85%)...with my hard well water (15%)
The fact that your tank has been established for a while will not help you buffer the water, unless your substrate is one that is meant to add hardness like crushed coral or some of the other gravels made specifically for African Cichlid setups. A RO Unit is a great thing and I love mine....it helps me keep the soft water fish that I love without hauling water in on a weekly basis. I keep Angels, Discus, Plecos, Cardinals, Rummynose, and others. Plus I can still use water right out of my well to keep my Malawi and Tanganyika Cichlids as well. Good luck!
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Old 09-21-2008, 09:17 PM   #3
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Thanks for quick reply..One of the main reasons I got this is because of my algae problem (green spot that has to be cleaned off glass about every 3 weeks). I also am going to change one of my tanks over to discus or Jack Dempsey's (electric blues). I have been researching questions about the ro process all day..You mentioned a test kit..What does this kit test for? I have the basic test kit for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph..What exactly am I looking at to be sure water quality is where I need it. Also did you arrive at your 85 to 15 ratio by trial and error. That appears to be the easiest way..While i am asking questions on this, I am looking to hook up treated water to pump back into aquarium via a sumbmersiable pump,etc..Has anyone tried this..
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Old 09-21-2008, 10:36 PM   #4
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You still need to run your regular water tests, but you need to keep an eye on your total dissolved solids as well. The total dissolved solids are things like calcium, and magnesium, etc. that can show up in your water.
The most common things in my water are calcium, phosphates, sodium, nitrates, and potassium. When your TDS reading is under 100....the ph of your aquarium water can be very unstable. I experimented with my "mix until I got it where i wanted it. Everybody's water is different...so what works for me....most likely will not work for you. A good TDS meter is a great investment....and by the way, RO water should help somewhat with your algae problem.
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Old 09-21-2008, 10:59 PM   #5
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Sorry about my lack of knowledge but a couple more questions..Does the TDS just give you a single number that is good or bad? I am ordering one now. Also when you say you get your combined water where you want it, what are you looking for as far as quality ie hardness, ph, calicium, etc. If so what additional test kits (other than the basic 4 tests) do you recommend I purchase. I am thinking the water hardness and PH parameters would be the most important readings for discus and/or breeding Jack Dempsey's. And lastly how do you control the ph measurement when using the R/O. Is this where the combination of R/O water and tap water ratio comes in. Thanks much for your help.
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Old 09-21-2008, 11:26 PM   #6
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The TDS will give you a number. You will still have to check your PH, Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate readings. Ph and hardness will not only affect the breeding habits of Discus and JD but may also affect the viability of their eggs. Water quality (low nitrites/nitrates and non existant Ammonia) is VERY important. And warmth(i keep my discus at 84 degrees)Remember, Straight RO water will have a lower PH to begin with. My well water on the other hand has a high PH (8.4 right out of the tap)
My mix usually gives me a PH of just below neautral or about 6.5. You can adjust it with any number of products on the market. I mix my water in 30 gallon rubbermaid garbage cans that I bought at Wal-mart, and pump it into my tanks with a large powerhead/hose arrangement..
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:00 AM   #7
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So when doing your mix between R/O and well water is that what eventually will determine your ph and hardness of water in your tank? I realize if this is indeed the case it will take me a few water changes to achieve the ph and hardness readings that I wish to achieve in my tank. I really don't want to mess with my ph chemically. Sounds like I need to get a water hardness test kit. Do you test for phosphates or does the TDS readings take this into account. Thanks again
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:43 AM   #8
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A hardness test kit can help out. A TDS Meter will not tell you what agents are causing your TDS # to be higher, it will just simply give you a number. You can experiment with small amounts of water to figure out your own "formula" for mixing RO Water with your water straight out of the tap. I figured mine out in a gallon jar, before I started mixing it up in a 30 gallon garbage can. This way , there is a lot less waste. Find out what works for 1 gallon and then do the math to figure out what would work in your particular mixing container.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:15 PM   #9
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Ok..One last question...What measurements are you looking for in your water mixture? .Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, PH, hardness???any others I've left off?? What measurements are you happy with.. Or do you just use the TSD test when mixing? Thanks
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:17 PM   #10
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The TDS should be used to find your Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in your source water. It should be 0 or close to it.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:20 PM   #11
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Sorry but I am new to this part of fishkeeping. But do you want the combined water to be reading zero after mixing..I thought some minerals, etc had to be added back. Thanks
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:25 PM   #12
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You want 0 TDS out of your source water. Once you start adding trace elements and other thing, your TDS readings will go up.
The TDS meter is used to make sure you are getting pure water out of your tap. The RO won't remove nitrAtes, that's where the DI comes into place.
Here is an easy understanding of RO/DI:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ics/Page1.html
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:16 PM   #13
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readings

In a well cycled tank....Ammonia should be zero, Nitrites should be zero, nitrates should be very low (less than 20PPM..or even less than 10PPM for Discus) Ph will depend on what fish you intend to keep. I keep my discus at 6.8 with a TDS around 100-150 and a temp of 84 degrees F. Hope this helps
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:21 PM   #14
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Reverse Osmosis

Quote:
Originally Posted by morningman View Post
In a well cycled tank....Ammonia should be zero, Nitrites should be zero, nitrates should be very low (less than 20PPM..or even less than 10PPM for Discus) Ph will depend on what fish you intend to keep. I keep my discus at 6.8 with a TDS around 100-150 and a temp of 84 degrees F. Hope this helps
Wow, my TDS doesn't go over 20.
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:29 PM   #15
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Thanks for the link..My source water (city water) has high ammonia levels (.50) and ph of 7.6 or higher (hard to get colors compared exactly) and no nitrates. My water after R/O DI as expected is no ammonia but lower ph (around 6). To get my ph of my tank down to 6.5 do I mix some source water with processed water to maintain an overall 6.5 ph..I guess my main confusion is what to add to my processed water to keep ph levels at 6.5 if I do indeed go with Discus. What kind of test results am I looking for when I combine the source and processed water..I really appreciate your help..
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roka64 View Post
Wow, my TDS doesn't go over 20.
I've run mine that low, but have found the PH to be quite unstable and unpredictable.
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Old 09-23-2008, 02:48 PM   #17
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Oooops, I meant my TDS meter.
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