Can't find RO water! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-28-2015, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Can't find RO water!

so i recently bought a house and moved. there are three "ro" water dispensers near me and i can't use them. i usually use windmill express but there non anywhere near, google searches show the closest one 35 minutes away.

so here are my results with the three closest machines.

one of then i ran my tds on the water and it read 359.

one i used for the first time and i had a tank crash (may not be related but i'm not chancing it again, i lost my entire hillstream population all but 3 tangerine tiger shrimp, all of my snails and one bamboo shrimp).

and the third one is the same brand as the one that crashed my hillstream tank.

at some point i plan to get my own RO unit but its far down the list of things my new home needs.

Will
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-28-2015, 02:13 PM
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It would seem very odd for a water supply to crash snails unless it was so contaminated that it would poison humans... Snails are pretty robust to everything except non-reduced copper, which isn't exactly good for humans.

Really you only have a few options here...

1) drive really far

2) experiment with the vendors available to you...

3) use tap water as-is or with some inexpensive purification (ie: carbon block)

4) Buy a RO unit.

Any chance there's some local folks in the area you can ask about their experiences? They might be able to help you with option 2... "oh, yeah, the place on xyz street is terrible, but I've had good luck with the one across town" kinda stuff..

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-28-2015, 02:30 PM
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I have heard of those who have used distilled water rather than R/O but have no experience with distilled water.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-28-2015, 03:22 PM
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Distilled water should be fine if it is of decent quality... High quality distilled can be significantly more pure than RO.

The problem with lower quality distilled water is that it tends to pick up metals (aluminum, zinc or copper) from the condenser... Which isn't so good for shrimp-keeping.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-28-2015, 05:50 PM
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Any of your LFS sell RO water?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-28-2015, 06:59 PM
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Did you check the dispenser to see what the last service date is? There are some coin operated ones in my area that actually don't have anything about this. The non-coin operated one in the local walmart does have a card that occasionally gets updates but sometimes the card is gone, and sometimes it goes for long periods of time without being updated. So it's possible the machine hasn't been serviced.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-29-2015, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
It would seem very odd for a water supply to crash snails unless it was so contaminated that it would poison humans... Snails are pretty robust to everything except non-reduced copper, which isn't exactly good for humans.

Really you only have a few options here...

1) drive really far

2) experiment with the vendors available to you...

3) use tap water as-is or with some inexpensive purification (ie: carbon block)

4) Buy a RO unit.

Any chance there's some local folks in the area you can ask about their experiences? They might be able to help you with option 2... "oh, yeah, the place on xyz street is terrible, but I've had good luck with the one across town" kinda stuff..
i am in contact with a handfull of people locally but they all use tap.

1) i am hoping driving really far is not going to be my only option. there are a couple big box stores near me that i should if they know of a good place to get RO

2) what vendors do you mean? like the culligan delivery guys?

3)tap as is i have not tested everyone tells me our water is pretty hard and i've been lazy about testing it. maybe i should do that tonight. i've never used a carbon block, how would i go about that?

4) like i said RO unit is down the road. in a year or two, i have more pressing household purchases to make.



Quote:
Originally Posted by roadmaster View Post
I have heard of those who have used distilled water rather than R/O but have no experience with distilled water.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
Distilled water should be fine if it is of decent quality... High quality distilled can be significantly more pure than RO.

The problem with lower quality distilled water is that it tends to pick up metals (aluminum, zinc or copper) from the condenser... Which isn't so good for shrimp-keeping.
i keep shrimp and snails in all of my tanks. and i'll be changing at a minimum 30 gallons a week, thats alot of jugs to cart around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daffyfish View Post
Any of your LFS sell RO water?
yes but they are 30minutes away and my current work schedule has me at work for the whole time they are open.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TINNGG View Post
Did you check the dispenser to see what the last service date is? There are some coin operated ones in my area that actually don't have anything about this. The non-coin operated one in the local walmart does have a card that occasionally gets updates but sometimes the card is gone, and sometimes it goes for long periods of time without being updated. So it's possible the machine hasn't been serviced.
unfortunatly neither of these machines have those stickers that tell you when the were last serviced and it made me a little weary when i went to them, but i didn't have any other options.

Will
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-29-2015, 02:04 PM
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Test the tap water and read the water quality report from the water company.

Set up a Rubbermaid Brute (there is a 32 gallon or a 44 gallon version) with a filter that will hold whatever media you want. I would use any left over filter or pump that you have lying around to test something like this, but if it works you probably want a filter such as the Rena Filstar medium or even the large one. LOTS of basket space, and you can fill them with whatever works for you.

Run it at least overnight, perhaps 24 hours.

Test again.

Suggested media:
Safe-T-Sorb, Oil-Dri, Turface: Any of these montmorillonite clays will remove carbonates. This means the KH will drop, allowing the pH to drop. A nylon stocking is a good media bag for fine stuff like this.

Get a GH adsorbing filter insert from aquarium store. It will probably say something like 'Water softening pillow'.

Activated carbon will remove most things that contribute smells to the water. There is a long list of stuff that it is good for. Another nylon stocking-media bag.

Add a water treatment that includes the comment 'locks up heavy metals'. I think some of the Amquel product line will do this. I am sure others will, too.

Purigen if there is anything in the water that is on its list.

There are other specifically targeted additives for a filter. With copper sensitive livestock, I would also use Cuprisorb or similar.

Zeolite is good if there is ammonia in the water (chloramine, other).

If your livestock like blackwater, then add some peat moss. (Another nylon stocking!) Peat moss can also soften the water in a way that is similar to an ion exchange water softener, but the effect is not consistent. Some batches of peat moss seem very active, others not so much.

Then, just in case there is anything coarser in the water, or any of these media release stuff, I would put some floss, or quilt batting at the top, last out, to trap whatever needs to be trapped.

Some of these media can be rejuvenated. Follow label directions. I would buy some distilled or RO water (the best you can find) as a final rinse for these.

Other option:
They make RO units that are not a permanent installation. Hook them up, use them, then put them away 'til next time.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-29-2015, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquatic Delight View Post
i am in contact with a handfull of people locally but they all use tap.

1) i am hoping driving really far is not going to be my only option. there are a couple big box stores near me that i should if they know of a good place to get RO
Hopefully one of them can give you some good options... as at present you don't really have any "good" options..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquatic Delight View Post
2) what vendors do you mean? like the culligan delivery guys?
No, I mean experimenting with the existing sources that you already mentioned don't want to use.. I'm not saying this is a great option, but it is one of the few options you have..

Buy a gallon of each, do some testing, make a small bucket-tank and toss a cull shrimp into each, see what happens..

Note: the one with high TDS is probably intended for drinking.. it's not uncommon to RO water, and then remineralize it with calcium/magnesium carbonates to improve taste.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquatic Delight View Post
3)tap as is i have not tested everyone tells me our water is pretty hard and i've been lazy about testing it. maybe i should do that tonight. i've never used a carbon block, how would i go about that?
A carbon block filter isn't going to fix hardness... it just removes chlorine, sediment, some metals and organic contaminants.. Your typical whole house filters for sale at home improvement centers often have carbon block cartridges available... granular carbon also works, but doesn't remove sediment very well, most of your 'ice maker' inline filters are granular activated carbon (GAC).

Regardless, you can buy one, some clear tubing, and some hose thread adapters and attach it to a faucet or hose bib and use that to fill your tank. I use a rig like this for my homebrew beer (for which chloramine is an issue, and dechlorinators aren't desirable as who wants sulfated beer), but I don't currently use it for my aquarium.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquatic Delight View Post
4) like i said RO unit is down the road. in a year or two, i have more pressing household purchases to make.
Yeah, I know.. I'm just enumerating your options... There's a lot of "rock vs hard place" choices here unless you can find something new..

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-29-2015, 08:23 PM
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Heath food stores often have RO water. I saw a guy bringing large empty water bottles to the local Wholefoods, so it might be worth checking there.

I recently installed a
$200 APEC RO unit $200 APEC RO unit
that is working beautifully. It has a 4.8/8 star rating and is Amazon's best seller in under counter water filters. Installation is fairly easy if you have standard size plumbing. If you have to drill a hole for the faucet in a stainless steel sink, get a cobalt drill bit.

My water is off the KH charts. The APEC brings it down to zero.

Takes some patience if you need to generate large volumes of water. The reserve tank holds about two gallons. So plan ahead for water changes on large tanks.
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